Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Niceland, USA

Guess what?

I'm nice.

No, that's not me earnestly telling you about myself... that's me sarcastically reiterating what I'm told day after day. I'm nice. I'm "nice" to work with. I'm a "nice" person. I have a "nice" sense of style. My humor is "nice". My writing is "nice". I'm "nice" to be around.

Nice.

Blechh. That's about as interesting as a bowl of warm, unflavored gelatin.

I should be flattered, I suppose. I mean, at least the majority of people aren't calling me a Soul-Shredding She-Devil. (Wouldn't that be a cool blog name? Perhaps the title of a poem or short story? But I digress...)

There's just something about "nice" that's not... well... nice.

I think the problem is that the word "nice" doesn't intrinsically say anything. It's not exactly descriptive, is it?

Can you imagine how deflated your ego would be if, after what you considered a passionate lovemaking session, your partner smiled condescendingly and made the comment, "Oh. That was so... nice." Yeah. That would feel awesome.

On the other hand, I've been called worse. Much worse. And it felt crappy.

At those times, I would have given anything to hear, "You're nice," rather than some of the names that were hurled my way. (Incidentally, I'm too nice to repeat them here... just use your imagination and you'll probably come up with one or two.)

I suppose my real problem is that I don't believe I'm "nice" at all.

Don't get me wrong--I'm not evil. I'm not particularly nasty. I don't attack small animals for pleasure. But I'm not "nice". Certainly, I'm pleasant... I'm friendly... I'm understanding. Those are traits I've honed after living and working with humans (as opposed to aliens or fauna) for over 35 years.

At the same time, though, I'm extremely self-centered. I'm passive-aggressive. I'm sometimes even rude. Those monikers don't exactly shout "nice", do they?

Perhaps I unintentionally wear a "nice" masque? Or maybe people are just being nice when they tell me I'm nice, but they're really thinking, "My goodness--she's not nice at all!"

Who knows?

Nice.

Hrumph.

9 comments:

Hoodie said...

This was a really nice post.
You do nice work.

Jennifer said...

Very nice. See, I always say that. I actually like nice. Nice is good to me. But sometimes I vary and say "cool" or "too fun" or "fly" or "you rock" all of which proves I somehow channel valley girls or headbangers ball. (Sad)

Would you rather people said that you are rootin tootin' or splendid, or what? Personally, I think nice is a good word because it's not over the top like "awesome" I don't like awesome. but it's not bland like "good." My son always says, "ni-ce" when he likes something.

the individual voice said...

Well, here's the question. Do they say nice every single day, or just on the days that you are not a soul-shredding she-devil, hoping to reinforce your positive behavior?

Lori said...

You're more than nice - you're a writing goddess. :)

The Quoibler said...

Hoodie ~ brilliant!

Jennifer ~ hmmm... I can see what you're saying. Perhaps it's that I sense they can't find any other positive adjectives to use to describe me. Maybe that's what makes the word "nice" stick in my craw. Oh, and CUTE. Dear goodness, that's a terrible word, too. I should post about my "cute" experience.

tiv ~ that's an excellent question! After I shred some souls, I'll figure it out... :)

Lori ~ niiiiiiiice.

jason evans said...

I guess I have similar thoughts. When people say "nice" this or that (unless you get the NIIIICE DUDE inflection), they're suppressing a yawn. That said, it's still important information. In a, um, nice way, you're being told to ramp it up.

SzélsőFa said...

some words (that used to have a distinct meaning and importance) have begun loosing their significance.
And that is not nice.

The Quoibler said...

Jason: I never thought about the "ramp it up a notch" aspect of "nice". Hmmm. Maybe I should consider it a subtle way of saying, "Get a personality, babe!"

Szelsofa: Not nice at all, I agree!

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