I'm not a nice person (by popular decision). I'm loyal and honest and could probably kill for you...but I'm not nice, or kind, or sensitive to the pain of others on a consistent basis. I'm not an Empath...to me, people are made of glass. Sometimes they break. I can pick up the pieces with my bear hands; blood washes off...wounds heal. When my grandmother died, almost the entire neighborhood went to her funeral. Very few would go to mine. The price of brutality.
As a child, I heard so many great things about my grandmother. She died quite young, when I was just two and a half years old. Her lifeless body on her bed is the first and only memory I have of her.
Recently, I finally met her best friend, probably for the first and last time. At 96 years old, she is the last testimony to who my grandmother was.
"Your grandmother was an exceptional person. I was nothing compared to her!" Those were her words; coming from a still lucid mind that had managed to survive war, dictatorship and famine. In that moment I felt a sense of pride and at the same time felt so very small. They'd always said I took after her. No I didn't...and I still don't.
When I was 15, a Nice Guy asked me to give him a chance at romance. Initially I said no. And then, reeling from the low move pulled by the guy I actually liked, I changed my mind. Why not? I thought. We were in a relationship for 2 years. No sex. He was 3 years older than me. I did fall in love with him... slowly. It never reached that "high" that we all crave so much in romance but there was some level of romantic addiction. My family didn't approve because he wasn't intelligent enough. I broke it off with him partially because of that pressure and partially because he'd mentioned marriage. I shuddered to think my life would be with someone nice but potentially dumb and boring. He was deeply hurt, but he moved on. He immigrated, married, had two kids, kept the same job and became a pilot in his spare time. Not too shabby for a boring and dumb, Nice Guy!
Instead, they overlooked the maleficence of an older man with a Daddy complex. A man almost old enough to be my grandfather. He had money to splash around...took me to events, dinners...fun things a late teen might like. He flirted, and kissed me on my birthday. One New Year's eve, he called me emotionally and asked me to marry him. He promised to take me to England and pay for all my studies. I was flattered...I said NO. I'd fallen in love with a boy my own age, another Nice Guy...an academic genius this time. It was later confessed that somehow, this older man could have offered me what my family supposedly couldn't. Birds of a feather! I can say today. My sense of ethics today are as flexible as theirs were back then.
This relationship lasted 3 years. He was incredibly smart, came from a rich family, was faithful to me and yes, we finally did have sex. And yet, he didn't have that spark! I kept wondering throughout my youth, which spark he was supposed to have had?! I suppose the best combo to please 'the powers that be' would have been a crossbreed between Einstein, Plato and Casanova; perhaps with a dash of Charlie Chaplin - humour is important! I eventually ended that relationship because another guy had gradually caught my eye. He had that spark. He was intelligent, wild, and rich for his young age. We had flirted and skirted around a sexual relationship from the start but I was loyal to my boyfriend and reluctant to give in. Perhaps beneath my magnetic attraction to him I had felt that darkness which just creeps over the safe zone in a relationship.
"Leave and come with me." He'd stated on our second last rendezvous. He was going abroad to study and become a famous something or other...which he did.
"You never said you loved me." I commented, looking into his eyes.
"I never said I didn't." He replied coldly.
Our last time, and the moment where the platonic-non-platonic bond would finally break, was a drunken debauchery where he'd laced the joint with something that paralyzed me from the waist down.
"You said yes!" He stated arrogantly. Like it had been a game all along and he'd won.
"I guess I did." I replied still in a brain fog. What a horrible person...I had thought back then. Sadly, and despite the betrayal, it would take me a very long time to get him out of my mind and soul.
Like all contradictions in society and between each other in general, we trumpet the virtues of virtue and yet time and time again we choose evil over good. Why? Can't blame the media and movies for everything. We are the continuation of a bunch of genes as well as the creators of our own demons.
Years down the line, having skipped through another good-but-bad long term entanglement, I finally chose the Nice Guy. Sure, nobody is perfectly NICE, but it's as good as it gets for someone like me. Because let's be frank, the choice isn't one sided...we also all get EXACTLY what we deserve.