Nice is nice, but sometimes I have to question the point. In a world where, if we’re out in public, we expect a fair number of doors to literally open themselves for us, I have to ask, “Is this nice?”
I remember when doors were doors, it was nice to have some one open them for you. It was nice to open a door for someone else. When did opening a door become an inconvenience only to be turned into an extravagance? I don’t deny a self opening door can be handy. Especially when one’s hands are full, but that’s what makes it so nice when someone else opens it for you. Sometimes I miss that nice.
Of course, other cases of nice live on. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone over to a friend’s house only to hear them utter the words, “Oh, don’t mind the mess.” Of course, their house usually looks just fine. No cleaner nor dirtier than mine, and most people claim I’m pretty clean for a single guy. Sometimes, there’s an actual mess at my friend’s house, but who doesn’t have a messy house from time to time? Besides, I can’t remember the last time I went over to friend’s house thinking, “Woo Boy! I sure hope I can eat of them thar floors!”
Somehow, it’s nice to tell someone to not mind your mess. And why is that? I don’t want to waste my time cleaning my house 24/7, I’m certainly not going to judge you for it. When people are apologizing by rote, how is that nice? Quite frankly, this is a nice I could do without. I’d rather my friends just tell me the truth, “Hey, my toilet’s not clean enough for public use, but by all means partake of my hospitality.”
See how nice that is? Bare naked honesty, how does one not find that nice?
Another nice I miss. Those three little words compressed into two: You’re Welcome.
These days it’s, “No problem”, “You bet”, “Don’t worry about it”, “Don’t mention it”.
Well, why would I mention it? Why would it have been a problem? If it was a problem, would you have said so? Now you got me wondering.
When someone responds, “You are welcome,” barring a sardonic tone, I believe them. It’s nice to be welcomed. Years ago, when I went to Italy, when someone did something for me, I did my duty and said, “Grazie”. And wouldn’t you know it, each time the person would respond with, “Prego”.
I’d smile at them. They’d smile at me. It was nice.
At first I thought it was my civic duty to go to Italy and represent the United States and be polite, but very quickly my Grazie’s became genuine, knowing that I’d get a genuine Prego in return. Even in small town USA, many a day goes by when I long for a genuine You’re welcome. People seem to be too busy for that simple nicety.
Now that I’ve rambled on for a stretch, I’m sure you’re asking what point is this guy trying to make?
I guess if I could state it simply and in a few words, I guess I’m saying don’t lose that genuine nice. Don’t let it become a revolving door or a meaningless platitude. Life’s too short to let nice pass you by.