Before you choose to spend the rest of your life (or the rest of the year) with someone, you should have some idea of what to expect. While all women are unique, there are some similarities that stem from a connection to the Caribbean culture. My aim is to help you figure out some things without taking all of the fun out of getting to know your significant other.
My husband had his share of surprises. The amount of time it took to make chicken was one. The dash of bleach that goes in pretty much everything including dishwashing water and my odd sentence construction and misplaced modifiers were two more.
Here are the last seven things that you need to remember when you marry (or date) a woman of Caribbean descent. If you missed Part One, you can catch up here. If you missed Part Two, you can find that one here.
19. Learn to make at least one simple Caribbean dish well. It can be a soup, or a drink, or if you are more ambitious, try a vegetable curry dish.
20. If she tells you don’t eat so and so’s food, not to take so much pepper sauce, or to avoid any particular person at a family gathering, listen. You win no points for spending hours on the toilet, suffering through swollen lips and gums, or spending the whole evening talking to auntie so and so. Don’t let your male ego consider it a challenge. It is a warning, and she warned you because she loves you, not because she thinks you can’t handle diarrhea, a burnt esophagus, or the aunt who seems to take rum intravenously.
21. You probably won’t win points for taking her to a Caribbean restaurant. Nobody can cook like her. If she doesn’t cook, then good luck taking her to a place that can hold a candle to her mom, grandma, auntie, uncle, daddy, or grandfather’s food. She will be mad you spent money on it (Caribbean food is expensive in a restaurant setting). You might get points for trying, but it will take a while for her to forgive you if the food is bad. Save your money and take her to a Caribean film festival or other Caribbean event. Events are easiest to find during June which is Caribbean American Heritage Month.
22. Take the time to learn about her culture, including current events. Share current events with her, and compare and contrast to things that are going on where you live. There are many Caribbean newspapers available online, and outlets like BBC and CNN have sections dedicated to news from the region.
23. Help her keep in touch. It is estimated that more people of Caribbean descent live in America than live in the Caribbean. It isn’t easy to keep track of family living all over the world. Especially in times of crisis. It can be frustrating. Make it a point to know who is living where, how to contact them, and help her stay connected.
24. Don’t assume that she’ll like the stereotypical “Caribbean” things. She may want a steel pan band at her surprise birthday party (or not), but faux dread wigs are a no. Anything you’ve seen on a cruise ship. Nope. Her culture is not a caricature.
25. Don’t wait until you go to her family to experience her culture. Encourage her to bring her culture to your family events in the form of music, a dish, a six pack of beer from her home country, or a game. Helping her to feel included should be a priority. She and her family will likely try their best to make you feel included when you visit as well. You can also go visit her home country, meet her family, and experience the culture.
That’s everything – all 25 things you need to remember when you are married to or dating a Caribbean woman. If you missed the first two parts, here are the links…
Are you married or dating a Caribbean woman? Are you a Caribbean woman who has had misunderstandings with the people you date or person you’ve married because of your Caribbean roots that have caused conflict? Share with us in the comments.