I CONFESS: Mr Right turned out all wrong
THERE IS A MYTH that we have held sacred that if you have not found marriage and love then your life is neither fulfilled or joyous. The problem is that too many of us, especially women, go looking for love and only find hurt and heartache. Very often we end up permanently wounded.
I am a woman in my mid-50s and would consider myself to be reasonably successful in my job in the public sector. I am financially independent since I had a reasonably good education and a little money from a fixed-term insurance plan, thanks to my parents. So that by 30 I was able to purchase my own home which I rented for a number of years while I stayed at my parents’ home. In addition to the rental income I was also a good saver since I had few financial responsibilities. Financially, everything went the right path for me and I seem to have made the best decisions as I invested in various areas. I even bought a sizeable piece of land from a relative who had lived on a plantation all his life and just before his death offered me at a bargain price.
Never met Mr Right
My problem was that I never met Mr Right and, truly, never got involved with any meaningful relationships. I did not sleep around as I was always cautious about tainting my reputation. I was truly focused on building my financial security and ensuring my independence. I had always planned that by a certain age I would like to take an early retirement, yet continue to maintain a good standard of living. I was on course for most of my objectives. My life seemed to be fulfilled. As my mother would often say, her children are blessed, and so it seemed to be the case for me.
But it was just before my 50th birthday that I felt a great sense of accomplishment, yet a clear case of emptiness. I was certainly financially secure, having two houses for which I did not owe anyone anything; I had in excess of six figures on my bank account and a similar amount in various saving instruments while I have a reasonable insurance policy and some private pension plan savings. I am still the only sibling living at my parents’ home. The others, also holding their own financially, have their families and now live overseas.
My misery started when I realised that with all that I have I did not have a good partner, someone I could share with, talk to, and look forward to spending our golden years together. I look at my parents, still alive and still alert, with envy, to see how they still do things together, travel and generally enjoy life. They don’t have the financial strength that I have but have love and hope, which I don’t. I felt that I should correct this situation and decided to date a guy who had been making comments to me when we met on work-related assignments. He invited me to church and I decided to go. I felt that this was indeed a different type of date. I went with him on a number of occasions.
He was five years older than I and I felt he was a good match. For his birthday I invited him to dinner at a top-rated restaurant and we had a wonderful evening. After that we started seeing each a lot more often, for lunch on weekends and even for Sunday lunch at my parents. After all, I had introduced him to them and my mother was particularly pleased. She would always complain that I did not give her grandchildren, but nonetheless she would be happy if I got married. She would always talk about the type of wedding and the friends and family who would be there. The look was still in her eyes. This man and I started to do things together which suggested that my mother’s wish may still after all come true.
We went to Florida, where we went on a cruise and to do some shopping for personal items. I bought an extensive range of clothing as did he and I am not ashamed to say all at my expense. It was while in Florida that a strange development took place. He took me to a place called Oakland Park, where he had to meet with a friend on an issue and wanted me to go with him. When we got there I was surprised, since most of the residents were black like me. I quickly found out it was a Haitian community. We went to a small restaurant and went upstairs, which was like a roof deck. But it was not an eating area as it had just a few chairs. It was a waiting area. We sat and waited. Soon a woman came out and spoke to my companion who was fluent in creole or patois, as we say. He was born and lived in another Caribbean island before coming here.
We went into a room and the lady placed her hands on my head and then my shoulders. They both started talking loudly in patois which left me in the dark. She threw some strange smelling substance on my hands and feet and some type of powder on me. She placed a small cloth doll in my hands. The entire episode lasted about 15 minutes. When we got downstairs I asked my companion what that was all about. In plain English, the woman told me that when I return home I must have nothing to do with my closest relatives for two years. She said their spirits had affected me and that I would never find and retain true love as long as I did not break away from them. She then asked for payment and my companion gave her US$1 000 which was actually my money. She then indicated that we would have to come up to Florida every four months to meet with her.
When we got into the hired vehicle my companion said he felt happy and on top of the world. He wanted us to go and get a bath in a sulphur springs in a neighbouring island on our return to Barbados. My mother’s dreams were not going to come true. I confess I was out a few thousand dollars and my pride had been dented, but my head was still on. On arrival at Grantley Adams International Airport, I said goodbye and ended the relationship there and then.