Everyone always says “You are so…nice”. And yes, there’s usually that brief silence of the ellipses.
Why has “nice” chased me around all my life?What does that mean? I’m a pushover? I smile a lot? I can chat it up decently with strangers? I don’t like confrontation? I try to bring out the best in people? I’m a big blob of boredom?
Are there no other words, for cryin‘ out loud (what a “nice“ phrase), that could come to mind?
This has always slightly bothered me. I mean, I don’t want to be known simply as “nice”. I want to be great, leave a mark, be bold, ruffle a few feathers while still be able to expertly soothe them. Can nice people do that? Nice isn’t the way I feel when I am alone with myself, stripped to my soul, reeling from life’s questions, and feeling the blood pumping through the veins in my hands. It’s so much more than that.
In my heart of hearts, I know some of the reasons for my prevailing nice-dom. Amidst the divorce of my parents at four years old, I learned that being nice could smooth over arguments and it helped me to feel I gained the equal favor of my parents. Of course there’s no such thing, as my parents’ love, without a doubt, equally defies gravity. As a kid, though, the path of least resistance seemed to garner the quickest and least painful results. I guess nice is a pretty good cover for my insecurities as well. It keeps them cinched in like a belt. So, nice stuck to me like a big, fat, juicy tick burrowed in my skin. Suckin’ my blood a teensy bit at a time. And, damn, it’s just as tough to get rid of.
Nice seems to be a good filler word. Truly, I wouldn’t describe the best experiences in my life as nice. Labor and childbirth weren’t nice. They were phenomenal and delicious, full of love and lessons that could cut like razors. Eating dinner with my brand-new husband as we overlooked the Spanish steps in Italy wasn’t just nice. It was romantic, and tingly, and as enveloping as a summer night. My friends are definitely not nice. They are honest, sarcastic, vulnerable, damn-smart, soul-searching, challenging, unconventional, scared, scarred, unruly, fat, skinny, timid, loud-mouthed, jealous, and brimming with life and random musings. Frankly, that’s how I like ‘em.
Nice sits in the back of the room, shy and afraid to take risks. Nice is easy. Nice makes excuses for her values and beliefs. Nice doesn’t refuse to bend to convention just to keep little truths from leaking out. Nice doesn’t make waves. Nice certainly doesn’t cavort naked in the hot springs. So, it‘s time for a revolt, a revolution. I’m gonna start with ripples…
I’ve told myself “Get over it! Nice means whateva you want it to mean.“ And I decided it would be an acronym for this; “She’s NICE. Nothing I Can Explain.” That sits just a little bit better with me