I once dated a Texan philosopher. No, not one of those exhausting types who thinks quoting Descartes and looking melancholy will lead him directly to heaven via an impressionable female soul. No, a real one, with a PhD, bad taste in hats and a cute dog. And every time I hear the word ‘nice’, I think of him.
He was of the opinion that ‘nice’ is an entirely undervalued word, deserving of far more love and attention than is afforded it in these extravagant times of ‘fabulous’, ‘amaze-balls’ and ‘OMG’.
The problem is, in order for ‘nice’ to work, to really work, a certain amount of eloquent verbal and tonal casing is required. To this day the most beautiful usage of the word I can remember took place back in 2006 when, having delivered an inordinately masterful speech on her wedding day, a dear friend of mine took a pause and ended her piece by telling her guests: “You are all very nice indeed”.
But let’s face it, without the proper treatment and context, ‘nice’ is just, well, nice. Like a warm cup of tea, a malted biscuit or a calendar featuring cats. Like Edward.
Not Ed, Edward. Last Thursday’s date. An accountant and, by all accounts, a nice guy. We had a nice chat over a nice drink and even stretched it out to a second drink and a nice-ish dinner (the ‘ish’ is for the food, not for Edward). He told me how much he loves skiing, what tickets he managed to get for the Olympics, and why every year he goes to one particular music festival. He seemed satisfied with the house wine, laughed at my jokes and would, I am sure, be kind to animals.
Without the proper treatment and context, ‘nice’ is just, well, nice. Like a warm cup of tea, a malted biscuit or a calendar featuring cats.
And yet I am finding it very hard to think of anything in particular that he may have said, or done, or something I may have felt, which would have made the date in any way memorable. In fact, I am ashamed to say that if I am absolutely honest, when reporting back to a friend on how the evening had gone my reportage had little to do with the experience but rather more with my disappointed fixation on his unimpressive stature and small hands. Yes, it appears I am heightist. How totally superficial and really rather rich coming from a woman of 5ft3!
I would like to think that this embarrassing prejudicial display does not make me a shallow cow, for want of a better term, and that I will mend my shameful ways for the right person, but for me, that’s going to take more than nice. It’s going to require totes amaze-balls OMG fan-blerrie-tastic!
So, thanks Edward, it was nice but..next.