Some of you who know me already know where I'm going. I hate the term nice. Yes, hate. I used to think "Oh, yeah, it's pretty good. Nothing wrong with nice, right?" Oh how ignorant I was.
Then I started getting mildly annoyed with "nice." Watching awkwardly as people insisted that someone go ahead of them in line (No you go. No you. No you. No you. Okay, I'll go. You're so nice.) -holding everyone up behind them, mind you- thinking "oh, they're just being nice."
You hear about someone who is "nice" all the time.
"Why'd you break up with her? She was nice!"
Yeah? Well she was also an idiot, boring, lame, and weak. But she was nice, right?
Whatever. Nice has gone full circle back to its Latin roots, where it was derived from the word "nescire" which means to "not know." Yes, it meant "dumb" for centuries and I'm bringing its true meaning back.
Think of every person that you think of as really "nice." How many of them have any guts? How many are essentially weak people that never assert themselves, never stand up for anything, and avoid any confrontation at any cost. How many of them are complete dullards? How many are spineless? Boring? Obsequious? Perpetually deferential? Annoying.
But what about the good qualities of "nice." When we truly mean it in a positive way? Then be specific. Most of us use "nice" because we're too lazy to think of the positive trait we're really trying to describe. Traits that I'm not against one bit. Think: generous, patient, considerate, insightful, etc. These are all fine traits that should be lauded and strove for. But nice? Fuck that noise.
Many of you readers are of the dating variety and read/write articles on the world of dating. How does "nice" fit in there? Ever read a story about how people don't want the "nice" girl/guy? Or how you date someone who was "nice" but "eh"? Maybe you want the "nice" guy who has an edge? Yeah, basically you want some of the positive qualities associated with "nice" but not the spineless-dullard-pansy part. Who wants that?
I propose that it's okay to hate the word "nice." To not use it, to banish it from our vocabularies except in the context of what the word actually means.
So if I tell you I went out with someone and they were "nice"- you'll know what I mean.
Caleb "not very nice" Shreves