Hey gang! I hope everyone is hanging in there! I know this quarantine is wearing us all out. But rest assured this will all come to an end, one way or another. Take solace in knowing everything that has a beginning, has an end. During all of this I’ve tried to maintain some sense of normalcy. One of the things I’ve had to figure out is my HAIR. Natural girl hair (no chemical processes on hair, i.e. chemical relaxers or straightening agents) requires a bit of work. To be honest most days I don’t even bother but there is an occasional Zoom happy hour I try to look decent for. My newest go to look and protective style (styles that promote growth, low stress on hair shaft) is my drawstring ponytail extension from Heat Free Hair.
18″ Everyday full Drawstring ponytail
18″ Everyday full Drawstring ponytail
Heat Free Hair has been on my radar for a while. They were a featured vendor at a panel discussion organized by the black professional network at my firm. The discussion was about women of color and their hair journey in the professional setting; we dubbed it “My Hair Story”. Various women at the firm shared their “hair stories” with the audience via pre-recorded interviews. We than opened it opened it up to the audience for a Q&A. It was a riveting, open, and refreshingly transparent conversation. Women of color have had to contend with a considerable amount of frustration and anxiety in the corporate world when it comes to the their hair. I was so proud of my firm for supporting this event from creation to execution. It’s a very delicate subject but we were able to be authentic, vulnerable, and informative; we kinda nailed it if I do say so myself.
It’s been a challenging few weeks. We’ve lost some dear friends and family but we still have so much to be grateful for. Ricardo and I celebrated nine years of marriage this past Thursday (May 14, 2020). I know right I can hardly believe it, time sure does fly. Before I get into that I’m going to share a little about our wedding story. We were married on the beautiful island of St. Thomas, May 14, 2011.
I picked the location, the idea grew on Ricardo as the plans started to come together. Honestly, I felt like it was the most diplomatic thing we could do as far as our families were concerned. I’m originally from NY and his people are from the south (MD, NC, TX), so someone one was going to have to travel. So I picked a neutral territory, St. Thomas. Yes of course I could have picked a state side location, but how much fun would that really have been?!
OUR LOVE STORY
In all seriousness we met a number of objectives with that location- neutral ground as far as family travel was concerned, built-in honeymoon, and an amazing location for our guest to wine down after the wedding; it was at an all-inclusive resort. What I didn’t anticipate was just how inept the US Postal Service is/was. Let me explain. I’m a planner and in my planning I thought I could offset some of the shipping cost (which start to add up with a destination wedding) by shipping a few key items for the wedding in advance. Proactive, forward-thinking right, hold your applause I’m not finished.
One of the key items I shipped was my wedding dress and my daughters flower girl dresses. Before you question my intellect regarding not holding on to one THEE most important dress I’d ever wear, let me explain. I’ll be doing a lot of explaining. My dress was very heavy and long. I didn’t want to risk it getting damaged in anyway, not in anyone’s’ overhead bin, captain’s closet, nada. I didn’t have time for anyone mistakenly ripping it or TSA saying something stupid like I couldn’t carry it on, so I decided to ship it, well in advance.
Also, I had a one-year-old at the time.
So flying with her a huge dress, baby bag and some more stuff wasn’t my idea of a good time. Of course Ricardo was with me but traveling with a toddler is just stressful for everybody. Peace of mind was priceless to me at that point, so off the dress went. I did not ship the dress a week or two ahead of the wedding I shipped it off at the end of February, let’s say the beginning of March just to be fair. Several ahead weeks should get anything within the US and it’s respective territories to it’s respective destination in time right?! Wrong!!
My dress arrived at the resort 3 weeks after my wedding. I learned it would not arrive after talking to my wedding planner the day before we were suppose to fly out. No she didn’t advise me not to ship anything in bulk (I shipped a large box) to the island because it takes a minimum of 12 weeks to arrive no matter what the post office advertises or claims.
She was great in every other respect, she pivoted when the rain begin to fall, upgraded us to better location, found flowers at the last minute, but never mentioned don’t ship anything important down especially bulk items. No one ever mentioned, suggested, implied, inferred, or insinuated the dress would not arrive in a timely fashion contrary. I looked into suing the post office I was so upset. Suing the US postal service is a futile endeavor, many have tried, many have failed.
Why did I use the post office you ask?!
I was balling on a budget and they were the most cost-effective. I asked the obvious question(s), will this get there in time? Are you sure? I was assured it would arrive in time by the post office staff and when I called the customer service line. I did my due diligence. However, it did not arrive in time. Nothing I researched indicated my parcel wouldn’t arrive in time. I was in tears, completely inconsolable, for the entire flight down and most of the day before the wedding.
But as I said I’m a planner. During the early stages of wedding planning, I ordered a dupe (aka knock-off) of my actual dress hoping it would look like the real thing but it didn’t quite measure up to my standards. We purchased the authentic version but I still kept the dupe.
In my grief and anguish I forgot all about the back-up dress. I was a mess when I realized my dress wasn’t going to be there; an absolute mess!!! I just knew I had to get there so I packed everything else we had to bring with us and we flew out. So what did I get married in? The back-up dress. But how? My dear sweet, bestie, Amanda brought the back-up dress and the dresses for my girls (their dress were also in the box).
She flew down later than us and thank God she did, otherwise it would have been a true disaster.
Hind insight is always 20/20 when you look back at it, but of all the things that went wrong and quite a few things went wrong the day of the wedding as well, the one thing I got right was me marrying my very best friend on a beautiful island, in front of my family and friends. My granny even made it. At the end of the day that’s all that really mattered. Not the dress, not the flowers, not the cake. All that mattered was us.
Hey gang, it’s May, we’re still on lockdown but there’s so much to be grateful for. Here are few things I’m looking forward to…
My wedding anniversary!!!
This year marks nine years of martial bliss. Marriage isn’t easy but it’s totally worth it. It’s a lot of loving, give and take, conceding, arguing about stupid stuff, forgiving one another after you’ve had some time to cool off about said stupid stuff. And sometimes, sadly, it’s about grieving together. My father-in-law passed away last week. It caught us all off guard. He’s survived so much so we didn’t expect he would pass away so suddenly, nor did we know he was so ill.
I’m heartbroken for my husband, his siblings, and step-mother. Just going to the funeral will present an extra layer of anxiety due to travel restrictions. You can’t even grieve normally anymore. I think we can all agree Corona sucks. I had plans to make this a special anniversary celebration, now I want to make it extra special. Despite enduring such a great loss, it’s also gives us an opportunity to take stock of what we have and be GRATEFUL for what we have, each other.
Cinco De Mayo.
Mexican culture is one of my favorites. The food, the people, the music, it’s all a wonderful assault on the senses and I’m here for it all. And let’s face it we could all use a shot of Tequila at this point. I’m making shrimp tacos with The Funny Momma tonight you should join her Instagram live if you’re free, this woman cracks me up for reals. Grateful for her and the margaritas we finna mix up. Just an FYI Sombreros, tequila, and tacos have nothing to do with the purpose of Cinco De Mayo, see a funny and condensed history lesson here. You’re welcome!
Last but certainly not least it’s Teacher Appreciation Week!!!
Hence my especially studious look for this post. I’m channeling chic nerd here but I digress, this about the teachers. I am especially thankful for my first teachers, my parents. They both have/had an incredible work ethic; moms retired, dad can’t seem to sit still. They both showed us how far hard work and a little dedication can go, for that I will be eternally grateful.
Big news I’m running a Teacher Appreciation Week giveaway on my Instagram page. Like the post, follow me, Omneisia of Ocessories, and tag your favorite teacher for a chance for them to win this set of Ocessories beaded bracelets and an Amazon gift card. Visit my feed to see complete details.