Tuesday, February 03, 2009

In praise of the good guy

Whoever said "nice guys finish last" was an idiot.

I like nice guys. I'm married to a nice guy and I couldn't be happier. A nice guy is what I wanted and, luckily, what I found.

I've had friends who always seemed to fall for the "bad boy." The one who looks like trouble. The one who, stereotypically, drove a motorcycle or had tattoos long before tattoos were the fashion accessory of choice for 16-year olds. Bad boys who had broken up with their last girlfriend (not really), was going to pay you back (yeah, right), and who were just misunderstood (poor things). Me? Never wanted one. I mean I went out with one or two, but just to go out. Shoot pool maybe or go to a blues bar. But I never wanted a relationship with one and certainly never, ever wanted one long-term.

Back when I was single someone asked me what kind of guy I was looking for. I had only three requirements. He had to have a great sense of humor. He had to be smart. And he had to be nice. "Nice" seems almost like an insult when your talking about the opposite sex. "Oh, you'll like Sally, she's such a nice woman." You'll take to mean "she looks like Phillis Diller." When applied to men, it's even worse "Bob is really nice guy." Translates to: Bob still lives at home and his favorite place to take dates is Denny's.

But I was never turned off by nice. To me nice meant "having a big heart, Having consideration for others. "Cares about the world and its animals." Nice is what I wanted. Sign me up for nice.

Instead I meet this guy at KZSU. All I know is he's a Jazz god. Knows everything about everthing. Who recorded with Charlie Parker on what album. What year Monk wrote Epistrophy. Who played drums in the Duke Ellington band. He knew these things. He'd learned to love jazz while living in New York and grew up on classic soul in Philadelphia. My image is some well-dressed urban sophisticate, the kind who knows those underground clubs where you sit at round tables you share with strangers and you sip martinis. Yeah, way, way, way too cool for me. I'm wearing jeans and a red combat beret with my honorary airborne pin. SO his type, obvously. But man, did he ever have a truly sexy voice. I thought he's borderline bad boy (although you can't be all bad if you love Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Thelonious Sphere Monk, and Django and Bix, and Cab and the Duke.)

I figured with his urban polish he'd be looking for some artistically dressed lady who actually own heels and a dress and who would sit with him at these jazz clubs, nursing a Cosmopolitan and nodding her head at all the right passages in the band.

Luckily for me he didn't want the jazz version of the bad girl. He wanted well, whatever I am. And whatever it is, we've done it. We're together, and happy. I'm more bad girl that he is bad boy but he is more nice guy than I am good girl, It works, even if it doesn't make sense. The sharp-dressed urban jazz club habitue with his bow ties and his notebork can walk into a show he's going to review and people don't notice the woman he's win, in the jeans, sneakers, and sweater. We may look an odd couple, but it works for us.

But it's the niceness that makes it all work. We're nice to each other. When we need a favor, we ask nicely. If we have something important to discuss, we discuss it nicely. We treat each other like the best friends that we are and, therefore, with respect and affection. And it's......nice.

The great thing about nice is that you can call nice up at 3 am and say "my car is broken could you please come." Nice will have the keys in hand before you can hang up. If you call bad boy you're liable to get the "other woman " wanting to know who the fuck you are. But nice is never like that. Nice is clear and generous and thoughtful. Oh sure, nice can make mistakes, but they will be atoned for appropriately. And that, in itself, is a comfort. I know that if Husband and I disagree we won't call each other names or toss the other's shoes out a window. No, we would talk it out calmly, knowing that we had the same goal. We might disagree but we don't use it as a way to hurt the other. Because deep down, beneath the love, there is the "I like you" that was there at the beginning and will always be there. It's something I learned from my friends. All of whom are nice. All of whom I love.

So if you're looking, don't settle for the bad boy. Sure, they have their place. And maybe every woman needs one or two in her past. But for the long term, you can't go wrong with a nice guy. And usually they're the ones that need your love the most because you're the first person to ever see past the playboys, the athletes, the millionaire-dropouts, the foreign guy who will break your heart (and those of several of your girlfriends)...and finally there he is. A good guy. My advice? Take him out for a test drive.

Oh, and one last reminded. "Nice" does not equal "boring". Nice just means considerate, kind, generous, open. It doesn't mean he's going to lecture you in a monotone on the history of how the spool was invented. Go nice....I highly reccommend it.

1 comment:

FinnyKnits said...

Oh, nice guys, we girls love you.

The difference I've noticed (having dated lots of bad boys who fit the bad boy description here) is that they regret their tatooes later.

At least, Bubba does, and he's the first truly *nice down to his soul* man I've been with. Thankfully, it's forever now and I don't have to endure riding on the back of a motorcycle again.

Too scary.