Archive | September, 2018

Nice is a Four-letter Word.

4 Sep


An Apple Pie for Lauretta and Uwe in Berlin.

When I was a little girl, I heard a lot of things from the adults around me that didn’t serve me well.  This phrase was popular, “Good girls should be seen and not heard (wtf?).” And then there were a number of phrases that began, “Nice girls don’t ………… (fill in the blank)”.  For me, talking back was not acceptable… and if someone said something mean to me, I was not permitted to stand up for myself.  Often I heard about the troubles the other person was having (marital problems, etc.) and was asked to be compassionate.  I was taught to care for others, but not myself. I was a nice girl… and I became a nice woman.

Well, it’s taken a long time, but I’ve decided that I don’t want to be nice anymore.   Here is the definition of the word nice: pleasant, agreeable, satisfactory.  Who wants to be referred to as satisfactory?  What a wishy-washy word (wishy-washy is defined as feeble, lacking in strength or boldness)!  There are a host of words that I would prefer to be called rather than nice, including but not limited to the following: courageous, strong, compassionate, funny, determined, loving, reliable,  generous, spontaneous, intuitive, passionate, even crazy.   But please don’t call me “nice.”

A few years ago, when my ex told me about his affair, he thought my response would be “I’m so happy for you.”  Clearly, he thought I was that “nice”.  A few days later, he asked me to watch a movie, and I agreed.  But instead of sitting with him on the couch, I stood and ironed his shirts.  Was I being nice?  Not at all.  I was doing something I knew how to do as I tried to figure out what had happened to my world.

While I might have wanted to dump manure on his lawn, scream at him in public, or toss his stuff in the street, I didn’t.  I was trying to be mature, dignified, and I was learning to walk with grace.  Truly, being nice had nothing to do with it.

In closing, I acknowledge that this post is a bit of a departure for me… I’ve shared more here than I have in a while.  My hope is that in so doing, someone out there may feel more comfortable sharing their story or at least they’ll know that they’re not alone.


Pie prep in Berlin… using a wine bottle for a rolling pin!

“When you write your truth, it is a love offering to the world because it helps us feel braver and less alone.”  Glennon Doyle Melton

Happy 24th Anniversary in Heaven to my sister, Nancy.   I wrote about that day in this post… and about Nancy here so I won’t go over it again.  I want to say I was so lucky to know her… we shared many happy times and many silly jokes. I miss her more than I can say.


Nancy with her two biggest loves… Jimmy and Wayne.