What's going on good people. This is The Carnival Doc and I have been on a small hiatus but am now back and prepping for Miami Carnival 2015.

I would like to communicate with you about something today and hopefully you can share it with your friends and also provide your insight and commentary on some of the social medial outlets of TriniJungleJuice.

I want to address the topic.......

"When Real Life Gets In The Way Of The Fete"


In a perfect world. Most of us would travel, fete, do carnivals and have most road experiences on Saturday so that we can make our way into church on Sunday for the FULL spiritual experience of carnival.  But traveling is limited via budget constraints and responsibilities.  For some of us, fetting is limited per babysitting coverage and having a good fete to go to.  And for others, doing carnival is a matter of money, resources and time. 

No matter what the hurdle, we all have our challenges. We all overcome them in some form or fashion but none of us can lie..... We've all missed a fete, a carnival or a quality soca experience because "real life" got in the way. 

There are few scenarios that I have watched happen during my carnival experiences in speaking with various carnival veterans and carnival virgins.  I have also experienced some of them myself and would like to address them, the hurdles which they present and some possible solutions. 

So here we go.

Part 1: The Marriage Hurdle

(Point of clarification: Before we get started, understand that I'm using the term "married" or "marriage" but I'm actually speaking to any persons in committed long term relationship or a committed relationship where the intent is for it to be long term. )

On more than a few occasions I have seen a partner in a marriage get bit by the "carnival bug" and get swept up by the wave of soca only be taken by that wave from island to island and fete to fete while leaving their spouse to fend for themselves on the homeland.  This is a hard and difficult garden to till and a tough road to hoe.  This situation becomes even more difficult when one person is from Caribbean or of Caribbean descent. 

It's one thing, if you were always fetting and you got married. It's another if you got married and then got pulled into the carnival movement and only one of you likes it.

It's ANOTHER thing, if the partner that does not go ALSO does NOT like soca. 

This is a REAL LIFE situation that gets in the way of your fetting. 

Many have been presented with the challenge of the following ultimatum,  "Well, it's either me or carnival?"

To which, many have made the CORRECT decision and backed out of carnival. And yes, that is the correct decision if such a thing is going to mess up your home, but what the other person does not know is that the ultimatum of choosing one or the other, has already messed up the home. So instead of making such a hardline move, the best thing to do is to find a happy medium or compromise and understand that people change in the course of a relationship and this is one of the changes. 

However, this is a situation that many people have and it DOES get in the way of your fetting.

And for those of you who are lying to yourselves, you know who you are. And if you don't, I will identify you.

If you, have to hide and wait until you get into your own vehicle and are CLEAR around the corner before you turn your soca music up in the car........ YOU, my dear friend, have a problem.

If you are watching a video on your computer of carnival and the sound automatically comes on and you are scrambling to turn the soca music off or down, YOU, my dear friend, have a problem.

If you partner or spouse is always asking, "Can you please turn that down?"  or saying, "Can you turn that off, I can't think."  YOU, my dear friend, have a problem.

If your spouse pulls up a video and asks you to come to the computers and then says, "So is this what you do with them (fill in the blank) when you are at carnival?"  YOU, my dear friend, have a problem.

And if you are TOLD explicitly that you CANNOT go to carnival or certain fetes, well, you have a problem.

And the problem is real. And although I don't have this problem and some of you do not have this problem.  All of us in one form or fashion, through or during a relationship, have had to "manage" this so that it does not become a problem or tread lightly so that we don't awaken one.  So although this may not be the individual cross that you are bearing, understand that it could be and be aware that one of your friends may be dealing with this issue so govern yourself accordingly.

Because you could NOT have this problem but have the one where your partner or spouse GOES EVERYWHERE with you, not to have fun too, but to act like they are having fun while they monitor your every move and hover over you.  THIS, is indeed the worst form of fete torture.   You in de fete, but yuh cyah wine -- MURDERATION. 

And, understand this..... THIS IS REAL LIFE for some people.  And people in this situation want to go to more carnivals on the carnival calendar. And they want to attend more fete as they scroll through the TJJ event listing but they have to constantly think about the fete as freedom and their real life situation as PRISON.  And THIS is muderation and sufferation of the highest order.

The Recommendation
of The Carnival Doctor

So here is The Carnival Doctor's recommendation, if this situation is your real life problem, or if it may be in the future (because it just might. You don't know.)

First and foremost, people fete and do carnival for a plethora of reasons.  People get pulled into the carnival movement and soca movement at different chronological stages in life. Those that come into it later usually come into it after a minor shift in their life. A small life change, lifestyle change, life shift, death or crisis. I could really write a book about those that enter the movement who are over the age of 40 who just said, "F-- it!! I'mma live my life. I'm been living for everybody else and now I'mma live for me."  I can literally fill up 200 pages with that, with no problem.  

As I digress...... see, usually some thing has happened or occurred which has made the timing for the introduction of carnival or the phenomenon of the carnival experience to be slightly more palatable.  Usually they are situations in life that provide a small cognitive cleft in the thought process that switches the carnival button from "non-option" to  "mandatory."  And no matter what the situation, it is coupled with the element of "time."   And here is where the solution lies.

It lies with.... TIME.

Be Aware Of Your

Time at carnival and time at a fete really isn't a big deal if you are investing time in the relationship. Most relationship issues occur in this particular area or on this subject because one person feels like the fetting or the carnival experience are "robbing" them of their time.  Because carnival is an overwhelming phenomenon. You get hyped up to go, you get hyped while there, and then you experience a post carnival depression (tabanca) and to your partner or spouse, it's like your WHOLE WORLD is now carnival.  They have a valid point. And when they make it, you should listen and not be dismissive.

First, apologize. 

I haven't been married as long as some of you reading, but I do have 13 years in the game and my parents have 43, so I've learned a few things along the way. And my father told me last year, "Son, just wake up in the morning and say, 'Honey, I love you, and I'm sorry.'"  I said, "Even, if I didn't do nothing?'  He said, "Look son, you've always done something, you just don't know it!"  We both started laughing but the key to the conversation was, the best thing that you can do and to stop wrestling with who is right or who is wrong.  Somebody in the process has a acquiesce for the relationship to move forward and for the conversation to allow for repair.  So just apologize. 

And then, be RESPECTFULLY honest.

Here's an example (from a woman's perspective):

"Sweetheart, I love you. That's all to it. There's no if, ands or buts about it. I love you. I love you and I've changed. I am not the same person you met last year, nor the same person that you met yesterday. My likes evolve, my tastes evolve, my physiology evolves and my love for you is also evolving.  Evolving does not mean less. Evolving means growth. And in this stage or growth, I may have been focused on one area more than another and for that, I apologize. I enjoy carnival. And its something that I have found is for me.  I would like for you to get involved as well, however, I do appreciate and need my time with my girls and with my friends. I most certainly, know that you can understand that. I am more than willing to shift my focus some which would create a better balance and one that is more beneficial to the relationship and need your help in doing that."

Here is where you start.  No blaming. NO finger pointing. No arguing. No deep breathing or sighing. No attitude. No dismissive behavior. None of that sh*t. Because, if that is where you are in your relationship, and you can't speak or communicate per the verbiage above or in some form or fashion, well, YOU, my dear friend, have a bigger problem than carnival. Carnival is being used as the scapegoat for your issues.... I ASSURE YOU.

Here's an example (from a man's perspective):

"Honey, if you want me stop going to carnival, listening to soca and going to fetes, I will stop immediately. I'm not sure if that's the best solution, however,  I will be happy if you are happy.  In order for me to pour my best into you and the relationship, I have to be at my optimal. Working out, exercising, winding down after work, and yes, a few fetes here and there, help me to do that.  And I will admit, I have been more than a little bit imbalanced with my soca and carnival interests and I am more than willing to make the necessary adjustments which will serve in the best interest of our relationship. Please let me know your concerns so that we can address them and find a happy medium.  And until we come up with a solution that is amicable, I will put things hold because nothing is more important to me than you."


Here is where you start.  No blaming. NO finger pointing. No arguing. No deep breathing or sighing. No attitude. No dismissive behavior. None of that sh*t. Because, if that is where you are in your relationship, and you can't speak or communicate per the verbiage above or in some form or fashion, well, YOU, my dear friend, have a bigger problem than carnival. Carnival is being used as the scapegoat for your issues.... I ASSURE YOU.

Now Let's Keep The
Sh*t 100% REAL!!

NO MATTER WHAT SIDE OF THIS COIN THAT YOU SIT ON. You are making a huge error if  you are in a relationship and you ALLOW your partner or spouse to leave for carnival with a  "FULL TANK OF GAS!!!"  

And you are also silly if you think that you can allow the "gas" to build up for weeks and then think that you can empty it in one night before they leave.

DUMB #$$!!!!!   Look! The conversations, videos, pictures, etc.,. are all speaking volumes to your partner as the carnival builds up and the messages spoken in their minds will be different if you keep the tank empty. But your DUMB @$$ is mad about a soca song or a plane ticket or that you are going to be alone for a few days or a couple of hours so what do you do? 


Yup, I said it.   And yes, I've been a dumb @ss before too over silly sh*t that I can't even remember now that it's years later.   

Sometimes in relationships, you do what needs to be done for the sake of the relationship, if the person and the relationship means that much too you.  When my wife wants to go out for a steak, I don't say,  "Uh, I don't feel like eating steak tonight." I just put on my damn clothes and go to the restaurant. Because there's going to be a time when I want sushi and she's gonna have to do the same.  We can't wait to go to the steak restaurant or the sushi restaurant for the moment when we BOTH want to eat the same thing. Such an occurrence is rare!  And that's what sex is like in relationships.  You are bone-dog silly, if you think that both people are going to want "steak" at the same time, all the time.

Just be cool.  Be respectful. Be easy.  Be understanding.  Keep the tank empty or SUPER low.  Know that the fete is NOT your issue.  Know that carnival is NOT your issue.  Address your issue(s). STOP watching the videos and going through the pictures  LOOKING for your partner, that's like banging your head into a wall looking to get hurt. You're looking for WHAT purpose? To start an argument? Leave the SH*T ALONE!!! If it means that much to you and you are that worried, then leave.  BECAUSE its not fair to you to be suffering like that. 

Let's Wrap This Up

Yes, I coach. I do health and wellness coaching and life coaching. I also teach on the university level.  Does that mean I have all the answers? Nope!!  That doesn't even mean that my approach is the best one for everybody.  However, if this conversation and dialogue and the ensuing ones can help anybody struggling with  this issue or any one that lies on the periphery or carnival, then that's awesome. In the grand scheme of things, life is too short to be arguing and fighting so long. Let go and let God.  And play a lil' soca on the way.


Look, I'm cool with band launches and pictures and beads and boots. And I will address it.

I'm also cool with having real conversations about the exclusivity of bands, parties, limes and fetes. And I will address it.

I'm also down with talking about the obesity rate per the Center of Disease Control (CDC) of the United States and globally and that impact on carnival costumes, etc.,.  And I will address it.

I'm also cool with talking about real life issues that impact your carnival experience and that is why I'm here. 

I do things a little bit tongue-in-cheek at time and try to add some humor to the things that I write, but lets keep it 100!! 

Carnival is big business and carnival is grown folk business. There are kiddie carnivals here and there but those are also run by adults. And as adults we have to have real issues address and here at TriniJungleJuice is where we address those issue while making sure that you can continue to enjoy carnival at not only its highest levels but enjoy it for all the levels which is provides access.   At TriniJungleJuice every new employee is given the same line that I was given. We are all told, "If you are in this for the money, you are here for the wrong reason. We do this because we love carnival. If you love carnival, we would love to have you and your love for carnival will allow you to make money along the way." And no truer words were ever spoken. I am writing this and you reading it and I am ALLOWED to write it because of a love that I have and you have for carnival.   So I thank you, as always, for reading it and I'm looking forward to sharing parts 2 through 6 with you of this series: "When Real Life Gets In The Way Of The Fete"

When Real Life Gets In The Way Of The Fete Part 2 - Married With Children
When Real Life Gets In The Way Of The Fete Part 3 - Single Parent Problems
When Real Life Gets In The Way Of The Fete Part 4 - The Financial Hurdle
When Real Life Gets In The Way Of The Fete Part 5 - The Scheduling Hurdle (work and responsibilities)
When Real Life Gets In The Way Of The Fete Part 6 - Bringing It All Together (input from the facebook posts)

Peace and blessings.

Please, once again, govern yourselves accordingly.

Blessings From Here To There,

Rhadi Ferguson, PhD
"The Carnival Doctor"

P.S. For the best information in the world concerning carnivals please visit www.TriniJungleJuice.com  For the most comprehensive site available for fete tickets and masquerader costumes, please visit www.MyCarnivalBands.com

P.P.S. For more information on how to properly prepare for carnival like a true veteran, please visit www.CarnivalPrep.com