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Monday, March 12, 2007

Carnival Baby Blues

It has only been two weeks since we celebrated Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago yet for us self professed Carnival Babies it seems like an eternity has passed since then. As we suffer through post-Carnival depression in the months ahead, filled with waiting eagerly for preparations to begin in earnest Carnival 2008, to us it feels like no one else understands that this phenomenon is real!

For those who thought I could not shut up enough about my excitement for Carnival 2007, they cannot believe that I am not only still talking about Carnival that has just passed but that I am now making plans for a Carnival that is 11months away! Obviously these people have never had to go through withdrawal pangs, the closest I have come to reliving these same symptoms is after a vacation when I come home and feel utterly depressed that I am not at some fabulous destination spending my days lounging on the beach with a cocktail in hand! To get over my vacation depression I book another one and then I have something to look forward to and the planning begins again, after all getting there is half the fun!

The main critics are sometimes those close to us, one young lady wrote to me saying her mother is astounded that she is already excited over TRIBE’s theme for 2008 and she is planning on hitting a few international and regional Carnivals to tide her over until Trinidad 2008.She did admit that her mother’s disapproval of her Carnival love leads to guilt as she wonders if it is indeed too much affection given to Carnival. Now, I have had people try to do the same to me, not my mother of course as she is also a Carnival lover, trying to make me feel bad with questions such as “when are you going to stop playing mas, don’t you think you are getting too old for that?” or “when are you having children, all you talk about is mas!?” the latter question I get asked time and time again regardless of if I am even talking about Carnival! See, short of telling these people to mind their own business, my philosophy is that life it way too short to have it dictated by other people’s standards. Therefore I will be playing mas until I am no longer physically able and who does not like it will just have to deal with at it is their problem not mine!

It’s not like Carnival is the be all and end all of my life, believe it or not there are other activities that I enjoy just as much and I do not sit around all day every day planning only for Carnival. For instance my vacation is drawing nearer and I am quite excited about that and which destination I will be heading to this year. I am also looking forward to the long weekend for Easter coming up soon, Tobago Jazz on the horizon, possibly Crop Over in addition to celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and just days of nothing more than going to the beach and enjoying a bake and shark! The thing is that for those who have never really experienced Carnival and fallen under it’s spell there are no words to describe that feeling of freedom; two days to say good bye to the stress, heartache and worries that might have plagued you all year long and embrace the chance to say “farewell” to what feels like a routine, hum drum life, however short it might be. You shed that boring uniform you wear all year to work, don a fabulous costume, and channel the inner “diva” or alter ego to reign supreme on the streets of Port of Spain. That feeling is priceless and what I look forward to year after year.

So for all you others going through this Carnival tabanca take comfort in the fact that you are not alone! I know some of you have taken to planning for 2008 which is an excellent first step in trying to ease the pain, I was so grateful to learn of TRIBE’s theme so now I have something to keep my imagination occupied and it gives me impetus to start my diet and fitness regime. Putting the plan in gear and knowing there is a goal ahead makes the wait seem shorter. One lady told me she is having a post Carnival lime to ease her Carnival blues, complete with Trini dishes on the menu and a slide show prepared for her guests of her Carnival 2007 photos. I even read on the message board that one mom is planning her daughter’s birthday party which will have a Carnival theme, with costumes and a stage for the kiddies to cross! It amazes me that you guys have so much imagination when it comes to dealing with this problem. The lucky ones who can afford to go to one or more regional and international Carnivals will go through the withdrawal a bit faster than those who are not able. I know those looking forward to Cropover Labour Day or MIami are quite possibly getting back that “high” as they make preparations for those Carnivals.

If you get the urge to try on your costume, blast Jumbie on your stereo and take a wine in your living room when no one is there feel free to indulge and remember, you are not alone in trying to fight the feeling. At the very least you can always stop by this blog and share your angst with so many others that feel the same!
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