Thursday, August 11, 2011
My third grade teacher wrote “nice” on the blackboard. “Never use this word,” she said, or something to that effect. “It’s dull and vague. Always be precise.”
I wouldn’t have remembered this, except she accidentally wrote it in crayon instead of chalk. You can’t erase crayon from a blackboard, so I had a whole year to stare at and contemplate “nice.”
This “nice,” was in lower case, and looked plain. Not even a Greek E on the end, an affectation I have for some reason developed, don’t know where I got it. I also cross my 7’s. And somewhere along the way, I started saying eye-ther rather than ee-ther, and no one could change my mind.
I grew quite fond of “nice.” As one who doesn’t beg to differ but lives to differ, I’ve been its champion ever since. A home-grown tomato isn’t awesome; trust me. It’s ok, it’s a better than average; a tomato you grow, nurture, and pick from the backyard garden is, well, it's nice.
And the photos, books, and experiences I appreciate on a daily basis – nice.
No, something “nice” will not keep you up all night, nor lift a corner of the tent for a peek at heaven. The awesome and outrageous experiences happen now and again, and usually at some private place.
Nice means something has given you a small reward, a bit of pleasure. A smile.
Which is nice, and that's better than ok.
Labels: the writing life