Okay, you probably don’t. That’s probably a trick question, in fact. I’m not sure if I’ve ever been very nice. Because, see, the thing is…this is the thing. The thing is this: there comes a point in everyone’s life when they just decide they’re not going to put up with bullshit. Or, if you will, bull TWADDLE. Because seriously, “bull TWADDLE” is a WAY better phrase than “bullshit”.
Over the past few years, I’ve vacillated between trying to be accommodating, trying to be nice, trying to be civil, and trying to just maintain the smallest amount of politeness I can muster. I mean in *general* here. More and more, though, things seem to be descending to the level they were at in the mid nineties when my internal editor quit and consequently, my peer group was culled.
Aye, here’s the rub – Chaff. Right? It’s terrible, and I don’t REALLY think of people as chaff. Not really. I think everyone is, or at least must be, something really special. But there are some kinds of really special that are simply meant to be enjoyed in the out-of-doors. On the third Sunday in April. For seventeen minutes and four seconds. Eleven of which is spent discussing the weather.
See what I’m getting at? It’s a difficult concept, but …and stay with me here, because I might deke around a bit… not everyone needs to be my friend. Not everyone needs to like me. And, the important…EXTREMELY important corollary here is: I do not need to like everyone, and I do not need to be a friend of everyone. It’s difficult sometimes to admit that you just don’t like someone.
I think that’s because we’re programmed to be *nice*. We’re programmed to always say nice things, and to be polite, and to CHEW WITH OUR MOUTHS CLOSED (I’m looking at you, Iron Troll), and I think that’s okay. I mean, I think it’s good to be basically nice to each other. But that doesn’t mean – and this is where our edumacation has done us wrong, baby. That doesn’t mean we have to LIKE each other.
I can be very nice to someone I wouldn’t choose to hang out with. I can be exceedingly nice to someone I may never see again. I am very often nice to people I don’t really have a vested emotional interest in. Being nice and liking can be, therefore, mutually exclusive.
Jesus, where am I going with this?
My Nama always used to say that I’d reach a time in my life where I just couldn’t be bothered. She said, “I can’t be bothered. You’ll know what that’s like someday. You’ll just get up from the table and clap your hands together and say, ‘well, I just can’t be bothered with that’.” Of course, she was right. I think it may have happened the very next day when I was asked to do some chores I didn’t want to do. It turns out you CAN be bothered, with the right incentive.
This comes down to being secure. Security is important. We need to be accepted. It’s on, like, that dude’s pyramid or whatever. Maslow or King Tut or PJ Skinner or whatever. We need to be accepted. We need to be cared about. But what they don’t teach you in Family Life (or Life Skills or whatever the hell they call it now) is that we don’t need to be accepted BY EVERYONE. We need one or two close relationships. Some of us need more, but most of us are good with one or two. The people you consider your family (or, as TUO once told me, ‘better than family because I chose you’).
And those people with whom you form intimate soul bonds, those people are the ones that you WILL be bothered about. And with. And for. And you’ll choose to do that over and over again because you LIKE them. And you want them in your life. And someday you might get that it’s not about being popular, about being the one who has the most friends or who gets invited to the most parties or who everybody likes to talk to in a room full of people. You might get that what’s important is that you connect. That there’s something *real* there.
And when you get to THAT point, you start to understand that so much of what goes on around us is just…it’s bull twaddle. (Seriously. I want you to say that out loud. Right now. Wherever you are. Just say “bull TWADDLE” and see if you can do it without grinning. No taping your mouth allowed.) So that when you don’t feel like being nice, you don’t have to be nice. When someone pisses you off, you can just say, “dude. That totally pissed me off what you did just there.”
No, I don’t know where I’m going with this. I was just having a moment of not feeling very nice and wanting to call a bunch of people horrible names and tell them all the nasty things their mothers did with letter openers and goat feces, but I chose not to. Because in the end, Facebook will hunt me down and try to get me to purchase gel nails or something.
Oh, and I’m working on National Novel Writing Month. So I’m not around here very much. Um. And how about that Yankee election, hey? Now how the deuce do we get rid of Stephen Harper? And speaking of not being very nice, when everything you see about or from someone on social media makes you grind your teeth, you have a problem. No, no…YOU have the problem. Not the other person. Because the other person has no idea that they’re being a dinksicle.
And that’s the thing about social media. There’s no downtime, really. It used to be that someone would say something or do something and you’d get pissy about it, but then you wouldn’t see them for a couple of weeks and when you did, you’d forgotten it. Not anymore. Now you can keep looking it up over and over and over and over again and reliving all the horrible drama and cattiness. And you can choose to NEVER get over it. So, you know, thanks for that, Internet.
That was an awful lot of words for saying absolutely nothing.