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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Nice is the new mean. Simple is the new complicated.

This is an exciting day. I'm getting a new tire. I'm actually posting from the tire place. That's how up to the minute the Daily Digress is. Oh, wait, they're finished already!

Here's how it went down:

I came in. I told them it looked as though one of my children had bitten a chunk out of one of the tires and that the spare was actually a blown tire from a while ago. They suggested two new tires and told me the exact price, with tax and all. I didn't want to spend that much today. They suggested I keep the bitten tire as a spare and get one new tire, which cost exactly half of what two tires cost. They told me how long it would take took exactly that long, maybe a little less. They had free wireless internet. When I went to pay, the price was exactly what they told me earlier. And everyone seemed happy enough. Nobody threatened me or tried to make me feel guilty about not getting two tires. I don't need therapy to get over the experience. Wow.

I had two other nice, uncomplicated experiences recently. The other night, my husband and I went to Blue Bar in the Vista. We went with some trepidation, as we're really a hair too old to go to places like that. Sometimes, if you're too old or uncool to be somewhere, they make you feel as awkward as possible. Not so at Blue Bar. The bouncer asked to see my id and put up a gracious fight when I offered my crow's feet as proof of my age. He didn't over-do it. The bartender came over right away, even though the bar was crowded. When I asked for a glass of dry white wine, he didn't bore me with the details. When my husband changed his order, the bartender was unfazed. He didn't try to make us feel like we had violated some sacred code.

We asked at the hostess stand if we could take our drinks outside and they said, "Absolutely!" and asked if we wanted a server out there. We didn't and they let us know it would be fine to change our minds. Why isn't it always that easy?

The other night we ate at Dianne's and found more joy. Not a single server seemed sarcastic, irritated or too fancy to wait on us. And we are not so fancy. When my family gets together in a restaurant, we do everything short of playing Quarters. In fact, we may have done that at Garibaldi's* once. I just don't remember. Big surprise. Also, we change our orders, drop our forks, need extra napkins and are loud. Very loud. Sometimes we argue and swear, in a good natured way, of course. They made us feel as though our behavior was not merely normal, but admirable (which it may very well be in some circles, like circles of frat boys or drunk circus performers.) And, oh yeah, we've I've been known to make special orders. At a place like Dianne's, they don't bat an eye. If it's possible, they'll do it. If not, they'll tell you, nicely.

Sarcasm is so '87. I think everyone should just be nice, like I tell my kids. What's that saying? No one will remember exactly what you said. No one will remember exactly what you did. But they will remember how you made them feel. True, true and true. Why be the person that makes people feel bad? That's a rhetorical question, but I'll give you an answer anyway: Because you hate yourself. At least, that's why I've done it. It's a vicious cycle, too. You hate yourself, so you're mean and sarcastic. Which makes people hate you. Which makes you hate yourself more. And so on.

You don't have to be syrupy nice, like the woman my funny, funny sister in law said reminded her of "the time in high school when I decided to be enthusiastic." Fake won't work, but why don't we all just shoot for decent and straightforward? And if you can't muster that, let's just play Quarters. S'fun!

Namasté, y'all!

* It should be said here that they are also very friendly and accommodating at Garibaldi's. We just didn't happen to go there the other night. Other nice places to go are Mr. Friendly's, Baan Sawan and any of the Miyo's Group restaurants. There are others, of course, but those come to mind immediately.

1 comment:

Tracee said...

Thank you. I needed to hear that answer to why people are mean. It actually just really helped me. Thank you. :)