Hooked like a toddler on phonics

GIRL group TLC warned about not chasing waterfalls and sticking to the rivers and lakes that you're used to, as many times these ambitions are self-destructive, and it's better to, as Caribbean people say, stick to the evil that you know.

Making stupid choices or decisions are part of our life experiences — after all, experience will lead to growth. But, sometimes, even when we're warned, we still walk headfirst into our own destruction. We asked people: What was your chasing waterfalls moment in a relationship that you were warned about but which you pursued anyway, only to then realise the error of your ways?

Michael, 43:

I had a girlfriend I dated in high school and first year of university who I planned to marry, but then I met this science major at a campus event. They say love at first sight isn't possible, but when I say I fell hard, I did. I left my girl and started seeing this other girl, only problem was that she was an Adventist, and she wasn't allowed to mix with the likes of me, a non-churchgoing heathen. I wanted her, so naturally I converted, to the horror of my family of Pentecostals. They warned me that it wouldn't last and about all I would be giving up, but this girl had me hooked like a toddler on phonics. We got married in college because she wouldn't do anything intimate before marriage, and then I realised what I'd gotten into. My parents were right — giving up my Saturdays and pork and seafood didn't seem so doable after we settled into the mundane part of married life. Plus she wasn't exactly sexually experimental or anything, so not even the bedroom action was interesting. We split after a year, and thankfully before we had any kids to further complicate things.

Lavern, 52:

I got involved with a police, even though from back in my day they were known as ladies men. My father begged and begged me to be careful, but I was young and in love with this St Elizabeth browning and didn't want the boring guys in my district. When I got pregnant he dropped the news that not only was he married, he had other kids in other parishes too. Even with that omen, I had two more kids after that for him. So I didn't learn my lesson or anything. He was a decent enough father when he did see his kids, and when he died, he did leave all of them something, so at least he was an honourable man, even though he was a womaniser.

Karla, 44:

I put this younger guy I rated through HEART so he could get a skill and start his own business. We were living together and I was tired of being his sugar mama. He finished his course, got his certification, and I helped him start his company, paid for his business registration, and ran his social media. All this time my dear friends would have interventions with me to try to knock sense into me. They were right in the end — as soon as his business started doing well and he started making money moves, he started dissing me. He got fake braces, coloured his hair, and announced that he had found his own place, and he didn't see me as part of his new lifestyle. That burned, but it's not like my friends didn't try to warn me.

Leonardo, 38:

Mine was more making foolish decisions — spending money on women and the casino, racking up credit card debt, and just generally showing off because I was in a decent job and thought I could afford it. My brother who's in insurance begged me to slow down, or at least invest my money as anything could happen. I thought I was too young to get insurance, or to invest, because life was there for living. This one girl emptied my account, maxed out my credit cards, and then left the country, because she felt that I disrespected her with another girl. It took me over a year to get my finances back to a comfortable place, and I've slowed down a lot because I learned my lesson.

Nichelle, 33:

I left the man who loved me because I felt that we weren't progressing fast enough, and there were certain things I wanted to achieve that I thought an older guy could help with. The older guy helped me a lot, but I had to pay the price. He was very freaky, disrespectful, and cocky because he had more means than I did. I saw it as a sacrifice I had to make for my future though, and as soon as I got my degree I was out of there.


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