‘He is unfailingly nice,” my friend replied when I asked her about a mutual friend’s boyfriend. “Which I find alarming.” “I agree,” I replied.
There is something deeply unsettling about impeccably nice people. I say this not only because I myself would never be described thus, years of growing up alongside my entirely odd parents and a succession of less-than-normal Aussie nannies having put paid to that years ago, but because I truly believe that it is in people’s oddness that we find something to like.
The moments when I have felt true, almost painful love for the people I know have certainly not arisen from anything “normal” they have been doing. (To be fair, I doubt very much that anyone is struck with how much they love their friends whilst watching them rail futilely from the toilet about the lack of loo roll. But still.)
“Nice how?” I asked my friend, picturing scenes of unrelenting chair-offering and the giving-away of the last piece of cake.
“Just, you know, nice,” She replied. “All the time.” At this point another friend joined us. “What are you talking about?” She asked. “Niceness,” I replied gloomily. “Oh god,” She said. “I hate nice people. They make me feel deeply uncomfortable and when with them, no-one ever makes a decision, because they’re so busy considering other people’s feelings.”
“Excellent point,” I said, reaching over my friends to take the last canape. Having happily surrounded myself with oddballs and weirdos, I certainly don’t see any need to change things now.
Though given the subsequent look of anger and reproach on my friends’ faces, as I happily chewed away, I may be forced to.