Let me start this way. The term ‘high maintenance’ is mostly applicable to women especially in this society because culturally, we believe the man provides for the woman. No man would proudly come out to say his woman ‘maintains’ him. As much as I disagree with this point, I won’t dwell on it. For the purpose of this discussion, we’ll keep it to the ladies.

There’s a great misunderstanding about the term ‘high maintenance’, what exactly does it mean? Is it really a negative term? Most of us will probably say yes but then again, put things in context and imagine you have the resources to match the so-called ‘high maintenance’ lifestyle, is it still negative? I engaged some of my friends and colleagues in a long and interesting session yesterday and I quickly discovered how and why a lot of us easily stop at defining a high maintenance chic as someone who has a taste for the ‘premium’ lifestyle. Lets start off with what a high maintenance chic isn’t.

A high maintenance chic is NOT one who only loves and demands a ‘premium’ lifestyle from her friends, family, suitors etc. No way. Please let us not insult the Aristo girls. This is their hustle. They come from “impoverished” backgrounds and crave the finer things in life. The designer bags, the trips to places they can not pronounce, the expensive meals, hotel reservations, first class flights etc. In most cases, they turn to ‘older men’ to provide them with these things hence the term ‘Aristo’. Now, let us also not mix them up with another popular group — The ‘runs girls’. Yes, they are very similar to the ‘Aristo girls’ but very different in that a runs girl doesn’t necessarily have to come from a broke background. In fact she could be the daughter of the president. For them, it’s more about the ‘excitement’ or rather, the ‘trips’ they get as a result of the activities they engage in. This is also why they aren’t restricted to much older guys. If you’re young and can fuel their excesses, all well and good.

On the other side, a high maintenance chic is one who loves and demands a premium lifestyle from friends, family, work, life — everyone, everywhere because when she’s all alone, by herself, that is the life she lives. Now, before you jump on this, I will explain some more:

I’ve used the term ‘premium lifestyle’ up there and I’m sure most of us reading are already thinking the expensive designer bags, the expensive cars and so on. I put the term in quotes because it’s a very relative term and my point below explains why.

It is not just about the finances — A high maintenance chic doesn’t necessarily have to be ‘super’ wealthy? To explain, I’ll start by quoting one of my colleagues from the discussion we had yesterday.

“When you talk to a chic and she says stuff like .. oh I had fish and a glass of red wine for dinner yesterday, maybe every now and then, guys will so easily throw her in that HM box without even processing what she said.”

Interesting point because I proceeded to analyse that statement and did the simple math. Baron De Valls is red wine, costs about 700 bucks, fresh fish? Maybe another grand. Lets just put it at 2k for the cost of her dinner. Whereas, you as a bachelor, you go to TFC or wherever to order a plate ofjollof rice with plantain, chicken, coleslaw and a pack of Five Alive. That pretty much also comes up to the same figure. Yet she’s the one perceived as being high maintenance.

It’s not necessarily a lifestyle she was born into — Some may argue here but the truth is, what really forms your lifestyle as an adult stems from standards and policies you lay down for yourself right about when you’re getting out of the university. She might have been raised by a simple (not poor) family living in Iyana Ipaja but through reading, through the Internet, she got exposed to this ‘premium lifestyle’ and then decides that’s how she wants to live her life going forward. As long as she can afford, maintain and sustain the lifestyle all by herself, people will easily categorise her as high maintenance. However, I need to state here that those who fall into this category are not always thoroughly HM. Again, because of their humble/simple background growing up, they understand that not everyone would be willing to live the kind of life they have chosen. As a result, they probably wont always demand this lifestyle from others.

Don’t hate from outside the club — one thing that’s very obvious is that in most cases when guys classify chis as high maintenance, they aren’t even ‘inside the club’. Maybe they just drove by once and quickly concluded. I mean, I’m a Nigerian who makes a point not to eat white rice. I only eat brown bread too, I can only imagine how easily guys would have flung me into the high maintenance basket if I was a chic. I asked a few guys who they think a high maintenance chic is and from their responses I came up with a hilarious hashtag that pretty much encouraged me to write this post.

#ShitHMChicSay — What kind of car doesn’t come with air conditioning?

#ShitHMChicSay — Can I get a glass of water — at room temperature please.

#ShitHMChicSay — The Maldives is so overrated.

#ShitHMChicSay — Isn’t Agege like in that other state?

#ShitHMChicSay — LOL, who flies economy though?

Ok. That being said, I’m sure we all see how much of a thin line there seems to be between the three categories I explained above. Now let us get into the dialogue. Do you agree the term ‘high maintenance’ is only applicable to women? What is your definition of the term? Is it just a term broke guys came up with to massage their non-existent ego? Is it really just about the money or is it a lifestyle thing? You know the drill; use the comment box to express you.

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