Sunday, 21 August 2011

Super-Heroes OR Super-Zeroes (2)

Before I begin, I want to say thank you to all who commented on the last post.

My hubby read the comments and told me that I am in trouble - because everyone is expecting one 'gan-gan' (stupendous) story on Sunday. LOL................. I told him that he is a trouble-maker. LOL

Anyway, here goes:

Example 2: 
When I was growing up, we had two neighbours. As is the norm - in Nigeria - we (the kids) called the two mothers in those homes 'aunties'.

The first aunty had spent all her life in the Edo/Delta area. She had three kids. Her home was quite modest - because money was tight for her. Her hubby was an average earning civil servant and she was an average earner also. This aunt was pretty, simple and motherly. Then, I saw her as the traditional Naija mum/wife because she wasnt really into make-up, dieting etc. She wasn't even keen on driving herself because she was 'scared' of dangerous drivers. I will call her 'Aunty Basic'

The second aunty had spent most of her life in Lagos. She had four kids (three boys and a girl) - who were a bit older than Aunt Basic's kids. Aunty Flash did some of her education in London and even had some of her kids abroad. Her hubby was a civil servant but she did some business (buying and selling alongside her regular job). As a child, I saw her as the 'funkier' one because her dress-sense was fantastic, she was also very conscious of her weight and she travelled abroad often. Her home was quite flash - because they were better off than most. I will call her 'Aunty Flash'

Despite their lifestyle differences, these two were great friends. However, we (those around them) often felt that Aunty Basic was too much of a follow-follow (follower) because she was always running around Aunty Flash. I think there was an element of hero-worship on Aunty Basic's part.

Indeed, Aunty Basic was always comparing her home, her kids, her family ...................everything to Aunty Flash's. Whenever, Aunty Flash travelled abroad, she was always going on and on about how she hadn't travelled abroad. When Aunty Flash told her friend that her two eldest kids were going to the US to complete their education, Aunty Basic went on and on about this - despite the fact that her own kids were doing well in school.

Aunty Basic's kids did not like that their mother was always going to Aunty Flash to report whenever they misbehaved. Their mum said it was because she wanted Aunty Flash to advice them. Despite this Aunty Basic's kids liked their aunt - Aunty Flash's kids also liked Aunty Basic.

As time went by, Aunty Flash moved out of the area and saw each other ocassionally - mostly at church or at social gatherings. Over time, Aunty Basic retired and spent most of her time on church activities. Aunty Flash retired also and spent most of her time travelling between London, Austria and Italy - because she was now buying and selling gold and lace fabrics full time. She also visited her kids in the US a lot.

Two of Aunty Basic's kids also moved abroad - to the UK - and her comparisons took another turn. She was always comparing her daughter's husband to Aunty Flash's son. You see, Aunty Flash's son had built a massive house in Lagos and there was a time he was always in Nigeria for business. Aunty Basic felt her son-in-law was 'slack' (not clever/business minded enough).

Finally, Aunt Basic was invited by her first child to visit her in the UK. When she got over here, she contacted some old friends who had moved over here a long time ago. They met up and Aunty Flash's name came up...................Well, my brother and sisters, her friends told her:

- All the time Aunty Flash was coming to the UK to do 'business', she was also doing part-time cleaning jobs;
- Aunty Flash's first two sons are ex-convicts (they have been to jail for fraud at different times);
- Aunty Flash's only daughter is divorced with two children (her marriage ended on a very messy note with her at fault - let's just say she and her hubby had 'trust' issues). 
- Aunty Flash's last son is a well know fraudster in the area he is residing
- None of Aunty Flash's kids graduated from their UK and US based universities. They all dropped out of school. (Meanwhile, all Aunty Basic's kids are professionals)
- Finally, Aunty Flash's hubby has set up home with another woman in the northern part of Nigeria

Needless to say, upon hearing all these, Aunty Basic was ashamed that all those years she had been disparaging her home, kids, hubby to Aunty Flash..............her 'friend' had kept so many secrets. 

Summary - According to her daughter, Aunty Basic bitterly regrets all the years she compared her children to Aunty Flash's kids. The relationship between Aunty Basic and her kids is not wonderful - basically because they feel too much of their childhood was all about 'not measuring up to others'

My lesson learnt - Comparisons are dangerous. If you keep on measuring what you have against others, you will never be satisfied with what you have.

Again, NEVER disparage your kids, home, family or spouse to outsiders. My people say 'Monkey no fine but im mama like am' (the monkey might be ugly, but it is still loved by its mother).

Indeed, Your Super-hero today might turn out to be a Super-zero tomorrow.

Have a blessed week everyone


  1. WOW!! im not surprised though! there are so many aunty Flashes in our part of the world. its a shame, that many Aunty Basics compare themselves to them. this post has made me appreciate my family more, for never comparing me to others.

  2. Wow! This is a 'gan-gan' story o! You described the lesson so aptly. Need i say more....

  3. It is true what they say, "A smart woman never washes her dirty laundry in the public". I really can't stand comparisons cos I am a firm believer of the sayings that "all fingers are not equal"

    Good Job NIL... shey you go get part 3?
    (I'm guessing if we are going to go Nollywood on this thing, we might as well go all the way to part 4. What say you?)

  4. This was a wonderful read. I know a couple of people who can learn from this. I absolutely loved reading this!!

    Great job N.I.L

  5. i hate being compared to anyone. It hurts more if your own mum is the person doing the compparisons

  6. Hmm!! In India too we call neighbourhood woman, aunty...Comparisons are the root cause of one problem or the other. If not neighbours, people compare their social status with relatives which is even dangerous. This was a nice story you told here :)

    Thank you for following my blog, I am following yours too...hard to not do so :) it's so interesting.

  7. Uhmn. First I must say thanks for sharing, as this is teaching we that don't have children yet.
    Aunty Basic just sacrificed her relationship with her children for nothing. Just nothing.
    Our parents are supposed to cover us and not compare us to every tom, dick and harry.

  8. Another good one, a life lived comparing yourself to others is a life wasted.

  9. Tell your hubby we said it was well worth the wait! Lol.

    This is sooooo sad! What a way to wreck your relationship with your kids and waste your precious time. Hopefully with time she'll be able to make amends with her kids.

    The grass isn't always greener on the other side. That'll teach her.

    Great posts!

  10. Lesson learnt! USA isn't always synonymous with success. Leaving naija doesn't guarantee auto-success. To think she wasted all those years comparing her kids. Just shared d story with my mom & she went "iwo to ti rimi fin, u c, u shuld b grateful we're like sisters" lol. My mom"s weird. thanx NIL. May God help us

  11. My mum should read this,infact I'm howing her,worst thing is I'm 200% better than the people she compares me too and I'm so so younger than them.I so hate it.
    Very lovely description.

  12. GBAM! This is so very true. Lessons for life! People should learn to be thankful for the blessings of God upon their lives.

    Thanks for sharing... Have a blessed week ahead!

  13. A 'word' (very) expedient for now.

  14. I hope this doesn't come across as generalisation but I do see some elements of 'Aunty Flash' and 'Aunty Basic' especially amongst some of us Nigerians. We seem to have lost the values of contentment and self-fulfillment which used to be part of our identity. Some of us have embraced consumerism to a level that people are most likely to judge you by what you have. Something I wrote about recently on my blog:

    The way to redress this is to start by avoiding comparing our children against each other let alone other children. It is unnecessary, promotes greed and may lead to low self-esteem.
    Learning to live within our means is a virtue we should hold on to strongly and also teach our children to do so.

  15. True talk. Comparisons are so not on, not even between siblings. Everybody's head is different, God help us parents, and give us wisdom in raising our children.

  16. @Insomnia
    Yes re: 'there are so many aunty Flashy in our part of the world'
    I have to agree whole-heartedly. A lot of Naija peeps like effizzy (showing off) too much.
    Thanks. Do have a blessed week.

    LOL @'This is a 'gan-gan' story o!'
    I'm glad the message resonated with you.
    Thanks so much for coming by again and again

    @Nollywood REinvented
    Gbam re: "A smart woman never washes her dirty laundry in the public"
    As you said - all fingers are not equal.
    As home-makers, I guess we have to find the balance between aspiring to get a better lifestyle AND appreciating what we have at the moment.

    Re: Part 3....Nollywood don spoil you.
    You think say na everything for real life be like Nollywood movie. You no go kill person. LOL

    No part 3 as I hear tori, na im I nak am LOL

    You are tooooo funny! LOL
    Thanks so much. Do have a lovely week

    Thanks so much for the lovely words.
    I'm glad the message spoke to you.
    Thanks again
    Make sure you have a lovely week.
    Stay blessed oh

    I feel you re: 'It hurts more if your own mum is the person doing the comparisons'
    *sigh* Been there!
    The only way I can rationalise mothers who do that is they dont know better.
    All we can do is decide not to repeat their mistakes when we become mothers.
    *deep breath* *deep breath* Hope you are not upset oh
    Have a fab week

  17. Hi NIL sorry not followed your blog in a while(been away) will read this by all means and get back to ‎​‎​you :)

  18. @Chintan
    Totally agree re: 'Comparisons are the root cause of one problem or the other'
    Unfortunately, a lot of mothers/ wives/ sisters do this *sigh*
    Thanks for dropping by. Thanks also for the kind words. I found your writing refreshingly honest too
    Do have a lovely week

    @ ilola
    Yes oh ...............I share stuff like this so mothers-to-be - like you - dont repeat mistakes AND old hands like me change anything we are not doing properly.
    RE: Aunty Basic: believe she IS sorry for her mistake.
    We only pray her children can still bond with her.
    Thanks so much. Have a good week

    Gbam re: 'a life lived comparing yourself to others is a life wasted'
    In short, you have summarised my long epistle. LOL
    Thanks my sister.
    Hope you are well?
    Stay blessed.

    Thanks so much. Hope you are well?
    Take care of yourself

    I will def tell my hubby that 'it was well worth the wait!' LOL
    He kept on laughing and telling me ........'If you fail to deliver.....Humph!' LOL
    I was like 'They dont even know what I look like' LOL
    We are hoping also that ' with time she'll be able to make amends with her kids'
    My sister, Like you said 'The grass isn't always greener on the other side'
    I have to admit that I constantly tell myself that because I am one if those people who always aim higher and higher.
    Sometimes, it is a blessing to sit back and appreciate what one is blessed with.
    Thanks my sister.
    have a blessed new week

  19. Well said, NIL... WELL SAID..

    Mum always told me all fingers are not equal and truth be told, they are not even our fingers in realty. Besides that, the grace of God made me understand never never compare myself with anyone or anything. No matter what they seem to appear to be like or to be about.

    This story is a good example..


  20. Toinlicious
    Totally agree re: 'Leaving naija doesn't guarantee auto-success' Preach oh
    LOL @ your mum. She sounds soooo nice.
    Not wierd....nice.
    And you should be grateful she's like that.
    Thank YOU for dropping by
    Much appreciated

    *eyebrow raised* re:'infact I'm showing her..................'
    Okay....I do think there is going to be a row??
    Seriously though, I have come to accept that changing an adult is an uphill task. They are largely set in their ways.
    The best you can do is change the way YOU deal with her comparisons. Reply or ignore.
    If not, you will find yourself easily wound up whenever she compares you to someone else.
    Take care and have a peaceful week

    @Sisi Yemmie ™
    You are just like Nollywood Reinvented. LOL
    Una think say real life be like movie??
    Anyway sha, I am waiting for hot gist.....As soon as all my facts are confirmed, I will update.
    No part 3 for now oh. LOL
    Take care and have a fab week

    *Nodding* re:'People should learn to be thankful for the blessings of God upon their lives'
    Simple abi?
    Thanks so much. Do have a lovely, blessed and peaceful week ahead

  21. @rethots
    Thanks oh
    Glad the message spoke to you.
    Do have a lovely week

    Absolutely re: ' I do see some elements of 'Aunty Flash' and 'Aunty Basic' especially amongst some of us Nigerians'
    You are right of course.
    Re: 'values of contentment and self-fulfillment which used to be part of our identity' I truly doubt we have had that since the seventies.
    I recall as a child seeing a lot of ostentatious parties, jewelry and clothing. It might sound blase - but I honestly feel most Nigerians are avid show-offs. End off.
    Thanks for dropping by
    Do have a good week

    Totally agree re: 'Everybody's head is different' *sigh*
    Amen and amen re 'May God help us parents, and give us wisdom in raising our children'
    Gbam. That is my daily prayer.
    I know I will make mistakes but I just pray for the wisdom to always do the right thing oh
    Thanks so much.
    Do have a great week

  22. @enybees-hub
    Welcome back.
    How can you be apologising?
    You should be asking me why I didnt check up on you LOL
    Hope all is well oh
    Do have a good week

    @Daughter of Her King
    I like what your mum told you
    RE: 'the grace of God made me understand never never compare myself with anyone or anything'
    FINITO!!! My dear, you have said it.
    Thank you too
    Take care of yourself

  23. I love this! It sounds similar to my mum's sisters (Twins). A great lesson learnt!

  24. Comparing yourself with another makes you a fool, because everyone is different.

    Aunty Basic can still help her relationship with her kids by trying hard to "reach" them.

    I hope I have learned a lesson from this piece.

  25. lol!!!! i love part 1 and Part II. So true, so true... the grass always seems greener on the other side, but no one ever stops to think that on close inspection, it's just as shabby if not shabbier than yours.

    Love it.

  26. Great lesson NIL, thanx for sharing. I will be content with my lot from now on by God's grace ooo

  27. the grass always looks greener on the other side=discontentment/dissatisfaction. People always think that life is a competition, comparing themselves to others and failing to appreciate what they already have

    Thanks for these lessons on contentment. It's highly necessary even at this time

  28. Lots of hard truths here and so much to learn from. Thank you so much for this. Amebor-Anjelar likes this very much. Visit my place when u get time for some Amebor

  29. is an interesting planet we leave in....a very interesting one!

  30. Na wa o! Which bad story follow Aunty flash and all her children? Not even one was doing well? haba!

  31. The grass is not always greener on the other side, what you see may just be stagnant water with dirt (bacteria)build up!

  32. Thanks for sharing. Life is so funny. We really don't know what happens behind closed doors. Hmm..

  33. Forgot to say I really love your blog. I'm supposed to be studying and have just spent the last hour studying!

  34. I love this post.May the lord continue to bless you jare. You made my day.

  35. ahhhhhhhh, u dis woman, you are just too on point......CATCH MY BLOWN KISSES!!!
    i love this article so very much....serious lessons inherent..please permit me to share on fb and also wth peeps around me
    we must learn how to stay on our own lane at all times!!!

    ps: is it really a true life story???i feel for Aunty Basic oh, especially becos she trampled the love that shld av existed betw her and her children.

  36. Hmmm Nna Naija mum na wa o! Any of us who keep comparing ourselves with another isn't wise,its TRUTH! ‎​​We subtly wish to be someone else and the grass on the other side is NEVER greener oh!

    This story lingered in my head for sometime, na wa o!

  37. I had to sigh at the end. Great moral!

  38. It's so easy to compare that's why we do it. If only we knew what really went on in other people's lives...

  39. Wow. This story wasn't as flash (pardon the pun)as the Part 1 but I think the message is deeper and richer. We have a lot of Aunty/Sister/Friend Flash's in our lives. and you spend your time measuring up to them instead of dancing to your own tune.
    Mama Basic was wrong for belittling her kids but I wished I could hear Mama Flash's side of the story. Did she delight in Mama Basic's hero worship or did she ever try to nudge her out it? ah well, whatever. People will believe what they want to believe...
    great post NIL

  40. I am totally in love with the story. Funny how things turned out to be at the end of the day. when the chips are down you get to really see the other side of things better. Thanks NIL for this one, I have learnt a lot.

  41. Did I tell you that i love the pictures depicting Aunt Flash and Aunt

  42. I have always picked up fight at home on this one. I hate when I'm quickly compared with some kid along the street just because I drifted a bit. I would tell whoever does this at home; I have got a whole of admirers from numerous parents too, especially those who wouldn't know I have just misbehaved at home now.

    Comparison is one bad thing to do because it is always filled with illusions.

    I love this series...

  43. I was laughing right from the title...loved the moral at the end.

    first time on here, I'm hooked :)

  44. How i love you sistah for this post! yes..i was expecting gan-gan as the cont'd of last week story....but i still like this one..becox it so relates to me!...& i promised myself not to do same to my family! Some people are pathological liars! they like to glorify their own children as if dem no dey shit! thank you for your kind words in my last post.

  45. Beautiful piece - as usual.

    Sure we can all relate to this... oh how the grass always seems greener next door!

    May we be content and appreciative of our blessings no matter how little they seem.

    Lovely week!

  46. LOL! Aunty Flash and Aunty Basic. Those names got me laughing. But asides the humor, you're very right o jere. I'll take cue from this wise words. Thanks NIL.

  47. PS - I will def reply these comments. Please bear with me ............I am being a mum :)))))

  48. @Her Lioness
    Your mum's sisters?
    Do tell....Thanks

    @Ema Leecious
    Re: 'Aunty Basic can still help her relationship with her kids by trying hard to "reach" them'
    She's actually trying to now
    Thanks sis

    Glad you loved both parts
    True talk re: '..........on close inspection, it's just as shabby if not shabbier than yours'
    Love that

    @ Gospel Girl
    Re: 'content with my lot from now on by God's grace'
    I admit it is not easy oh
    Thanks dear

    I'm glad you liked these lessons
    Hope all is well with you

    @ AmeborAnjelar
    Thanks for dropping by
    I tried to access your blog but I couldnt
    Could it be the settings????
    Thanks sis

    This planet eh..........Wonders never cease oh
    Take care dear

  49. Giagerry
    Re: ' Not even one was doing well?'
    The thing is that 'doing well' is relative.
    Some people consider him a success because he has a massive house in Naija
    To each his own
    Thanks my sis

    LOL @' what you see may just be stagnant water with dirt (bacteria)build up!'
    You don come again.
    You no go kill person.
    Thanks dear
    Thanks for dropping by
    I've been on your blog and I'm loving the positivity
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    Studying this instead of your books?
    Believe me, even Professors have fun LOL

    Amen, amen and amen
    thanks for dropping by
    Much appreciated

    *catching* *catching* *catching* re: 'CATCH MY BLOWN KISSES!!! LOL
    Abeg, share away.
    Whatever we like should be shared abi??? LOL

    Re: True life story! ABSOLUTELY. Part 1 and 2 are real oh. I share real-life stories here because I dont feel comfortable 'gossiping' about stuff like this.
    Thanks dear

    I'm glad the message spoke to you
    Thanks my sister
    I do hope all is well with you

    @ Myne Whitman
    Thanks Myne
    Hope all is well with you?
    thanks again

  50. @mstizzle
    *Nodding* re: 'If only we knew what really went on in other people's lives'
    If walls could talk eh....
    Thanks my sister

    @ Ginger
    Agree re: ' .... the message is deeper and richer'
    This story touched me more - as a mother!
    Re: 'Mama Flash's side of the story'....I think they fed off each other.
    Thanks my sister

    Thanks so much for dropping by and commenting
    I've been on your blog and I'll be back

    LOL @'Did I tell you that i love the pictures depicting Aunt Flash and Aunt Basic'
    Yes oh ---- they are the closest I could find to the real people.

    @Strong Self
    mmmm I feel you re: ' I hate when I'm quickly compared with some kid along the street just because I drifted a bit'
    LOL @ ' ..... especially those who wouldn't know I have just misbehaved at home now'
    Thanks for that
    Loved that

    Thanks for the nice words
    Much appreciated
    I've been on your blog too and I'll def be back!

  51. @Ibhade
    LOL @'i was expecting gan-gan ....' You sef
    I totally agree with you re: 'Some people are pathological liars!'
    I know what you mean bo
    I meet mothers like that all the time. Humph
    Thanks oh. Welcome back!

    Good to have you back!
    I love your statement ' blessings no matter how little they seem'
    Thanks sis

    @*Michael Onobote*
    I'm glad this made you laugh - and think - at the same time LOL
    Hope all is well with you

  52. hehehe i feel like i have just been told a story on tales by moonlight with the morale of the story at the end.

    WOW! friendship eh?? na wa - may God shine our eyes... plus I agree be CONTENT with what you have - don't keep looking at other people not appreciating what is in front of you.

  53. Like I always say.. Life is so much easier when we stop comparing ourselves and set standards for ourselves not based on anyones standard.

    Wake up every day and pray for you kids to be the best they can be not to be better than another kid.

    Like they say all that glitters is not gold. No matter how happy people look.. they have their struggles and challenges.

    Nice post.. we call need to get these gentle reminders.. Pls tell you hubby it was gan gan.. lol

  54. Both stories spoke volumes to me. I have actually saved it to read now and again.



I always look forward to reading comments from visitors - so please leave yours. Many thanks for dropping by....xoxoxox