What does it mean to be a ‘nice’ person? What does ‘nice’ really mean? Am I a nice person? I don’t know. I like children and animals. They seem to like me. I don’t kick people. I open doors for others. I smile at babies. But, does that make me nice?
I wish I were like one of the young ladies from the romance novels – you know, one of those gals with a sweet disposition who loves children and helps others and takes care of the whole wide world. Or, one of those feisty heiresses whose fiery temper flares up anytime someone is picking on the underdog. Heck, I’d even settle for being a kindly, eccentric spinster aunt who gardens and sews and bakes brownies for the whole freaking neighborhood.
But, no. I’m nothing like the characters I love to read about. I’m me. And, sometimes I’m not nice. Sometimes I’m downright cranky. Especially lately when our high temperatures have reached into the hundreds for the tenth day in a row. When humidity slaps you in the face and steals your breath the moment you step outside, it’s easy to succumb to irritibility, annoyance, and negativity. It’s easy to be, well, not nice.
How do some people stay cool and unruffled all the time? Calm in a crisis? I wish I knew. I would love to be one of those people. Someone others admire. The go-to girl in an emergency. The girl who’s always nice.
Most people aspire to niceness, I believe. Most people like to read about characters who are nice. The nice guy who gets the girl. Or, the nice girl who scores the hottest guy in school. I try to write about nice characters, but are they realistic? People like characters to be a little flawed, but the character must still possess redeeming qualities. In other words, the main character must be nice.
So, what makes the villain villainous? Probably the fact that he’s not nice. He lacks basic niceness. While a hero can be cranky or even harsh, he must display some symptoms of niceness. Niceness must reside at the core of his being. The villian has no secret reserve of niceness to call upon. None.
While I’m certainly not a villain, I think I might still have a ways to go before I achieve ultimate niceness. I’m going to continue to love puppies and kittens, open doors for others, and smile at babies, but until the weather cools down, don’t be surprised if you see a grimace pass across my face. Don’t be surprised if a few choice words escape my parched lips when I step outside into the sauna-like humidity. Don’t be surprised if I’m not always nice.