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:
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