I distinctly remember a guy that my mother wanted me to go out with in high school. He was in Jack & Jill with me as kids, his dad and my dad belonged to the same tennis club and my mom played bridge with his mom. He was a "nice guy." He asked me to a school dance, we have the obligatory pictures of the two of us with corsage and boutonnière (I had to look up how to spell that!) smiling insipidly under a paper mache moon. We were two nice people who bored each other to death. My father loved him, referred to him as "son" regularly and asked me until the day he died why I didn't marry "that nice boy."
Two weeks later I met this track runner from the iffy side of North Dallas, he was funny and rough around the edges and completely foreign from all the other guys I'd known growing up. I was head over heels. My father never let him in the front door, referred to him as "that kid" and asked me until the day he died what I ever saw in "that kid."
Then there came the concept of the Corporate Thug. Polished enough to meet your boss and parents, thuggish enough to stir cocoa the right way, throw a punch as needed but still diverse enough to enjoy your dual love of hip hop and classic jazz. This has been my niche for years.
But what about your basic nice guy? He has a bad rap. People think he's "corny" or "too nice" and tend to try and walk all over him. They say he finishes last and never wins. If he's too nice, they tell him to grow a pair. Shows too much emotion and he's überEmo. And then there's the whole concept of street cred.
This has got to be a double standard. The nice girl gets all props. If she's too nice, people feel protective. If she shows emotion, that's just hormones. Rarely are young girls told - you need to up your street cred and get a little gangster.
I recall just acting out a little bit with an ex-fi of mine, a notorious "nice guy." Everybody that meets this guy is like he is the nicest guy they've ever met, oh my goodness, what a gentleman, how lucky I was to have him! Um-hmm. Side-eye. Let me continue. So one night I was teasing him about being Mr. Nice Guy and I was just real, real snarky with it. He went dead silent, looked me straight in the eye and said, "I'm nice, I'm not new, you want to keep it up?" Um... no. As my late great Aunt Violet used to say, "Even the prettiest roses have thorns, you keep playing in the bushes; you're gonna get scratched." Well there you go.
Let's take for instance the 44th President of these here United States of America. By all appearances, Barack is a nice guy. He's more of an intellectual than a street scrapper and even I have made jokes about how I wouldn't mind seeing him show a little more South Side Chicago and a little less Lakeshore Drive. Do nice guys have to reveal their inner tough guys in order to be taken seriously? Nobody thinks Michelle needs to be a little more street to be effective as First Lady.
So I ask you BougieLand? Is it a double standard? Are nice guys misunderstood? Fellas, do you wince when someone tells you "you're such a nice guy"? Where's the line between nice guy and doormat? Nice and naïve? Is there such a thing as being too nice? What's wrong with nice anyway? I could use just a regular nice guy, no drama, all smiles, just-wants-a-good-woman-to-love-him-back now that I think about it. Oh... pardon me... I digress.
Moving on. People? Your thoughts, comments, insights? The floor is yours...