Sep 14, 2006

I break for nice

I was overwhelmed in a sort of soft swoon and I found myself wanting to say something. You know how that is. Something. Good. Moving. Revealing. I was thinking good things and wanted to say them. Say something in the moment and in the spirit of things and something sweet and real and romantic. Something I was thinking that hadn't quite found it's way to words. And he said something and oddly I found myself thinking how nice he was. I wanted to say he was nice. I mean, I wanted to say other things too. But also. nice.

I did not, for the record. Say he was nice.

Because I know how that word sounds. I know a word loaded with mediocrity and sniveling aspirations and impotence when I hear it.

I know what damns with faint praise.

And suddenly I resented the tarnishing of the word. Nice. The perversion of a term that means a billion great into something dull and lame and harmless.

The damning of an increasingly unique and unappreciated trait.

Because see, he's fucking nice. Thats what I meant. Nice. I didn't mean kind or polite or thoughtful, though those are all implicit elements of nice. I meant nice. Impressively nice. And that matters to me. Because while smart and sexy and exciting and cool are all much more explosively complimentary words, words I could use with utmost honesty and still not be doing him justice, they are also, in my world, pretty common. Not as common as that combination with nice. And they are things people work on while nice falls by the waste side. And suddenly I'm thinking how much more intelligence and integrity and great big fucking balls of steel it takes to be nice, sometimes, when all people want you to be is smart and sexy and exciting and cool. And how, in the end, just not being all that nice can really be the thing to ruin someone's hour, someone's week, sometimes someone's year.

So I'm swooning for nice. Offering up praise for nice. Shouting "nice!" from the roof tops, but I'm guessing there is room for misinterpretation with that one. I want to be nice's biggest champion even though I'm bound to garner gifts of sage and patchouli and annoyed stares and be mistaken for my mother.

Because lets face it. Anyone can be a cool guy or a good guy or a fun guy. But if you want to be a great guy. Just, really, a great person. You're gonna have to shoot for nice.


Rif said...

What about 'sweet'? That's nice, but not 'nice.'

Leah said...

Amen! I suppose 'kind' works as a substitute, but you're right, there's gotta be a word for people who just try to make every human interaction one where the other person comes out feeling better than when they came in...people don't take advantage of all their opportunities to make people feel good...and those people are then more likely to feel good and be nice.. You can still be witty and outrageous and fiery, but dammit be nice!

Anonymous said...

It's official. I'm in e-love with you. And by "e-love" I mean real love. But that's too much for a blog like this, isn't it? Maybe, sparrow.

The engine hums a sparrow's phrase. Perhaps for those who cannot hear the words...

Deliberately obtuse? Of course. Would you expect anything less from an internet stranger?

daff0dil said...

what is obtuse about a niko case lyric?