Top Ten Things Learned in Jamaica

Can I Laugh Now? *Encouraging you to see the humor in life’s embarrassing moments.

Irie, Mon! 

I recently had the privilege of witnessing my big bro walk down the aisle. And lucky for me and the rest of my family, my brother and his fiance decided to say “I Do” in sunny Jamaica.

Not only did I leave Jamaica a little browner, but I also left a little wiser. So here they are-

The Top Ten Things I Learned in Jamaica

10. If you ask your bus driver “what’s one thing I should do before I leave?” 9 times out of 10 his answer will involve marijuana. (And he just might offer you a bag at the first rest stop)

9. Don’t let your older brother catch you in the water talking to a local nicknamed “Smuffy” or he just might not let you out of his sight the rest of the trip. (We were just talking!)

8. Venturing out and trying local cuisine is good, but be warned that a dish labeled “beef” could really be liver. (That was the worst tasting beef I’ve ever had!)

7. Label your liquids or you just might end up conditioning your hair with Mylanta Stomach Relief. (Hey, I get indigestion.)

6. All jerk chicken is NOT created equal. (As Mitch and Simone found out)

5. When your tour guide says an excursion is only 1 hour away, have him/her show it to you on a map! (Cause 1 hour just might turn into 2 1/2 hours)

4. Mosquito Repellent. Mosquito Repellent. Mosquito Repellent.

3. When you jump off a 35 ft cliff, make sure someone is taking a picture. (You mean NONE of y’all took a picture?!)

2. Bring shoes with some support! After 3+ days of walking in flimsy flip-flops my feet refused to go another step!

1. YOLO! You only live once so take the opportunity to try new things. Zip-lined, kayaked, jet skied, jumped from the cliff at Rick’s Cafe (not the baby cliff this time either). People asked why I did all of these things- especially since I can’t swim. (I hold my nose; that counts, right?) I simply responded, “Why Not?”

Until next time,

Keep Laughing!

-Belle

What lessons have you learned on recent vacations? I’d love to know! Comment below 🙂 

*Bonus lesson:  Don’t leave your things to dry on the balcony too long; the wind might just blow them away! I ended up leaving behind a dear friend of mine- my favorite red running shorts. They were my trademark! I was extremely bummed until I heard my dad exclaim, “Good riddance! I was sick of seeing those things. It’s time for a change!” lol Well I guess he has a point. So even though I didn’t plan or want this new change, I will embrace it…with a new pair! I’m thinking cheetah print; what ya think? 🙂

Going the Distance…

If “familiarity breeds contempt” and “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” then why are so many people against long distance relationships?

*Be sure to check out the latest Can I Laugh Now? story, “Verbal Consent,” below. It’s a tale of long distance that didn’t end so well!

If you would have asked me a couple of months ago if I thought long distance relationships worked, I would have told you ABSOLUTELY NOT! This may be because my own long distance relationship crashed and burned. But if I’m honest with myself, I will admit that he and I had issues long before distance became a factor.

I’ve learned a few things from my last break up, and I  believe that if I met a guy with long term potential I would not let distance be a deal breaker. With that being said, there are a few key factors that must be present in a successful long distance romance. The first being TRUST. “If ya ain’t got trust, ya ain’t got nothing.” (I heard that in a movie somewhere. Lol.) It’s simple, yet profound. The next is COMMUNICATION. And no, I am not talking about staying on the phone with your partner all day and all night. When I say communication I mean being open and honest with what’s going on, expressing how you are coping with the distance. Lastly, I must stress that each of you have a LIFE OUTSIDE OF YOUR PARTNER (this I learned the hard way). I spent the summer of 2006 in London. While there Italy won the World Cup of Soccer. My friends were outside celebrating with locals who were parading the streets ecstatic over the win. Where was I? I was in my room on the phone with my boyfriend like I had been many nights that summer. I’m not saying put your long distance lover on the back burner; just make sure that you have balance. And if your partner makes a fuss about you having a life outside of him/her, consider it a RED FLAG!

With all that being said, even with trust, communication, and having a life outside of your partner, there will come a time when one of you will have to make a sacrifice, the big move. I implore that you do not move without a serious commitment (Ring!). And it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to have a fallback. By fallback I mean a job or apartment set up just in case the relationship dissolves.

But why not give long distance a chance? I figure if a relationship can withstand that type of strain, it is probably the real deal. 🙂

And now for a Can I Laugh Now? story that didn’t survive the distance…

“Verbal Consent”

Laugher:  Princess

Home:  Memphis, TN

Princess meets her boyfriend in college. She is older, much older (she’s a senior; he’s a freshman = red flag). So of course she graduates and moves away to start law school. So their college romance becomes a long distance one.

Everything is going fine, until Princess starts to notice one particular young lady (we will call her FB Vixen) making very suggestive Facebook wall posts about Princess’s boyfriend (Facebook will get you every time).

Around this time Princess returns to her alma mater to visit friends and her boyfriend. She decides to do a little digging to get the full story behind FB Vixen. Well Princess does not have to dig long. (In the words of a wise wife…never go digging because you will always find something you don’t like!) What Princess finds are IM’s where her boyfriend goes back and forth with the FB Vixen going into detail about a late night hookup.

Princess then decides to question her boyfriend about the girl. He denies knowing her. (Of course) Princess then shows him the IM’s. (His memory returns. Lol!) His account of the night:  FB Vixen took advantage of me while I was drunk. Princess, knowing her boyfriend is full of sh**, tells him that if this is true then he should press charges against FB Vixen for sexual assault (wow). And if he does this, she will forgive him. He of course is very hesitant which Princess later finds out is because there was more than one late night hookup with FB Vixen.

Princess decides it is time to hear from the other party. Now, let’s clarify. Princess is not confronting FB Vixen because of her trifling actions with her boyfriend; Princess is confronting FB Vixen for her disrespectful behavior on FB. Comments like, “what’s hers is mine, and what’s mine is mine.” (That kind of nonsense) The boyfriend convinces FB Vixen to come by his room where Princess is waiting. Princess then questions FB Vixen about her wall posts. FB Vixen denies the posts. (Of course) Princess then uncovers her laptop showing the FB posts. (I will now present Exhibit A!)

(Time for closing remarks) Princess makes FB Vixen one request, “Give me one reason why I should not beat your a**.” Unfortunately, FB Vixen does not provide an answer, so Princess commences to beating her a**! Princess sees it as FB Vixen gave her verbal consent. Lol! (I know that I am laughing, but CILN does Not condone violence.)

The boyfriend breaks up the fight. Though I don’t know if I would call it a fight, seeing as it was one sided. It was more like a beat down! FB Vixen flees the room leaving her keys, hat, life, etc. Her friends soon arrive to claim her belongings, which Princess has already thrown into the men restroom’s trash.

For awhile Princess was unable to see the humor in this story, but now she can look back and laugh. And that, Laughers, is what we are all about! So did the relationship demise due to the distance, or was it due to a lack of judgement on the boyfriend’s part? I guess you will have to ask him. Unfortunately, he was unavailable for comment. Lol!

*To watch the video blog for “Verbal Consent” click the link http://www.youtube.com/user/canilaughnow?feature=mhee

Until next time,

Keep Laughing!

-Belle