Carpetbaggers – Hide The Welcome Mat

Sonja asks: “weh mek it so hard fi get rid of crasses people? Man, dem wid tek set pon yuh like flea inna dog backside!”

The best cure for an unwanted guest is to spot them from a distance and keep them away in the first place.

 “See mi and come live wid mi ah two different sinting.”

That was one of the most profound Jamaican proverbs I was ever exposed to as a child – something that applies to many types of relationship, not just intimate ones as well. One of my most found memories about this was a situation my sister dealt with last fall by having one of her friends as host guests during a spot of trouble.

She basically offered one of her friends, her husband and young son her extra room to rent to for the interim because they recently lost their apartment. So my sister’s friend moved in temporarily, and was pretty much the guest from hell – even to the post where she owed money for rent. The situation got so intolerable that my sister had to kick her out and basically forgo the owed money. Naturally, the friendship dissolved because there was too much embarrassment and keeping up appearances, as they were business partners on quite a few local community projects.

I give my sister credit. She didn’t take it personally, nor was she hounding her guest for the cash that was owed Most folks would bust skulls to collect that coin so she is a saint in that regard. The strangest thing though, was that my sister wasn’t the first victim of this heinous “terrible house guest” drama. Apparently, this woman had done the same thing to two other folks within my sister’s circle of friends. I guess out of sheer embarrassment, they allowed my sister to experience the storm for herself in silence. Yikes!

Well, that’s why old folks where I’d from would say: “Don’t buy nuh puss inna bag! Cuz yuh don’t know how sharp de claw dem be!”

Wise words, but this is life though, and we are all bound to make missteps. Kinda like the adoring partner you marry or get involved with after a whirlwind romance who ends up being an abusive monster once the romance wears off and he feels you’re fully in his “clutches”. Or that sweet caring friend who gets very vindictive once you aren’t able to ALWAYS her get her get way. Or that deadbeat cousin who can charm you into lending you cash, even though they have never repaid any of those loans in the past 15 years.

Some folks will always cover their tracks and hide those very ugly warts until it is too late. I think in the South they’re often called “carpetbaggers” by trade. Maybe they do it out of embarrassment, fear, shame or just plain exploitative intent. Either way, it is never a good look to be one or a pleasant experience to cross paths with one.

At the end of the day, people must take responsibility for their actions. While you cannot always be responsible for a carpetbagger’s actions, you can ensure that they are always kept out of sight or at minimum at a distance.





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