The Five Ts of Taming a Tabanca

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Stop toting! Not clear? Ok. Stop toting feelings! Whether you have a curry tabanca, a pelau tabanca, a Chinese-style tabanca or my personal nemesis, a callaloo tabanca, it is time to stop.

We all know the symptoms of a serious tabanca – listlessness, depression, bad (really bad) hair days, weight gain, and weight loss. I once lost 25 pounds, and when people asked how I got so small, I told them it was due to the Damien* diet. It never hurts to get even sexier after a break-up. Ent? And we all know the other extreme of tabanca victims… the fakers, who are easily identified by high-pitched, maniacal laughter whenever the ex or someone who knows the ex is nearby. Then there are the constant Facebook updates about how fabulous life is, often marred by 3 a.m. suicidal posts, which are more than likely alcohol fuelled.

Sometimes, a rebound relationship is the lifesaver some folks need. The rebounder will pick up the slack everywhere except in that hollow haunting space in your heart though.

So what to do?

As a professional tabancaologist – which means tabanca and I real close – I can help you, because I know how tough it can be. How bad was my dose? Bad enough that priests, doctors, and even a mental health practitioner were all called in to figure out what was my problem. My problem was obvious. The cure… not so much. Yup I had it bad, calling and hang up, crying over TV commercials (don’t ask), catching agoraphobia (I didn’t want to see him so I stayed/hid at home), and writing long, angst ridden poems that no one ever read (Thank God).

How did I tame my tabanca? I didn’t join a cult like another friend did (sorry I mean an extremely small religious-based organization). I didn’t even get a rebound swanky, but thanks to the timely intervention of my relationship-savvy sister, and following the five T’s, I got my groove back.



This may seem basic and trivial, but bear with me here. Cut your hair, your waistline, and your relationship artifacts (the cards… not the jewellery that is just plain dumb). Nothing makes a person feel like a brand new shilling like a new look. The cheapest way is a haircut. I took a drastic one, cried for my ex, and my hair, and felt much better. It is a cleansing act, almost like a sacrifice. Fellas, what I go tell yuh? If you normally take a Level 2, try a Level 1. And I’m sure a few grunts in the gym will have you feeling a bit more energetic again.

It’s true that looking good won’t guarantee that you’ll actually feel good, but it does prevent the wagging tongues going on and on about what a hot mess you look like. Plus, you don’t want to be going to work looking all dishevelled. The number one rule in riding out a tabanca is to not let it seriously affect other areas of your life. When you’ve got a tabanca, image is everything.



As difficult as it may be or as horrible as you may feel, in order to feel great you must look the part. Yes, I know I just said that, but you have to repeat things for tabanca-stricken people. Even if you’re hurting on the inside, you’ve got to force yourself to be a bit cheery about life. You are the one person you can rely on to make you look and feel good. The fact that one person had so much power over your self-esteem, and now you’re not even motivated to get that fresh mark or paint your toenails isn’t fair.

You literally have to pick yourself up, and return to life as usual. For those who’ve been through several heartbreaks, you know the truth. Remembering what you went through in the past, and knowing you made it through, helps you to know that if you try hard enough, you can get through this rough patch. If you’re going through your first real tabanca, chat with those who’ve experienced it before, and get their advice, which brings me to the next ‘t’.



Talk it out with friends, and co-workers. Hey even with strangers in a taxi. Anybody, but the cause of the said tabanca (ok, maybe not the last two). Seriously, though, talking to your ex doesn’t really help. They don’t care about your feelings, even if they say they do. If they did, you wouldn’t be in this predicament, would you?

So talk it out; just be aware that with family and close friends, it’s almost always black and white. If you ever get back with your ex, they will hold it against you. If your best friend has had enough, seek counselling via work (Employee Assistance Programme) or even on the Internet. Heck. Call “dial-a- prayer”. They will pray with you and listen. Your pastor, priest and pundit are all there to help. Remember with conversation comes clarity. Often, you may perceive the situation with a deeper understanding.



Tough it out. Steel yourself against the trite, taunting terrorists. Ranging from the aunt who asks loudly, “He leave yuh? Why girl?” to genuine (more painful) concern, “You guys done? Why? You made such a good couple”. And the worse one is your ex’s taunting, new beau, who was probably the reason you broke up. Ignore all these people, smile brightly or say ‘eff’ off. Whatever is true to you.



Trust in yourself. Trust that this too shall pass, and that all is unfolding as it should. Trust in whatever higher power you rely on. Trust that everything happens for a reason (cue sappy music). Trust that one day you will find love again. Don’t concern yourself with the past. You can’t change it anyway. Ask yourself, what’s next?

Making back with your ex will never erase the pain. Believe me. As for the revenge seekers, yes I know you’re hurt, but leave the people windscreen please. The best way to seek revenge is to live your life the best way you can, and I mean that in the most non-clichéd way.

So that’s it folks. Trim, try, talk, tough, trust – the five T’s of taming a tabanca (I haven’t yet found the cure). If you want more than that, then check Dr. Phil. Most likely he will yell at you though, and Oprah will just cry her a$$ off with you. The point is, that the only person who can tame that terrible tabanca is you.

Image courtesy –; Spectral-Design


1 Comment

  1. Paula Lewis

    October 18, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    Great article! Tabanca and I used to be real close but a long time ago! My savior was my girlfriends who took me out often making me see that there were other fish in the sea! Your Ts sound like a true cure!

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