LIVING on an island filled with “Nosey Nellies” who seemingly make it their life’s work to monitor the lives of others for numerous reasons, including for gossip purposes, for the self-satisfaction of knowing everything about everyone or plain old curiosity, can be daunting.
But in the case of today’s FITC, monitoring one’s life just might turn you into the cat that curiosity killed (well, she won’t kill you, but she will not hesitate to put you directly in check).
Keisha St. Helene is an outgoing and energetic radio personality from Gros Islet, who set tongues wagging over four years ago when she began a relationship with a man 20 years her senior.
While many see this as a non-issue, as nothing wrong with two consenting adults enjoying their lives with each other, some see the age gap as taboo. In asking many questions about the mindset of both individuals in the relationship, some go the extra mile of coming to their own conclusion and making assumptions about the said individuals.
For example, calling the older party a “Sugar Mama/Daddy”, believing that he/she is maintaining the relationship by spending large amounts on the younger partner and financing the lavish lifestyle, or suggesting that the younger partner is in the relationship solely for financial gain.
Today, St. Helene shuts down all of these suggestions where she and her fiancé are concerned, showing that age is just a number and even the widest gaps cannot stop the course of true love, which was sealed even further with a brand new baby boy to complete the family.
The VOICE: Let’s cut straight to the juicy point. You are in a relationship with a man who is a bit older than you. Give me the run-down on your relationship.
Keisha: I was frequenting this restaurant near where I worked and this is where we first met. Everyone was always together there chatting in a group. Little did I know was that he was checking me out and interested, in me admiring me from a distance. We started speaking really through the group conversations at the restaurant and mutual friends there. What really got us speaking just as friends firstly was in late November 2011 when I just asked him if he was coming to a birthday party that the restaurant owner was having. He said all that time he was trying to find a way to break the ice and speak to me to “ease his way in”, and he hadn’t figured that out yet. So that question just bore an opening for him. He showed up at the party that time and after talking, we exchanged contact details and it just grew from there. But from very early, not too long after the party, he was straightforward and told me he was serious about me. I was skeptical because at that time I was single for three years and was not into wanting a relationship as yet. However, he was persistent, which is a very strong trait I have learned that he has. One of the things that drew me is the fact he made an effort and how he did it, and that he was so careful on how to approach me based on observing me.
The VOICE: What drew you two together?
Keisha: Our ability to just chat for a long time and somehow find common ground on things such as music. We somehow appear to be on the same level in life and style. I cannot explain it. We know a lot of mutual people, we enjoy working hard and passionately, and we can lime hard. He constantly says to me how he is extremely comfortable in my presence even to date and is also drawn to my style of dressing (laughs). I look up to him as an example because of his achievements and I have learned from him. He is not one of these older men or persons aging themselves; he is into everything: clothes, music, gadgets, etc. As people would say, he keeps himself young.
The VOICE: Many people would look at your partner and call him your “Sugar Daddy”. What are your views on that term?
Keisha: Well, I am not shy and I’m very opinionated, so those who know me are aware of my independence. But those who dare to make remarks like that or something related to that, they do get my answer or my stare. People have tried to get me to purchase stuff simply by saying: “Oh, well, just let him pay for it”, to which I respond, “Excuse me? Did I tell you he was my designated bank account?” or “You dare to be so boldfaced and insult me? Are you not aware I work for a salary?” Truth be told, I do not have it in me to ask him for money, and when I do, I pay it back. I am open to him buying me drinks and food (laughs) and even then we both do that. He sometimes would reprimand me for not wanting to ask him for cash, especially when I need it because he knows me well enough to know that I will only ask him or anyone only if I really need it. Those who get to know us and hang around us, learn soon enough how we roll. Besides, even if he was my Sugar Daddy, some people need to mind their own business and stop being cheeky!
The VOICE: Does your partner have children? If so, what do they think of your union?
Keisha: We both have children. He has a son and daughter and they are okay with it as far as I know. I am accepted in his family as family, especially after finding out that our families have basically known each other through the years, and he is accepted now as family in mine. As for my daughter, initially it was not smooth sailing because being a girl who’s attached to her dad, she always believed that her two parents would end up together again. She was a bit resistant even at the thought of me having a “boyfriend”, but she has grown to accept it and they are pretty very cool with each other now.
The VOICE: When you and your partner are out together, what reaction do you get from people, including friends and family?
Keisha: The places we frequent, everyone knows us. Those who don’t, after being around us for a short time, get very relaxed in our company. It just does not matter. When shopping, some people refer to him as my dad in the stores or refer to me as his daughter and they feel a bit embarrassed when they learn exactly what the relation is. For example, if I am looking at something in the store, the attendant would say to me: “Aa, you should ask daddy to buy it for you”. The reaction they give upon learning he is not, I can tell they said it innocently and not maliciously, most of them. I would even get into it and call him ‘Daddy’ the entire time we are at the store. (laughs)
The VOICE: Why didn’t you date within your age range?
Keisha: I never do. Guys my age range generally appear immature. They always appear to have something to prove and I find it very difficult for most of them to keep my attention on many levels, particularly holding a conversation. I am on the go. I also prefer an older guy as young men just seem to be caught up in finding themselves, and it’s not that we are not all on that same path but they appear to be a bit less mature about it. I always say age is just a number but there are very few young men who can keep my attention in that way. We must also bear in mind that men on the whole take a longer time to mature. Many make it to 50-plus and still have some growing up to do, in my opinion.
The VOICE: Would you advise others to get into similar relationships and, if so, what would you say to them?
Keisha: To each his or her own. Do what makes you truly happy and never forget no matter what your pursuit for true happiness.