Growing up as a Jamerican (Jamaican American) little girl in the 80′s, there were so many lessons I learned about life.  The matriarchal elders around me had a variety of sayings and quotes that they saw worthy of passing down. You know them. Gems such as “Weh gone bad a mawnin, cyaan go good a evenin” – referring to life experiences teaching one that a situation that starts off wrong will usually end up wrong. Or the famous, “Show me your company and I’ll tell you who you are”…this one was Mama Opal’s favorite.  We were encouraged to hang out with “good company” and to stay out of trouble or “mix up”. Why? Her usual response was, “Yuh go a school fi learn”!

Carib queens, have you ever reflected on those good ole sayings as it relates to relationships? What are some of the lessons you’ve learned? And, of all the lessons, which are the ones most relevant to your lives today? I mean, grandmas and mothers love to give us their thoughts on life. But, life in the 60′s, 70′s and 80′s wasn’t really filled with Facebook and Twitter, or on-line dating. It didn’t include the average working mother who was planning her next life changing project or entrepreneurial venture. So, how many of Mama’s sayings can we pull out of our toolbox for life today?

Here are a few of those that were passed down to me. Some have saved my life while others, umm… not so resourceful. I look forward to hearing from you and your thoughts on your own lessons from Mama. As we celebrate Women’s History Month and honor the matriarchs before us, I hope this article will make you smile!


Try nuh go a bed wid warThis one is very near and dear to me. Yes, really, it is. I try my best with this one. It’s basically saying, if you have an argument with your partner, work it out before the night is over. Come to a resolution. In my mind, there’s a spiritual correlation as well. Why carry an argument over into the next day? It’s a brand new day!


Don’t buy him a pair a shoes, him wi walk outta yuh life.  Okay, really? This one is yet to be proven. I’m hoping to get some feedback from my readers on this one. I totally find this to be a myth! Mama Valerie (a childhood elder) would chew me out if she knew I felt this way, because she always regurgitated this one. Sorry Auntie Valerie!


The way to a man’s heart is him belly.  Not to say this isn’t truthful, but is it relevant to life in 2012 for a working woman? I mean, I know so many families who hire someone to help with cooking because of their busy lives. I personally feel this one should be revised to, “The way to a man’s heart is Love.”


Mind how yuh love a man, love is blind.  This quote can be interpreted in many ways. It works for me. I think it applies to any and all relationships. What love looks like one day can be pure infatuation the next. What are your thoughts on this?


Try nuh tell him evryting… yuh haffi keep some a it to yuhself!  This holds true today, yesterday, and tomorrow. I’m not saying one should keep secrets from their spouse – not at all. But certain things are better left unsaid. If there are some opposing views out there, I’d love to hear them.


Yuh haffi tink bout di ‘what if’’.  Thanks to Auntie Dalton, this one helps me remember to put away for a rainy day. Yes. She tells us this about every possible situation that could arise in a relationship. I love it! I literally hear her voice reminding me bout di “what if”. What Auntie Dalton is referring to is the unknown. In relationships, we should always plan around the unknown.


To all the grandmothers, aunts, nanas and other matriarchs before us, we remember your words. We thank you for your great wisdom and we will continue to reflect on your understanding.


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