Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Nice is as nice blogs?

I grew up in big cities, among the rush of crowds. I'm used to a little push and shove in public places. The way Chicagoans take a motorist's lit turn signal not as a warning of impending lane change, but as a sign of weakness and reason to speed up to cut off the foolish driver. LA is not known for its warmth between strangers. Amd New York? Well, New York's reputation is staked on rudeness. (Whether this latter one is really true is debatable, but for the sake of flow let's just press on, shall we?)

Despite the places I have lived, I am a firm believe in making an effort, of being polite and even friendly to strangers, of nice. Things move a lot smoother when a little nice is applied. Moving back to Portland has both strengthened and challenged this feeling. I love living in such a community-centered place, where people leave clothes, vegetable starts, and books on the curb, offering them to strangers with a little "free" sign.

I saw this sign today, on top of a CD player and stereo receiver someone had put on the corner. Free audio components are good, but leaving such a detailed note, now that's nice.

I love how friendly Portland is - that the people at the grocery store smile and chat, that the gas station attendant jokes with me, that my neighbor watches out for me. Ok, I mostly love it. Once in a while I just want to buy my food and go home, and sometimes drivers around here are too polite for their own good. But in general, I enjoy living in a place that values "nice".

I have been thinking about this because Something Baby Blue gave me a Nice award. (Hey, nice award! Thanks, I just got it!)

To pat myself on the back, I'm going with this button, since I agree with SBB that nice is sexy. Or at least, more interesting than pink ribbons and lace would suggest.

To paraphrase what I read over at SBB's place: the award recognizes bloggers who make you feel good, inspire you, and who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Getting named acts as an encouragement to pass on the love. (I'd say requires you to pass it on, but these are nice people, we don't need to force them, do we?) So without further ado, some of the blog-folks I think people should know are nice:

Stephanie, who is so nice that she can barely say no to everyone's ridiculous requests.

Mo-Wo and P-Man, who stop by and say nice things to me, even when the blog is a traffic-free dustbowl. I think they must have consciously agreed that I'd be their charity case for the year. (Not that I'm complaining, I love charity.)

Then there's Aarin, who didn't complain when it took me FOREVER to give her back the toys and baby things she'd loaned me.

Even though she won't admit to being nice, my pal the stute fish is nice. Plus, not only does her blog have the word nice in it, she manages to speak about what is hard for her in a considered and lovely way that constantly has me sending her little "me too" notes.

Unrelaxed Dad, who consistently posts interesting and insightful things, and who made me a more committed reader of his blog by posting a photo of his shrine (I really do plan on posting a photo of mine soon, I mean it!).

Yeah, and LA Daddy, because how else could a Midwestern-born guy with 4 working taste buds survive in LA if he wasn't nice? (notice I didn't say "make it in LA" because I don't think that takes nice, so much as well, I can't write about it in a post about nice.) Plus, bonus nice, he didn't block my email when, after I'd read his blog for a week, I decided it was a good idea to email him asking for a recommendation for new year's baby-sitting in LA.

I think lots of people are nice. I definitely think you are nice. I didn't go on listing people because it is my bedtime, and I've got to get up early tomorrow. Won't some nice person turn out the light for me?


  1. Ha--I awarded LA Daddy too and he complained about the frilliness of the button. Here ya go, LAD--a much better version!

  2. (un)relaxeddad8/31/2007 9:53 AM

    Wow - I am so flattered. I may have to go looking for a slightly different button, however - supermum may get the wrong idea! Looking out for the shrine picture! Portland strikes me as somewhere I'd quite like to live if I wasn't so committed to London. I'll have to go away and think about 'nice' London now...

  3. Yeah! Two people (beautiful and amazing writer-type people!) think I'm nice!


  4. This will play hell with my sense of self. What to do...

  5. oh hell. the fall funk was just setting in and now the online persona once again crushes my myopia... I think someone should give you a 'blogger grower' award.

    thanks from us.