Love Labor's Lost

volumes of mis-adventures

The problem with nice

on November 23, 2012

“He’s nice.” The words flow out of me like an easy breath every time someone asks me about Jo*, and yet there’s a lingering feeling of distaste. No other words come to mind as effortlessly, as “nice.” So, what’s wrong with nice? Why do I have such a problem with it.

I looked up nice in the thesaurus. The entry gave me so many alternatives: likeable, agreeable, commendable, considerate, courteous, pleasant, gentle, good, polite cordial, friendly…the list goes on, and it’s all so true. Jo* is all of these adjectives, and there’s nothing that I can say I dislike of him; he’s just nice. Every time I think it, say it, write it, the annunciation and articulation pick up specks of negative connotation, snowballing in effect. But, why?

This morning I got an email from him: “Happy Friday on this non-workday! Hope today is excellent!” In addition he posted a link to a song. The song started out nice, pleasant even—soothing, comfortable, and serene. Quickly, the melody became monotonous, bordering unappealing and annoying, until I just turned it off.   Should I play this out? Am I overthinking this? Am I just freaking out because usually this is the time when things end?

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