Since I returned to Nigeria, I seem to be bumping into people I know from the past everywhere I go. It is a delight to cross the initial hurdles, “You look familiar. Which school did you attend? Where do you or did you work?” and finally make the connection.
Somewhere in between catching up and exchanging telephone numbers, they inevitably say something like, “You have not changed a bit; you look just the same!” That remark makes me wonder if they are blind or trying to be kind. Now, I admit that I am colour-blind to the shades of grey that should be painted on the canvas of friendly conversation. Trying to be truthful, but frantically digging into my shallow well of diplomatic graces, I guardedly reply, “Well your face has not really changed either,” forcing my wandering eyes to focus on the face and not the torso that shows telltale signs of a lingering love affair with food.
It is a thrill to hear what they have been up to or what they are currently involved in. I listen in child-like awe as they highlight past achievements, summarize current assignments, and state their aspirations with convincing conviction. If I bump into two or more male acquaintances, I am amused because their antics remind me of a book title I’d seen years ago, My Mercedes is Bigger than Yours. Nevertheless, I marvel at just how well people are getting on with their lives.
My bubble burst when I recounted my various run-ins to friends who were not impressed. “Effizzy, it’s all effizzy,” they replied. Responding to my blank stare, they informed me that effizzy encompasses a wide range of attitudes, mannerisms, and lifestyles that make one appear to be The Jones that others are keeping up with. I disagreed and commented that people have carved niches for themselves in consulting and others have resigned from well-paying jobs to become entrepreneurs.
“Ha!” they scoffed. “I consult for several schools, is effizzy for I take my portfolio round schools and try to convince them to buy my goods.” “I resigned from my job to start my company and we are into telecommunications, oil prospecting, you name it, is effizzy for I almost got fired so I quickly resigned. My office is in my living room and I am trying to swindle any unsuspecting!” I wondered if they were not being too cynical, after all, what is wrong with working hard to score a good impression?
I did not give our effizzy discussion any more thought until recently. I had gone to the salon to have my hair done and a smartly dressed young man introduced himself as the resident trichologist and chief stylist. He reeled off other credentials that I cannot remember and wanted to fix my hair. I declined preferring instead to have my usual stylist.
He commented on my eyebrows, which I had carefully tweezed that morning and thought looked great. He insisted that a beautiful woman like me needed to complete my look by having nicely arched brows. He wondered quite loudly if I had ever had them professionally done. I began to feel small and unsophisticated in this posh salon before this proficient beauty expert. Inwardly praying that he would stop the verbal harassment, which portrayed me as unglamorous, my voice dwindled to a whisper as I maintained that I was happy with my looks.
A few moments later, a client walked in. Mr. Trichologist wowed her with his resume and he proceeded to fix her hair. I was startled from my silent introspection over the arch of my brows by a scream from across the room. The new client was upset with Mr. Trichologist because he had damaged her hair and weave. Mr. Trichologist remained unapologetic while insisting that he knew what he was doing.
As I gazed at her over-processed, nearly burnt tresses, two words floated from my subconscious: articulate incompetent, oh I mean, effizzy!
Timi Yeseibo © 2009
image design: ©Timi Yeseibo 2013
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29 thoughts on “Effizzy”
Lol… I enjoyed reading this post, I am still chuckling.
@ “Now, I admit that I am colour-blind to the shades of grey that should be painted on the canvas of friendly conversation.” Hahaha! Those bland conversation fillers, empty words spoken simply because they sound like the thing to say…
@ “My Mercedes is Bigger than Yours.” XD Took me back to the days when owning that rectangular Mercedes 230 series meant one had truly arrived. Funny, how this “material possessions as a sign of achievement” effizzy has become the substance of Instagram.
I crumpled into a giggly heap @ “I consult for several schools, is effizzy for I take my portfolio round schools and try to convince them to buy my goods.” This one is effizzy packaging via semantics acrobatics.
Ah! This need to out-do, to impress, it always amuses me.
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Lol! The hairdresser, I mean trichologist, he almost had me. Sometimes ‘artisans’ in Lagos prey on our need to feel like a ‘big’ man or woman, to become one of the proverbial Jones, to play a fast one on us!
Thanks for reading. 🙂
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Spent much time poring through your well informed and articulate articles today. its quute some
I think it’s in people DNA to put their best food forward juxtaposee with the high competitiveness of a state like lagos in Nigeria. I mean there is a mentality of if you dont, another person will ‘collect’ your prospects.
Being a person that detest exaggerations, i quickly walk
off the scene.
Like a day i went to change a rolex watch battery. Normally, the battery is supposed to cost nothing more than #200 and here dangling was a one of #1,500. I inquire why the so much astronomical differences which he calmly explained without superflously exaggerating which i later found that price was justify. Thats rare
If it has been some guy from the part, man! He will so exaggerate and guilt-tripped you into buy his over-priced producs.
It seems that there is no ‘dulling’ in Lagos. I’m happy to read that you met a salesman who is a rare exception.
To hear that you’ve spent some time poring over my articles warms my heart. Thank you!
Omigawd!!!!! I’m dead. That was funny. Lmao.
And I feel a bit guilty too. 😦 You see, when people ask what I’m doing, I try not to talk their ears off and summarize it with a quick description. Now without context, it’s easy to get so impressed that you think I’m the shitzzle! And I know that while I don’t care that much for measuring up to anyone or anyone’s expectations, I do not like to be made that much of because it is that much tougher to deal with reality when people have painted it over for you.
Still, effizy is real. Some people just feel the need to impress you with their credentials without any invitation. I find such people a little hard to hang with. And I’m Nigerian and I live in Nigeria.
True, we need to put our best foot forward in a way that is not too far from our reality.
People can effizzy all they want, but one day, they’ll need to perform . . .
The annoying thing about this encounter? Mr Trichologist was not only blowing his top, but also trying to put me down! In retrospect, it’s very funny 🙂
Lol @ Mr Trichologist. Generally when people are conscious of their shortcomings and feel the need to impress, that’s how they do it: by putting other people down…as if we don’t all have our own sense of inadequacy.
For me, putting the best foot forward is something I don’t like to do. I find that I don’t like to raise people’s expectations concerning myself, probably because I hate to disappoint people. But maybe there’s a good reason why it’s hard-wired in our DNA that we should want to impress. I’ll see if I can find that out too. 😀
Lol…hilarity!..I enjoyed this read.
One blog link to another and I stumbled on your blog…You might wanna mentally prepare yourself for the onslaught of my ‘likes and looong comments’ …as I would go through each one. I particularly enjoyed your start up posts.
Apparently we share a similar challenge of writing better than we speak..*wink*
Wit,Detailed accounting,Lexicon and all that at first read! Colour me impressed and hooked.
Keep expressing ma’am!
Lizzieebunoluwa, I’m so glad you stumbled on my blog and you’ve enjoyed what you read so far. I’m honoured that you like and comment, please “stalk” away!
@speaking, yeah… I’m working on that; don’t want people to wonder when they finally meet me 🙂
I’ll stop over at yours asap. Thanks again.
Timi T! I am glad I finally got to visit your blog!
Hey Nari, I’m really glad you finally visited!
Great write up, Timi. I love the humour you bring on with your write ups. Really enjoyed this piece and wishing u d best dearie.
Thank you Usi & thanks for dropping by. Glad you enjoyed it
Good job Timi. Welldone. I can’t stop laughing at the resident trichologist part. I can imagine the anger on the lady’s face and hear her saying “who sent me?” to herself. Lol. Nice reminder not to get carried away with effizzy.
lol Tekena spot on! The lady was upset because he’d damaged her expensive weave-on; I think she was especially upset that he wasn’t apologising but kept on insisting that he knew what he was doing! The other salon attendants gathered round her & started begging Naija style- aunty please… I was glad I didn’t fall for his effizzy 🙂
Interesting piece Timi. Keep it up.
Thank you Ihunda for stopping by. I will…
Wow! Such a pleasure to read.
Thank you Pabara-Ebiere, I am glad you enjoyed reading. Were there any points that resonated?
More of this Timi, Please. “forcing my wandering eyes to focus on the face and not the torso that shows telltale signs of a lingering love affair with food”; reminds me of “Wow,, it’s been a while… you have grown (in your mind you’re saying..”you have grown sideways!”
Thumbs up Timi!
Thank you Lucy… Diplomacy is the name of the game!
Wow! Timi great piece. I thought effizzy is synonymous to
Women. I sure have a change of mind after reading this, lol
lol Nnenna, we can all ‘do’ effizzy! Thank you.
Nice !! I particularly like this phrase “forcing my wandering eyes to focus on the face and not the torso that shows telltale signs of a lingering love affair with food.”. Very funny and creative.
Thank you Tonbarerg. What can I say… that’s the only way that I can keep a straight face lol!
Did you say enjoy, u under rate urself,i get glued every tym i read up stuffs like this. i never new english culd be so so so. the truth i wonder if you were a guy wat u will be doing to girls with you choice of words_ while i was growing up i heard the power of words is call LAMBA, u have lamba. am proud to knw you seriously. i look forward to meeting you face to face again
lol Arinze! I am glad you are glued to my posts. Are you following my blog yet? If I was a guy… hmmm, I think I write better than I speak…
Thank you Patience. I’m glad you enjoyed what you read!
Oh, Timi, this is great writing – a great piece! And you are just hilarious! Really happy for you; that you have the courage to face your fears and fulfil your dream. I am not as articulate but one thing I know is I know, love and appreciate great writing. This is good. Keep up the good work and I know you have what it takes to keep it up!