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Friday, November 19, 2010

The Best of The Past - When a Wine is Not a Wine!

The No Wining Rule - Ok this one is not as far back in the past as the others but I thought this was a nice follow up to the other post:



Fresh after Carnival one of my friends is clicking through the party galleries on Triniscene, comes upon a photograph of her boyfriend executing what looks like a precariously perched wine atop a drinks cooler at a fete and her blood starts to boil! Suffice to say this causes a heated argument and subsequent rift between them as the boyfriend tries to explain that the girl just “surprised” him with a wine out of the blue and that his head was not positioned to look at her posterior, as it appeared in the photo, but he was really trying to make an escape while looking for his phone to send her (the girlfriend) a text! Apart from the fact that his phone could clearly be seen in the pocket on the OTHER side of the pants ,and his excuse was the lamest ever, I was both bemused and perplexed as to why my friend got SO angry at her boyfriend that it led to a Facebook break up!

“Because we had a NO WINING rule” she explains, “a what?” I asked, “A rule that we were not going to wine on any other people for Carnival, and he told me he did not wine on anyone at that fete!!” I must also add that this fete took place before my girl friend came into the country as her boyfriend came for Carnival a few days ahead of her. And while I thought that the whole incident seemed innocent enough, I mean it IS Carnival after all, a time where some couples are excused to take a wine on any bumsee, other ladies came forward with photographic evidence of their significant others taking a wine on women for Carnival and voiced their support that a wine is not always “just a wine”!

One person I know intimated to me that a friend of his got into some serious trouble for wining on other women in his section with the girlfriend present; apparently the girlfriend got jealous! Another friend noticed that all the photos of her boyfriend for Carnival showed him taking a wine on the SAME girl at various times throughout the day, after he said he didn’t really dance with anyone! Oh and the most proactive action came when this one girl left the band she was in, trekked to another band to look for her boyfriend caught him wining on some other woman, and took him out of that situation immediately; she was not amused! The fallout of post Carnival wining with persons other than the significant other lead to some vexation I tell you!

To me the whole “rule” thing is a bit much, I would think that there would be a mutual understanding between the couple of what they both expect and would accept of the other and their behavior during Carnival that expert rules are not even needed. However clearly there are those individuals that either use Carnival as an excuse to behave as they would not normally do, get caught up in the “spirit of the season”, take advantage of the willing wines offered and just see it as a free pass to wine on anyone on that day! Not to mention that for “foreigners’ not used to the whole concept of wining on other people during Carnival the whole act can be both confusing and liberating at the same time!

I have never had a falling out over taking a wine on someone else for Carnival. I myself do not allow any random stranger to come and “wine up on me just so” and I also have parameters on the kind of wine I will allow someone who is NOT my husband to indulge in. On the flip side, my other half is not the type of person to wine wantonly on any woman that passes by during Carnival either, though I have seen photos of him taking a small wine on other women during Carnival and was not upset, I mean it IS Carnival I would be worried if he were not interested at all! At the end of it all my friend did make back up with her boyfriend, but I do know that every time she sees that photo it annoys the HELL out of her!

So, where does the culture of “freeing up” for Carnival leave a couple and their rules? Are rules really necessary and how flexible should they be? I mean, is it okay to wine on someone else if the significant other is present? Or, how about if the wine is between your partner and a mutual friend, is it OK to wine on friends? In the rules are the number of times, length and grades of wines acceptable established? As a matter of fact how many of YOU have wining rules and were there any falling outs over wining on other people this Carnival?

It is interesting to me to get other’s take on this, because I was surprised at the support for the “no wining rule” though the general consensus was that our friend did go a bit overboard by breaking up with her boyfriend over the photo of him wining on someone else during a fete; it is not as if she caught him cheating after all, it was JUST a wine during Carnival, ent?

The Best of The Past - Bringing Sand to the Beach!

Don't Bring Sand To The Beach!



People often comment on the fact that my husband and I are playing mas together, as if it is something strange. A married friend of mine says he has no problem with his wife playing mas, just not in the same BAND as him! Well, my husband and I are playing in the same band, albeit different sections, but that only came about because we both liked different costumes. To me it's not strange, my husband is my liming partner so our lime is just being extended to something we both love; Carnival.

The thing is though that many relationships and friendships do not weather Carnival, because the thinking is why bring sand to the beach?! With a plethora of beautiful men and women invading our shores for Carnival, some people are greedy, wanting to eat their cake and have it too. What do I mean you say? Well, let me explain it this way, many couples break up for Carnival only to reconcile on Ash Wednesday and long standing friendships sometimes come to an end after Carnival for the following reasons:

  • Either male or female wants to party without their significant other, which leads to accusations of ulterior motives for not wanting significant other at said party. This can also extend itself to J'ouvert and even playing mas. Big arguments occur over someone wanting to go on a boys lime or girls lime for Carnival. Worse yet you telling your boyfriend or girlfriend or husband or wife you DO NOT want them to play mas with you, that is serious thing!
  • Hostility and pressure from friends who don't want the significant other in tow for any Carnival related activity. See, when one person out of the crew brings along their boyfriend or girlfriend that cramps the style of the rest of the crew. They don't want that significant other to see them in their slackness i.e. wining on anyone willing and able or liming with the "outside friend" because significant other will report on their behaviour to THEIR significant others. Get the picture. So sometimes the choice comes down to friends or significant other. If you choose friends, well you in the dog house for sure! And if you choose significant other friends does be just as vex! Before I got married hubby jumped up on the road with me on Carnival Tuesday and my girl friend was quite annoyed, asking me if he was staying with us "all day". The next year she made sure she had her cousin play mas with us, so that when me and hubby chipping down the road she would not feel like the third wheel.
  • You are forbidden to play mas. Yes, it happens, imagine in this day and age when you are paying for your costume yourself, your partner is telling you they don't like the idea of you playing mas! Well, I don't have to tell you how many relationships are ended on that level of jealousy and insecurity. Some of them even want an input on exactly what costume you can and cannot wear and even how much it should cost! And you know these raging lunatics sometimes go so far as to hunt you down on Carnival Tuesday, if you decide to go ahead and play against their wishes, looking to embarrass you by dragging you out of the band! I have never witnessed this personally, but my mother told me stories of this happening back in the day.
  • Caught on camera! This happened to a friend of mine, her boyfriend was happy to "send her off" to play mas, while he sat at home and watched the parade on T.V. Well, Ms. Lady pick up a fella in the band and forget that there are cameras ON STAGE and there is her boyfriend sitting at home and seeing her crossing stage with a man putting waist on her from behind! Enough sparks flew in that house when she got home later that night, which is the worse time to try and defend yourself being drunk and tired. That was the end of THAT relationship. With all those party photographers like IslandEvents, Triniscene and Carnivalscene you have to be careful not to be caught doing something you should not be doing with someone you are not supposed to be with! If you horning, stay far from the cameras.
  • The outside man/woman gets jealous. One of the hardships of being the "other man or woman" is that you don't get to be with the person you love when you want to, seeing as they are already involved with someone else! So chances are you end up spending Christmas and New Year's Eve alone, and in Trinidad that can also mean you are alone for Carnival too. You know some couples only go out together for Carnival. They hit the tents, all-inclusive parties, even play mas together, leaving the outside woman/man on the outside! If you all think Saucy don't know what she talking about, think again!Me and hubby gone Blue Range all-inclusive where we bounce up a friend and his wife. Now, I don't ever see that friend with his wife and was quite surprised to see them together for that party knowing full well he was always with his outside woman. Anyways, we gone to get a bake and shark only to bounce up that same friend's outside woman looking blue in the face and asking us if we saw the individual with his wife! Imagine the girl vex, SO vex that she decided to make the guy jealous by liming with another fella all night. Well that drama went on for the rest of the night with me and hubby staying out of every body's way.
  • You forget Valentines day! Be prepared, in 2007 Valentines Day is on Bacchanal Wednesday. To me Valentine's is nothing special, I would be quite happy if the hubby just gets me tickets to beach house (hint hint) but other people want the whole nine yards; chocolate, dinner, roses and the undivided attention of their significant other. I know for a fact many women are left fuming when Valentine's Day rolls around close to Carnival and they cannot see or hear from their man. One year Valentines was on Carnival Monday, and all I remember was sleeping off the effects of jouvert and dirty mas in Arima by my girl friend's house when her boyfriend came late in the night with a cheap plastic rose. The cussing woke me up, because he got such a tongue lashing he retreated just as quickly as he came! Imagine he was missing in action all day only to turn up late at night with no excuse and a cheap gift. I don't know how all those couples in love will be navigating Valentines day for 2007, I wish allyuh luck!
  • Your partner does not understand our culture. It's one thing to want to bring your non-Trinidadian significant other to Carnival, but before you do please explain to them what they should expect. People who are not used to "our ting" do not expect people to be so overly friendly come Carnival, and next thing you know you are being accused of flirting! Worse yet if you "tief" a wine at a party or on the road for Carnival, are too friendly smearing paint on other bodies during jouvert or you want to lime with friends you have not seen in a while on the road; significant other might feel oh so left out. Think carefully before inviting them home to Carnival with you, especially if it is a jealous, possessive type!

I hope all the relationships out there are strong enough to survive Carnival, do not say you have not been warned on the possibilities that can occur. Trust, understanding and respecting your partner will see you through every temptation that Carnival throws at you. When Carnival is over, you still want to be with that person, so don't do anything that you will regret. For those who are coming from overseas and leaving a significant other behind, make sure you have a very understanding partner and don't do anything when you get to Trinidad that you would be ashamed of them finding out.

And for all those couples playing mas together, wheter in the same section or band, remember Carnival is a time of freedom, don't shadow him/her all day. Give them some space and don't get vex if they take a lil small wine here and there (make sure you impress upon them the limits of that "small" wine though!) and know that at the end of the day they are going home with YOU.

No need for break ups and heart aches during this festive time, if your man/woman leaves you because they "not taking sand to the beach" don't sit at home and mope. Find yourself to the nearest mas camp, buy a costume, hit all the fetes leading up to the big day with your friends and forget that worries, after all it's Carnival!
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