My Room. My Island.

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

by 2 comments



I am an Island Girl. In my part of the world, I would also be referred to as a Caribbean or West Indian woman.

I live on a piece of land surrounded by water and I love it. The sun shines most every day, and when it rains, it pours.  There is the beach, Carnival, Christmas, fetes and limes – both of the tree and social gathering varieties. We have religious freedom and a multitude of creeds and races that make it one of the most special places on Earth.

But who is this Island Girl? Well, I am 30-something years old to start with, though I freely admit that I do not feel a day over 22 and they tell me I look like 25, so lets go with that shall we? My CV reads normal for the most part – single, working girl, who doesn’t necessarily like her job. Loves shoes, bags, MAC makeup, her Ipod, and connected on a deep and spiritual level to her Blackberry. Looking for Mr. Right, but in the interim would settle for Mr. Right Now.

One difference I may have with my fellow London or New York 30-something year olds is that I live at home.  Yes, that’s what I said – I live at home with my mother, my two, over-30-something, brothers and two dogs. If you think reading it is depressing, try writing it!

Why? You ask after you have picked yourself off the floor either from laughter, or fainting with shock and horror? I will freely admit to never seeking it out –  That’s why.

Become me for a moment, and imagine this.

You have just emerged from earning a Master’s degree. In the islands, this makes you a freaking star.  You are the apple of your parents’ eyes. Red carpets are rolled out for you. Your favourite foods are prepared in your honour. You are a family legend!

You jump at the first job you get – a government gig of course.  You work for less than the cost of a Birkin bag, but you enjoy it.  Your parents do not ask for rent –

“If you want you can contribute!”

Famous last words.  No, I do not want to contribute, and so the pittance is spent on drinks, reasonably-priced clothes and birth control. Oh, and  of course gas for the second-hand car your father purchased for you.

One year rolls into two, and two into three.  Alcohol prices increase, but you do not care. You go to family planning to get subsidised pills, because it leaves more money for drinks! Your boyfriend (sorry, in my case, the man I was sleeping with exclusively – will get to him in another blog), lives in his mother’s house, so really, life is perfect.

And then year three rolls into four, five, six, seven.  You have changed jobs, earn a better pay, work closer to home so you burn/ buy less gas.  New car beckons and not an ordinary car – It’s a two-door, convertible, black and hot.  Your hair goes from its natural brown to spiced coffee with gladiator gold highlights. Your suits are all black. You are cool. For all these things and the fact you are still required not to pay rent, or even a telephone bill, even though you are calling Germany every other day cause your ‘exclusive man’ is on a two-year engineering job there.

You immerse yourself again and realise along the way, somehow, your mother saw through the veneer of a Master’s degree.  Phone bill – check. Help put your brothers through school by helping with a re-mortgage payment – check! Continue paying car loan – check! Take loan for some other thing you do not even remember – check, check! Moral of this story – money done; and so paying rent is not an option.

Suddenly, you are the loafer child, who is not saving any money. In short, you kind of scrunting.

Your employment bonus comes. Trust me, you will need a new pair (or four) of shoes. You don’t learn. You are still in the bubble, until Mr. Exclusive returns from Germany, purchases and moves into a posh townhouse, one hour’s drive from his mother’s (and your mother’s) house. Yes, the island is that small. He did not ask you to go with him. You are shocked.  Then one day, you try to close a bedroom door and get a lecture about locking doors in ‘my house’ – veneer torn down!

And then the thirties hit and you emerge from your bubble for a breath. This breath coincides with a housing boom, an industrial boom and an increase in rents.  No joke.  A one bedroom in this island paradise will run you a cool US$1500.  And that’s the next thing, rent is now quoted in yankee dollars. Your goose is cooked.

Have I horrified you enough?

Here I am, in a room I have occupied since I was four years old. The furniture has changed to accommodate my growth spurts. There is now a television, phone line, book shelf, larger cupboards – do not get me wrong,  I thank my mother for these things.

But my need to ‘turn my own key’, to borrow my friend Mimi’s husband phrase, is my biological clock.  And surprisingly, a lot of my friends, both male and female, are in my position.  That’s an island thing, do not ask me for statistics. This is the islands, we do not measure those things.

So my quest is to find a lot of things within the next year – a house, a new job that can pay the rent, and a decent enough guy, who will at least put the toilet seat down and install a wicked sound system in *ahem* my apartment.

I love being an island girl, but my room cannot be my island.

On to other things.

Island Girl

  1. ian Smart says:

    I love your website and i think your so hot. keep it up Glamity.


    Supernova Reply:

    Thanks for the support Ian. What a way to find THAT out :) Ha. Loving the Smart Energy initiative though! Keep me updated.


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