Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What'd You Just Call Me?

A nice guy is quickly growing to the top of things I don't want to be called. I feel like that places some kind of unnecessary burden onto my shoulders that implies that I'm going to do things that a 'typical' guy wouldn't. For instance, how can I break up with a girl and still be a nice guy? I can try all I want to explain it to her, to consider her feelings, to make it seem like its gonna be okay, but if she still likes me, she'll find a reason to hate me and no matter what I do, she'll explain that reason to herself and spread it reason as why I'm not a nice guy. Then my whole attempt at being nice will have been futile.

There are other things that are assumed about nice guys that I just don't like. One is the assumption of being a pushover. I learned long ago (back when I found out I couldn't fight) that its much safer to just look like you can fight, or even better to have a mean mug on your face that makes people think "I could probably take him, but it wouldn't be an easy fight". In that way, I've managed to survive some dire situations in schools. But are nice guys allowed to look mean? Or is a nice guy also supposed to be the guy who comes home crying to his girl cause he got his ass kicked and then she can play some mommy role and tell him "baby it'll be alright".

That being said though, I'm tired of people thinking that because I'm some kind of "nice guy", that its beyond my character to talk bad about somebody, or even criticize them. I mean, where I'm from we call it jon'in (its so hard to write down words I've only heard spoken) and we used to be able to go at it for hours at a time. Now, I'm in an academic setting and I understand that with this (as with most work environments), there's a lot more of an attempt to be politically correct and not hurt feelings. That I understand. But if you make a statement that deserves criticism, don't think I won't call you stupid just because you call me a nice guy. Not only that, but sometimes trash talk is just the proper etiquette. I mean, how much fun is a game of spades without some trash talk? How can I watch football with a Ravens fan or a Cowboys fan and not make jokes about them?

And thats another thing - the whole need to 'discuss' things. I love a good conversation. Thats how I met most of my friends and how I meet new people. I believe there's an unappreciated art to a conversation that I try to enjoy. But that being said, some people do not enter a conversation to converse (how different of a world would we live in if conversate was a word?). Some people want to lecture, criticize, or spout an agenda. Having a conversation with some people is like trying to convince Rush Limbaugh to vote for Obama. Now the 'nice guy' in me says to show them the flaws in their logic and they'll eventually come around. But the 'typical guy' in me says to tell them to STFU. That may not win me many brownie points but I think it gets my point across that I don't want to hear that and I don't want them ruining an otherwise beautiful conversation.

And the other thing about being a nice guy is that you're only the nice guy until there's an argument. From that point on, just like the girl you broke up with, you'll be that guy who has the wrong opinion on religion, or abortion, or gay rights, or whatever else you choose to disagree on.

I think the term 'nice guy' is really just a new way of saying "I like you, but I don't 'like you' like you". Its that whole "we can be friends, but not boyfriend/girlfriend" talk all over again, but with more implied meaning and less actual statements. Everybody has their flaws and their ways of doing things that aren't so 'nice', but when we generalize and say a person is nice, its like we're asking them to put on a mask and not show that 'bad' side of them. Or maybe, a guy is called 'nice' because he actually tries to hide his 'bad' side.

Either way, it doesn't work for me. So I no longer look forward to being called a 'nice guy'.

(Now I know I'm gonna have friends jumping to the other extreme and thinking that I'm all of a sudden trying to be an artificial bad I'm Fabulous/Puffy/Ja Rule/etc. or something. I hope you find that as funny as I do)
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