I like to think that I'm nice person. I have a sign hanging in my house that says "Because Nice Matters." I truly believe that. I do my best to be a good friend to others, and I sometimes do things out of responsibility that I don't want to do, just so I don't let others down. In fact, that's one of the (few) good critiques that I got at my last job. "Emily is good with responsibility." I don't like to let other people down. I don't like to be the bad guy and have others think badly of me. Especially if I value their opinion. I want people to be able to count on me. Is that the same as being nice? I don't know. Other people seem to think I'm nice, but then, other people don't really see the motivations behind my being nice, do they? If they knew that the motivation was simply because I don't like people to dislike me, is it still being nice?
I mean, most of the time I believe in that whole "you attract more flies with honey than with vinegar" thing... but then I ask myself why I would want to be attracting flies in the first place?
It's true that I can also make cutting and cruel observations. I sometimes find life's irony HILARIOUS, especially if it causes someone else brief emotional distress. (to be fair, though - when life hands me lemons, I can usually find the grace to laugh at that irony too....eventually...later on down the road...waaaaay on down the road.) Does this jibe with nice? Are people who seem to be made of sugar and sweetness, sugary and sweet all the time? Don't they have an outlet? I need an outlet.
But then, the people who are priveleged enough to hear the cutting and cruel observations are hand-picked, tried and true friends. If I see a skinny hoochie wearing way too little clothing to be playing in a co-ed rec sand volleyball game, I don't share my venom about said hoochie with just anyone. In fact, if my girlfriend Chris isn't around, the mean observations are internalized and I just make sure to serve the ball to the hoochie every time I get the chance to confirm that, though she may look good, she sure as hell can't play. (If she can play AND she looks good, I will be convinced that she is a bitch. If I find out otherwise I will want to be her friend :-)
To the three-year-old in my neighborhood who comes over every. single. day. to see the "dog-dogs" I'm sure I'm just the nicest person ever. Without fail, I will let Blue out to jump all over said neighbor boy and lick his face to make him giggle, while holding the quietly growling Casey on the porch. For those of you who know me, does that seem like a situation that I would enjoy? Do you not think I'm muttering exasperated curses under my breath when I hear that daily knock on my door?
I love sarcasm and I'm good at it. Does that seem like a talent that a nice person has? When I'm exasperated, I tend to talk down to you and treat you like an idiot. I'm sure I don't seem nice in those circumstances. But then, it usually takes a lot to make me exasperated. I love my life, I'm usually happy, and when I use the cynicism, it's usually to make an anecdote funny - not necessarily to be mean. (The sarcasm is used to make you feel dumb, but at least other people will laugh!)
And then comes this one week per month.
During this one week per month, I am... shall we say... less than patient? I am angry, I am irritable, and I am just not pleasant to be around. My cutting remarks become more cutting and more hilarious to the casual listener, but if they were ever overheard by the subject....well....normal Emily would be horrified. I am downright cruel.
I hate myself in these weeks. Seriously. I crack myself up, but I hate myself. I don't feel well, nothing makes me happy, and if I'm not paying attention... if I don't REALIZE that it's the danger week, I tend to...um...overreact to things. I want people around to make me feel better, but I hate having people around because they irritate me. (Just ask the boy. Or my boss for that matter.) I'm dangerous during this time. Most people can catch the warning signs and run away. Emily is not subtle. The usual casualties are dumb people who don't see the train until it's too late. They're the ones who hate me.
I used to think that this week was useless. It's horrible, and it sucks and I just need to spend the week at home in bed where I can read a book, eat ice cream, and complain about how fat I'm getting. And then, yesterday, my credit card charged me a late payment fee for a payment that was posted online the pre-requisite 48 hours before the due date. The evil in me almost started salivating in anticipation for how this conversation was going to go.
I won't post it on here, but I will say that I got the charge removed from my credit card, and before I spoke to her supervisor and got my APR lowered for good measure, I'm fairly certain that I made the young customer service person cry. Now I know the true calling for my evil twin - and a nice outlet for my anger and frustrations during this week that does not involve my sister in law or mother. So, I have a proposition for all of you. In order to save the sanity of my boss, the boy, my parents, and anyone else who may accidentally come in contact with me during the second weekend of every month - you should save all of your unwarranted charges on your cell phone, false "maintenance fees" on credit cards, or numbers from jerks that treated you badly for me to deal with. Heck, I'll even lower your APR if you want me to. I'm effective, it calms me down, and I definitely enjoy myself. When I come back to my senses, I rarely feel bad for yelling at people who should have trouble sleeping at night for the things their company makes them do.
When it's over, I return to the normally scheduled programming of the person who would rather eat the overcooked steak than return the food at the restaurant. Everyone wins. So start saving them now, folks. You've got four weeks to send them to "Evil Twin Emily" to take care of.
(If you want to listen in on the conversation, I charge extra.)