i catch myself saying “did i ever SAY that i was nice?” at least twice a day, mostly to myself, and mostly grumbling in response to some idiot. but still. i’m not a nice person, and i admit it. i’m not a BAD PERSON, i’m just not nice. NICE is your Gramma. your librarian is NICE. NICE is a kindergarten teacher. NICE- is NOT me. i am NOT nice.
not only am i NOT nice, i also am extremely snarky and sarcastic, with a smidgen of self-deprecation thrown in, making me quite a character; which, believe it or not, makes me rather LIKABLE. this is 75% me being me, and 25% an act. when i have to interact with people, i put up a bit of a shield, for self preservation. why, you may ask? why do i need to self preserve? well, mostly because i’m fun. and funny. and ridiculous. and most of all- i am THE CLOWN. everybody LOVES the clown. this is fine, i accept it. i was voted CLASS CLOWN in third grade for fucksake. you can’t carry that title around through life without constantly picking up clingy people that immediately assume that since you said something funny, you are instant BEST FRIENDS FOR LIIIIIIFFFFFFFE! which, really, the opposite is true. i tend to not get along well with people who are sweet and kind and NICE. call me a snob, or whatever, but, that’s how i roll.
so unless i put up this shield of what i like to call “CUSTOMER SERVICE FACE”, i’ll have 416 Facebook friend requests before i even get to my car. this customer service face was forged from working four Christmases dealing with asshole customers at Toys R Us. it also happens to be the same tone i use when talking to kids. “Hey! Buddy! You wanna take that drum somewhere else?! away from me and into the other room, pal?” cheer masking contempt. it’s how i get by.
people will disagree with me when i say that i’m not a nice person, but truly, i am not. again, this doesn’t mean that i am a BAD person, i’m just not NICE. people that TRULY KNOW ME, will agree. i’m a GOOD human being. i volunteer a ton. i do a lot of advocacy work. i’m just not NICE. i’d just as soon NOT chitchat with the ladies at the gym, and i really hate hugging people that i don’t know well. i’d just as soon walk by someone i that i only know through other people, than stop and make awkward conversation. i dread small talk with dental hygienists, hair stylists and neighbors. i’m fine smiling and waving, but when i am forced to interact with people that i just have to be NICE to, i tense up. i despise being stuck in the middle of large groups of people- like at bars or concerts and not because of personal space issues, but because i hate fake and forced interaction. let me just stand there and enjoy the show or my drink. no, i don’t want to dance with you and please don’t try and dance up on me.
having said all of that- i am NOT an asshole (outwardly). i respect and commend anyone that works customer service or directly with other people. waitresses and bartenders, servers and cashiers- god bless you. you deal with the idiots of the earth and i will make every possible effort to make waiting on me as easy and pleasant as possible. i smile, act cheerful, will say silly things, tip well, and even bag my own groceries. HOWEVER, we both know that we aren’t friends and our time together is brief. this is fine. for both of us. anyone that HAS NO CHOICE but to interact with the public, deserves my instant cheerful CUSTOMER SERVICE FACE too. it’s only right. but cheerful CUSTOMER SERVICE FACE is NOT small talk about the weather, or trite phrases about what day of the week it is, i.e., “Thank God It’s Friday, eh?” or “Happy Hump Day!” and unless i GENUINELY care about what a particular sports team is up to, i don’t pretend to care for the sake of idle chit chat.
at the bottom of it all, i’m not a BAD person because i don’t want to befriend every single person that i come in contact with, no matter how much i remind them of their “one crazy friend back in college”. it’s easier to be standoffishly customer service face-d than kicking yourself later when you see their Facebook friend request, knowing full well that you’ll never actually hang out with them again.
imagine an awkward blind date. we’ve all had one. you’ve talked about what you do for a living and the last movie you went to see; you might have even talked about pets or hobbies. but you know it’s not going anywhere and are basically counting seconds until it’s over. you have checked your phone enough time to be considered rude and texted a few people “WORST DATE EVER”, “HE DOESNT EVEN LOOK LIKE HIS PICTURE, GURL!!!!” you go through possible scenarios until deciding on the one that looks the least douchey so you can leave. THIS is what i am trying to avoid. but instead of it being a date, it’s a friend of a friend that was dragged to a party and standing by themselves in the corner, or Painfully Awkward Guy all by himself at the concert. it’s cutting off any need for exchanging phone numbers with the out-of-towners you had a few drinks with, and eliminating the insincere “we should go for a drink” with the people in your non credit painting class. it’s the priceless opportunity to sneak out of your neighbor’s Party Lite Party without having to share your famous Bacon Cheeseburger Dip recipe, knowing full well they could just look it up themselves in the time it takes you to find a pen and write it down.
NICE PEOPLE, all of them, but me? nope. i am NOT nice enough, certainly not for that. i like some ACTUAL GENUINE CONNECTION in my connection to people, not just half hugs from the table full of crazy women you got stuck playing BABY SHOWER BINGO with all afternoon.
you know that i’m right. you don’t have to feel bad. you aren’t an awful person, you just aren’t nice either, and deep down, you know that you don’t really care.