Monday, July 18, 2016

Of Nice and Men

"He's nice." 

"Oh my gosh, he is, like, so nice!" 

"He is really nice." 

I had my reasons for not wanting to go out with Piett. He had been redt repeatedly over the years, and every time, every person, used the same adjective: "nice." 

Do I want a nice guy? Duh, yeah. But presumably, if someone is redting someone, shouldn't his niceness be a given? "I know this boy, he's educated, an intellectual, takes his davening and learning seriously, but here's the thing: He's not nice." I don't think any shidduch conversation ever went like that. 

And so it was, when cornered by a determined shadchan, his one-and-only selling point came at me again: "He's sooooo nice." When it was evident that she would not take "no" for an answer (to the point of calling up relatives and asking them to persuade me), I reluctantly acquiesced. 

It became clear, from the first five minutes of phone conversation, that he was not "nice." Not an overt jerk, perhaps, but condescension and light mockery tripped comfortably off his tongue.

Do people own the same dictionary as I do? Or is it just a safely vague description?


Daniel Saunders said...

I was always taught never to use the word "nice" (not just in a shidduch context) as it's too vague to be meaningful.

Anonymous said...

Mockery has been condemned by the great Jewish Torah books.
It is called letzanut and people who do it are called leztim.