Some might say it’s a trite word. But there is no better way for her to describe the core essence of herself. She is the first to admit it. She is nice. As in, the one who always holds the door. Lets others go ahead in line. Gives up the last piece. The last seat. Accepts every single gift with enthusiasm. (That blue crocheted unicorn? Yes, even that.) Stops to let pedestrians cross the street.
And that’s the trouble with nice. When it comes to describing someone-it sounds so pedestrian.
Right now she is at a large party, and along with most of the other guests, she’s spilled into the back yard. Abandoned in favor of greener pastures by the people she came with, she sits alone, the corners of her face stiff from so much smiling. So much forced small talk where she has not, in the course of the evening held a winning hand. She sits alone in a plastic green Adirondack chair, carefully sipping her drink so as not to lose a single drop. What does that say about that pedestrian quality of niceness?
Don’t be fooled.
She appreciates the tranquilizing qualities of rum. And similar to finding herself in the middle of a Ralph Lauren commercial, she knows that this party is not really “her scene.” (Yes, she was being nice when she agreed to come, but she is also wearing her skull and cross bone panties underneath her sundress-because she indeed knows who she is.) And she realizes that she does not need any of these people in her life, nor do they need her.
But someday, in some way, shape or form, one of them might.
And she is the first to admit it.
She will be nice.
“Tell them I came, and no one answered,
That I kept my word,” he said.
– Walter de la Mare, The Listeners