There are some articles that touch a nerve. They make you laugh, say “dais rel true”, be inspired, get upset, or cause plain ol’ drama. We’ve had our fair share of those here on Outlish.com, and thought it’d be nice to reminisce with you about some of them.
As always, relationships, and our way of life, draw people in, and since our writers have free reign to express their opinion, well… wherever freedom reigns, you’re bound to see some interesting takes on topics. They’re way too many to list all here, so here’s a sample of some of the articles that made our readers laugh, get cross, angry and miserable, or say, “that’s life in T&T for you”.
Convent Girls: Crashing the Stereotype
“Where is your accent?” That’s the first question people ask me when I confess that I attended St. Joseph’s Convent, Port of Spain.
This is usually followed by, “You are so not a convent girl eh!”, which more often than not brings me great satisfaction. Not that I am ashamed of having attended SJC. I passed my Common Entrance exam with flying colours, and passed confidently through the front door of my first choice. No shame in that game.
It’s what I found when I got there that makes any association with the Convent Girl stereotype problematic. Read more.
You can also check out the follow-up to this piece by a fellow Convent girl, which also got people talking.
The Difference between North and South Trinis
There is an unspoken rule that there are things that only Trinis could say about one another and any foreigner considering uttering a bad thing about us could receive a well deserved ‘bellas’. Like squabbling siblings, we alone can affectionately call each other ‘cantankerous’, ‘bacchanalish’ or ‘Trickidadian’, while any outsider doing such can find themselves in the middle of a tag-team cuss-out session. Read more.
Homophobic T&T: One Foot in the Closet
Last week I posted a YouTube video on my Facebook wall, made by an American comedian, addressing the recent spate of gay, teen suicides in the States. An FB friend, let’s call him ‘Bob’, decided to comment on the video saying, “Gays could do what the f@ck they want. Once they don’t come around me”, followed up with the more insightful “They could all kill themselves, don’t really care”.
Now it would be easy to dismiss Bob as an idiot, after all he sounds like one, but on closer inspection of Bob’s Facebook page, you’ll discover that listed in his favourite music are Britney Spears, Whitney Houston, and Aretha Franklin. Read more.
Why is There So Much Pressure on Indian Men to Get Married?
If you’re like me, an Indian boy from a middle-class family growing up in Chaguanas, you had certain expectations placed on you from early on. You had to pass Common Entrance and go to Presentation College; there you would excel, play a sport like cricket, date a girl from Holy Faith Convent, write five subjects at A-levels, win a scholarship and then go to medical school.
If like me, you failed to do any of these things, then there was still one last thing you could do to redeem yourself from being the complete abject failure you are in the eyes of your mother – find a nice Indian girl and get married. Read more.
The Art of Tiefin a Wine
I was going to title this piece “The Science of Tiefin’ a Wine”, but changed it to avoid confusion, and the possible misleading of potential waist bandits.
“Tiefin’ a wine”, as an activity, pastime, and, for some, practically a profession, has little to no science involved. It’s a probability game, not too different from ‘all fours’. You can come more than correct, and still get blanked – either the subtle “dance away” blank, the “look back in disgust” variety, or the “open-palm push off” (in extreme cases). Read more.
Growing Up: Remembering my Firsts
My name is Darryn Dinesh Boodan, and I am an adult. What does being an adult mean? Well it depends on how you look at it.
When I was 15, being adult meant you didn’t have to go to school; you could drive, have your own money, watch porn anytime, and hook up with older women. Now, being an adult mostly means, forcing yourself to go to a job you hate every day, remembering to pay your car loan, not letting your friends find out you still borrow money from your mom, not admitting to still watching porn, and wanting to hook up with younger women. Read more.
The Most Irritating Person on Facebook Award Goes to…
Remember when you were a child and had an imaginary friend you used to play with? Well now your imaginary friends have Facebook profiles, the once unpopular kid from primary school is now popular because he or she has the most hilarious status updates, and Shabba’s distant cousin, Peter, now has a chance at’ picking up’ girls, because he’s found the one decent photo of himself to use as a profile pic.
Unfortunately, this turning of the tables has caused seemingly normal folk to display some very irritating behaviour on FB. My imaginary friend, Joe, helped me to select a few of these disturbing traits. Read more.
Men Unlocked: How to Manipulate a Man
Eng here and I am chuckling to myself, as I write this. Why? Because my husband will probably say that I don’t know what I am talking about.
I must preface. Even though, I have figured men out, having had one of my own for 14 years now, I still get it wrong. But just because you could drive, doesn’t mean that accidents will never happen, right?
Men. Those of us who want one… want a good one. One to respect us. Love us. Make us laugh. Ravage us in the bedroom, and every other room in the house. Read more.
8 Ways to Spot a Trini from a Mile Away
The other day a friend of mine sent me a hilarious video about French stereotypes. You know the usual ones – all French people wear striped t-shirts, and a beret, say “voulez-vous coucher avec moi”, and walk around with a loaf of bread under their arm, which must taste really bad… because they don’t bathe.
This got me thinking about Trinis, and the things we do that make us easier to spot than a thug on ID parade. I’ve lived in Trinidad, England, and Canada, and visited the US, and no matter where I go, I’ve found a few things that are forever consistent. Let’s start with the obvious. Read more.
If women are gold diggers, are men the new women?
Psst… you. Yes, you! When did your boyfriend become your girlfriend?
Admit it. How many times have you wondered who was really wearing the pants in your relationship? Never? Really? Okay, not even when he wore skinny jeans that were skinnier than yours? Not even when you reached into your purse to pay for his gas, his lunch, or his cell bill? Still no? What about the time when he told you he was just not in the ‘mood’. Hmmm… maybe that rings a bell. Read more.
If I Were a Girl
As a 21st century, Trini man, I want to tell you what I would be like if I were a woman… even just for a day.
Don’t get it twisted; this is not an article about what my ‘ideal’ woman should be or some sort of boring monologue of how the role of the woman has evolved in today’s society. Those sort of articles are a dime a dozen.
This is just an expression of the behaviour and personality traits I think the world would be better off with not seeing from females around the world. Read more.
Bubbleheads and Brainiacs: When Looks are Deceiving
I have a friend who’s really bright, and I’m not just talking book-bright. I’m talking bright enough to go off on her own, and run a successful business. I’m talking about someone who can take something that’s in its very embryonic stage, develop it, vision it, and bring it to reality.
She’s creative, witty, business savvy, and wears bikinis. Ahhh… bikinis, those itsy bitsy things we call clothes. Read more.
Slut or not? Judging Sexuality
You know, one of my biggest concerns, after living for over 24 years, is the fluid use of the label “slut”, “whore”, “skeg”, “tramp”, “skettel”, or whatever makes you tingly inside. As we’ve seen, it probably has more synonyms than any other word in the English language. In fact, I’m not concerned. I’m downright amazed at it.
One thing I’ve noticed is ladies and men define the word differently.
To women, a slut is a woman who is sexually active. She’s a woman who wears a lot of makeup. Read more.
The Anatomy of a Trini Man and the Way to his Heart
“They’re vain, womanizing, lying, cheating, narcissistic, misogynistic, pigs.”
You name it. I’ve heard it all.
“Trini men no good girl, go get yuhself a German or some Nigerian doctor. They go treat you real, real nice!”
But wait, hold up – my Trini fellas can’t all be that bad. In fact, after living in the States for as long as I have, you learn to have a new appreciation for the Trinidadian man. I missed the warmth in their tone, the energy in their smile, and the rhythm in how they move to music.
The classic Trini man is undeniably charismatic, and it’s no wonder that women try to figure him out, and just how the heck do you get to his heart. Read more.
Douglas: Where Do They Fit In
A girl sits in bar. An East Indian fella approaches her and says, “Dougs’ talk to mih nah”.
I’m sure that sounds like the start of a very bad joke, but in the reality it was the start of my Saturday night just a few weeks ago. When I realised he was talking to me, I resisted the attempt to find a mirror to stare at, because as far as I remember my features are prominently African – thick lips, which I love by the way, dark brown skin and artificially straight hair.
My heritage has more ethnic ingredients than a properly prepared pelau, but it’s never been apparent in my features. Read more.
Avoiding Tiefhead and Tabanca
These days, Alicia Keys is to be blamed for loads of people getting a serious chain up where love is concerned.
Blast “Unthinkable (I’m Ready)” on your speakers at least once, and you’re left daydreaming about that guy or girl you like. Oh, how sweet it would be if they were to call you and say, “I was wondering maybe, could I make you my baby”. If only…
To avoid a serious case of a tief head, please don’t listen to Alicia, or if you do, quickly buss a gangsta rap or Movado tune immediately after. Read more.
Turning 30: What’s the Big Deal?
In three weeks I’ll turn 30, and surprisingly enough I’m neither here nor there about this ‘milestone’. Admittedly, I’ve never been one to make a huge deal about my birthday. At the same time, I realise that according to society, turning 30 signals your thrust into serious adulthood and accepting the mundane responsibilities that go along with it.
But who gives a rat’s ass about what society says? Read more.
So, yeah, those are some of the pieces that were juicy. It’s been quite a year, and you can look forward to new, juicy, thought-provoking pieces in 2011 (and feel free to email ideas to us at firstname.lastname@example.org). Not everyone’s faves may be listed here, so we wanna know… what were some of your favourite Outlish pieces for 2010?
Look out for a new issue of Outlish.com every Monday.