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Betty Tuesdays

Everybody Smile.

Hi everyone. It’s my turn to thank you guys for all the support you’ve shown us here. 5 nominations at the Nigerian Blog Awards, that’s just amazing. Use the link: here to vote and keep showing us your love. Thanks again. On to today’s post then. Enjoy.

**********

“Everybody smile..!”

I stretched my lips into a wide smile. There. Nobody’s was brighter.

Now, will you leave me alone?
But, of course not.

The hugs. The platitudes. The chatter.

Yakking. Babble. Prattle.

I clenched and un-clenched my fingers.
“Excuse me, please.” I said to the friends clustered around me that had been going on about nothing for the past few minutes.

I didn’t wait for a reply; just walked out of the crowded room with my head bowed. Refusing to make eye contact with anyone.

I walked to the kitchen. Raised voices greeted me. Rola and Segun were fighting again. I sighed and climbed the stairs.

Getting to Jon’s room, I walked in and locked the door softly behind me. I ignored his massive elegant bed and crumbled to the floor. My back against the smooth mahogany door.

The door was thick enough to muffle the sounds drifting up the stairs. I took off my expensive shoes and let out a long deep breath.

Whooosh.

I picked at the hem of my navy blue dress and the reason for this gathering glinted back at me. My engagement ring.

I see my friends eye my 5’9″ frame in envy. I see my friends eye my 6’2″ fiancé with envy. I see them eye my 5-bedroom soon-to-be house. I see them eye my very successful PR job.

Heck, everybody wants to be me. Beautiful, successful, engaged at 25.

So, why am I scared? Why is this numbing fear gnawing at me?

All good things come to an end. Jon and I laugh at that song. What he doesn’t know is that deep down, I believe this..

My insecurities assail me at every corner. What if I’m not a good-enough wife? Mother? What if I die? Worse, if Jon dies? What if we fall out of love?

What if? Silly as it sounds, it has a deathly grip on me. Jumps on me at the oddest moments, taking away my breath. Leaving me wheezing.

Too good to be true. To last. Nothing can be perfect. Right? What will it be? It terrifies me that I can’t answer this.

A soft knock on the door made me sigh again. I’d been found.

“Babe? You in there?” Jon’s husky voice reached out to me. I loved it when he called me babe.

“Yes.” I didn’t move.

“You coming out? Your sisters are here.”

I said nothing. “I love you, Jon..”

Jon was quiet. “I love you too..” More silence. “Why won’t you talk to me? Tell me what’s wrong, babe.. We’ll work it out together.”

A tear slipped down my cheek. I brushed it away roughly.

Where do I start from? What do I say? How do I tell him without him feeling somehow responsible? He doesn’t put pressure on me. And no, I don’t have low-self esteem.

I can imagine Dupe laughing it off; ‘What do YOU have to be insecure about?’

It’s just.. I’m too realistic, pragmatic to believe in this fairy tale.

“Just tired. I’m coming out.”

************

Most people might not admit it but the picture painted above captures a lot of lives out there. Many women (and men too) go about with suppressed emotions. Insecurity and perhaps depression hidden behind smiles. My question is this, do you think our culture/society encourage this? If not, what other factors can you think up. You know the drill, use the comment box and speak your mind. Ciao.

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About Betty

Attaining 'halcyon'... @UberBetty

Discussion

38 thoughts on “Everybody Smile.

  1. First?

    Posted by ThinkTank! | June 28, 2011, 9:05 am
  2. Gosh! How on earth did I come second?!

    Posted by highlandblue | June 28, 2011, 9:06 am
  3. gheun!

    Posted by chinnydiva | June 28, 2011, 9:06 am
  4. Well, that was odd…. Anyway. I guess some lives are just too good to be true. And yes, if too many things are working out, be sure that something will go wrong but it should not stop you from enjoying the great moments. Without the bad, we cant really appreciate the good.

    Posted by ThinkTank! | June 28, 2011, 9:09 am
  5. And I really wanted to play this ‘first’ game today o, choi! Oh well, I’ll be an underdog another day.
    *now going back to read Betty’s’ story”

    Posted by Radeyo | June 28, 2011, 9:09 am
  6. Nice read, but no comment… *stepping down the podium for the ladies to take over*

    Posted by Radeyo | June 28, 2011, 9:16 am
  7. *sigh* Sadly enough, i can totally relate to that story. Not like i’ve been engaged, but i find these insecurities gnawing at me, i feel like i’m in a cage where i’m the show dog and everyone seems to watch you play. Everyone thinks everything shud be perfect when deep inside you know its not. You put on a smile that doesn’t go beyond ur eyes and step out into the limelight.
    Unfortunately, we find ourselves in a society where as the woman, you just have to be super. we all want to be super, but when we are not super who’s really gonna take that from us? My mum keeps telling me stuff like “when u marry you have to be in control of ur home, u can’t afford to be sick, u can’t afford to sit back and watch”….she’ll say stuff like,”ladies don’t get angry, ladies always smile, its unladly like to sit that way, talk that way….eat with that”…and the list goes on.
    And sometimes i just want to scream….i’m thinking in spite of all this, i’m HUMAN and once in a while, i need re-assurance…i need to believe in something too…
    So yh, i believe that the society we find ourselves in plays a huge role in supressing us into admiting that we have insecurities…i mean serzli, just how many people ladies and men do you know would come out to admit that they are clnically depressed and just how many psychologists do you know in Nigeria actually diagnose such things? They’ll all tell you its stress, you just need to rest. No i just need to talk to soemone to help me work though my feelings.

    Posted by Black Rose | June 28, 2011, 9:20 am
  8. Funny enough, I never get this feeling. I get it sha when I’m watching the World Cup Final and I just know Nepa is about to take the light (Britico: Cut the power). But then, I’ve been thru the valleys and somehow I fear no evil. Ok, now I know where this confidence is coming from. 😀 Nice post Toolsman.

    Posted by highlandblue | June 28, 2011, 9:23 am
  9. Awwww….I can relate wv this ….

    Apart from the whole fairytale smile facade….n wot not….
    Ve been in plenty sitns where I turned myself into s philisopher…of my own life!
    One of my fav deductions wud be…*the hardest thing to do is to remain calm and smile under pressure*

    I do this a lot…so I kno wot u talkin abt…infact am smiling right now…but am under 99% of me is under pressure…am actually smiling cos of dat “DM” I just got! Buahahahahahaha!

    Posted by ibetapassmynebo | June 28, 2011, 9:26 am
  10. I can totally relate to d story! Dated this 30yr old guy who’s life revolved round marriage n all I kept thinking was “oh shet, marriage…..day in, day out”. By our 2nd month of dating, I had d key to his apartment! Everything was moving so fast, I started acting weird. At the end of the day, I came up with a cock n bull story and we broke up……and the only tin I felt was RELIEF.
    At that junction, I knew I had made the right decision!

    Honestly, its so hard 2talk bout how ur feeling @ dt junction cuz it would not make sense.

    Posted by @mizztosin | June 28, 2011, 9:30 am
  11. We have somehow convinced ourselves that life cannot be perfect, that things must go sour… so we rob ourselves of the chance to enjoy it. It is important to have someone to talk to about these insecurities.. lest they eat you up on the inside and leave you with a shadow of yourself.
    Insecurities will always creep up… but you shouldn’t let it rule your life, or ruin a good thing.
    Talk to someone today.
    Awesome post betty.

    Posted by Simmylala | June 28, 2011, 9:40 am
  12. Ehen. Toolsman the girls are coming out to dance on your blog because you have struck Wedding bells. Ah ahn nau! That aside though, I think most brides are depressed on their wedding day. Or not depressed, kinda sad and scared of the new life they are going into, even when it seems perfect, including the makeup and the plastic smile. Girls no be so? *slipping on bulletproof vest*

    Posted by highlandblue | June 28, 2011, 9:40 am
  13. P.S. I have a couch, I charge hourly.. 🙂

    Posted by Simmylala | June 28, 2011, 9:42 am
  14. i have hiccups 😦

    Posted by Foxy | June 28, 2011, 9:47 am
  15. But this girl could just be me. In some years..
    I hope I won’t be scared/anxious by then though.
    I love reading here – Makes me happy 🙂
    Great job.

    Posted by missfadesomi | June 28, 2011, 9:48 am
  16. Let’s not paint this as a woman issue only. As a dude, I face it in the mirror and in the eyes of some of my peers everyday too. I had accomplished some big things at 19/20 that I haven’t been able to hold on to, meanwhile the dreams I had then for today seem so far away and unattainable. There’s the things you expect yourself to have accomplished and there’s also those everyone expects you to have accomplished, when on some some retrospection you find you have attained neither, it can be extremely depressing.

    But thank God for hope, and faith, and purpose, and the certainty that at the end of the day, *in Nester’s voice* “…every little ting… is gonna be alright!”

    Posted by 0latoxic | June 28, 2011, 9:49 am
  17. This is like the most realistic piece I’ve read concerning marriage and relationships. Friends dnt understand wht goes on in your head,all they can see is a perfect couple plus I cn totali relate to the insecurity felt. This is cause as humans we are harder on ourselves than people r wt us. We knw our faults and even though we smile through it,it kills us on the inside……….
    Nice one

    Posted by deevarh | June 28, 2011, 9:49 am
  18. Even Terri hatcher has an article similar to this in one of the cosmo’s.
    Maybe its a female only thing.maybe females are the only ones who feel like FRAUDs.
    And insecure.
    Even married women feel insecure.
    People who have achieved so much sometimes in those moments when all is not going too well,wonder if they really are whom they are.
    I bet even gej doesn’t believe he is president and has fears of failure.
    That’s it,that’s life.
    I cannot profer any explanations.

    Posted by iamsamsie | June 28, 2011, 9:52 am
  19. Nice post tools!!
    Insecurities and society, hmmm……
    I’ll split the blame 75% society and 25%individual !
    Society praises the strong and not only frowns upon the weak, but also capitalises on the ‘weakness’….
    People don’t want the world to find them vulnerable, hence the monalisa smile……

    Posted by zoey | June 28, 2011, 9:52 am
  20. I felt this way once….like my bubble was getting smaller and about to choke me…..like I was on display forever criticised…….I kinda broke down..or more accurately flared up…my mum was the unfortunate recipient of the lava that flowed out. I made the decision that day to talk to my friends I could trust and offload as much as possible…..to write stories, draw, paint, learn another language-whatever would provide an outlet for the rage/anger/insecurity. I learnt to accept that its something I’d feel once in a while when my new bubble is in a seemingly perfect state……so I embrace it when it comes, not wallow, but accept it….be a little afraid and then get on with my life….it reminds me that I’m human.

    Posted by jAyajade | June 28, 2011, 10:05 am
  21. I’m actually like this. It’s kinda sad, but it helps me handle things better when they actually fall apart

    Posted by Iyamilele | June 28, 2011, 10:30 am
  22. Bitches gon be bitches. Lil’ pussy-ass-bitches! WTF is the malfunction with this bitch tho? Yo done got yoself a sexy ass man, a pimped out crib, a sweet job and that dumb fucker wanna marry yo insecure ass. Get yo shit together bitch.

    By the way, that nigga probably got him a sidechick, drug addction and some gambling debts. He probably gay too. So fuck you and your fairytale bitch, its gonna end soon, might as well enjoy it while it lasts.

    In summary,
    1. WTF is her problem?
    2. Bitch get a grip
    3. Yo man is probably gay

    Yo, word on da streets is that the toolsman be looking for me.
    Nigga, put out the word in my hood…My homies know where to reach me…or yu knw…just reply my comments and shit.

    Riley out.

    Posted by Riley | June 28, 2011, 12:04 pm
  23. I’ve been in this “too good to be true” and I can totally relate to this story. Somehow things didn’t turn out well and I keep wondering if I ‘spoilt’ it with my thoughts.

    Good Story Betty!

    Posted by Amplebrain | June 28, 2011, 12:22 pm
  24. Riley…I want to marry you 😦

    Posted by ibetapassmynebo | June 28, 2011, 12:24 pm
  25. The clues add up.. I’ll get in touch soon…

    Posted by thetoolsman | June 28, 2011, 12:30 pm
  26. i can relate to this in a million ways and i have not even smelt a proposal from any1….when things are going so well i am almost so convinced that something around the corner is going to muck it up.

    I sometimes think i dont even deserve the happiness that i feel…and instead of enjoying the ride i spend most of the time looking behind me… hoping i dont fuck up cuz people’s expectations are heightened and you just ‘know’ you wont be able to keep this up. This just fucks things up neway…

    Those that appear so strong…you would be AMAZED t what they are thinking. The people we envy/ look up to….are most times crumbling inside. All these stars that start out some what good and then go on a down ward spiral…these are some of the causes….

    Worries…Fear….an absence of faith…

    God help each and everyone of us

    Posted by beforesheimplodes | June 28, 2011, 1:48 pm
  27. Betty thought provoking story

    Posted by BBB | June 28, 2011, 1:49 pm
  28. Lmao please what is the meaning of all this??

    Posted by beforesheimplodes | June 28, 2011, 1:55 pm
  29. Please who is @MizzTosin? thats my twitter handle, apart from the underscore (_). Its all fun and games, until people start to throw stones on Toolsman’s blog. *goes back to planking*

    Posted by oluwatosin | June 28, 2011, 3:49 pm
  30. What if I’m not a good-enough wife? Mother? What if I die? Worse, if Jon dies? What if we fall out of love?
    Hmmmmmmn iv been wit my bf for some years now.and my relationship is so so smooth, I feel I’m the luckiest lady in the world, my bf is the definition of everything good in the book, and things are just getting better and better..we are the envy of our friends.. What if I’m not a good-enough wife? Mother? What if I die? Worse, if Jon dies? What if we fall out of love?…all these things scare me when I think about them, especially the death part…a friend asked me sme days ago what my greatest fear was…I replied death one’s loved one asides reptiles..I love my bf to pieces..I’m scared when I think of it all

    Posted by kankey | June 28, 2011, 3:57 pm
  31. Nice post…….. I can really relate to ds story……. I once felt lik dt, tnk God for friends n family dt allayed my fears. I can say today after 7yrs its worth it. Its always good to know where d issues r comin frm n deal wit dem! Than carrying ur reggae to spoil sum1 blues….

    Posted by priiyee | June 28, 2011, 4:09 pm
  32. Smiles.
    I’m realist when I say everything does go wrong at some point.
    We’d fix it and have it good for a while till we need to fix it again or maybe change it.
    What we can’t change, we live with.

    And that’s being human.

    Posted by afrosays | June 28, 2011, 7:13 pm
  33. There’s nobody I know that can just talk about their insecurity to their significant other, probably out of fear that the person will think his/her issues are too much to deal with.
    I don’t really think it’s our culture or society causing the problem. Rather, I think it

    Posted by papyrusczar | June 28, 2011, 9:14 pm
  34. Congratulations on your nominations!

    Posted by Nigerian Blog Awards | June 29, 2011, 4:43 am
  35. I think society contributes a lot to this, and then ofcourse, ourselves.
    I’m the first child. My parents aren’t pushy, but somehow I’ve always felt this great pressure to succeed at anything I do, just because. For the sake of. When I’ve had to take huge steps, like write exams or make other decisions that would determine my next course in life, I’d find myself hyper-ventilating, stressing, over the mere thought of how serious what I’m about to do is.
    I can totally relate with the persona in today’s post.

    Somewhere along the way, I realised that God is always with me. Even though I forget sometimes, I’d never be reluctant to enjoy something because I have fears about how long it’d last
    Life itself cannot last forever, but its all we have. Do your best, try to enjoy it. So what if she falls out of love with Jon? she has to get to the bridge before she can cross it. Why worry about the unknown when uve been blessed with the ‘known’?
    Everybody has insecurities, some people’s more crippling than others…its ok, but its not ok to let them deprive you of what you’ve got within ur reach.

    Posted by mizzkenzo | June 29, 2011, 9:37 am
  36. I absolutely relate to this post. I feel so pressured and insecure sometimes. I have the “perfect” relationship that people envy. I’m relatively in that prime envy position. However, sometimes I too have to find a quiet corner, and yes… Let a tear fall.

    Posted by Theodora | July 1, 2011, 8:44 pm
  37. Hmmm, i totally relate wit dis.
    Im currently engaged, planning my wedding, my frnds envy cos dey think ive got a good guy and all d works. I know i av a great guy as well but once in a while, d butterflies come. (and to make matters worse, im not in d country)
    I dont talk to my frnds or my family…. Dey wont c d sense in it, cos all dey’l say is, abeg abeg abeg, d guy is gud, well to do bla bla.but im grateful for one tn, once i start feelin dat way, (cos of time difference, i send a mail) or call him and den he talks me out of it.
    I gueess its d fear of d unknown….cos al of a sudden, ur thots r now more of ‘am i gonna b a gud mother’ instead of ‘hmm wot r we doing friday nyt’

    Posted by Smiles | July 2, 2011, 5:04 am
  38. Who says you can’t be happy?? Who says things around you can’t be perfect? Who says that if things are going right something is gonna happen and fuck all that up?
    These things are just in our heads. Just cos things went sour for someone else don’t mean it’s gonna go sour for you. Be happy, appreciate the perfection around you.
    Take one step at a time. Everyday as it comes. Forget about “what ifs” and focus on right now!

    Posted by @Ms_stephydiva | July 2, 2011, 8:10 am

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