So a friend of mine from home was rejected by not one, but two girls, on the grounds of being too “nice,” all last week (ouch). On top of that, an insane, and last minute, work schedule forced him to miss the pajama party. Bad week…very bad! You go and lay under the bed until you can decide to be a good week.
By a strange coincidence, this passage caused some discussion in class…as to its relevance today. It seems Chaucer had similar women troubles centuries earlier…
God never let his soul be sent to Hell!
And yet he was my worst, and many a blow
He struck me still can ache along my row
Of ribs, and will until my dying day.
But in our bed he was so fresh and gay,
So coaxing, so persuasive . . . . Heaven knows
Whenever he wanted it – my belle chose –
Though he had beaten me in every bone
He still could wheedle me to love, I own.
I think I loved him best, I’ll tell no lie.
He was disdainful in his love, that’s why.
We women have a curious fantasy
In such affairs, or so it seems to me.
When something’s difficult, or can’t be had,
We crave and cry for it all day like mad.
Forbid a thing, we pine for it all night,
Press fast upon us and we take to flight;
We use disdain in offering our wares.
A throng of buyers sends prices up at fairs,
Cheap goods have little value, they suppose;
And that’s a thing that every woman knows.”
-Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales
That’s one literary snippet…but there were two rejections, and I have a near mystical respect for symmetry, so…
Ah-ha. I came across this monologue, a few days ago, when I was going through my old monologue data base (after a new desire to audition for stuff again). I don’t recall who wrote it. It wasn’t me (though I did perform it a few times at Eureka)…
Goddamnit! Goddamnit!! Nice, right? Nice. Okay. One second. One second. This nice we are talking about here . . . “don’t be nice, Jack.” This “nice” has a bad name . . . to say the goddamn least. Women, to generalize, hate nice . . . no, no, they like it in clerks, they like it in auto Mechanics . . . but . . . nice guys finish last, right? Why? Because “nice” is essentially thought to lack complexity, mystery. “Nice” just . . . has no sex appeal . . . it just doesn’t understand the situation. Women distrust “nice” because, given the cultural context, they themselves can’t possibly be nice. How can the powerless be “nice.” What good is nice to the “exploited?” So women loathe nice because they see, they know what a phony mask it is in their own lives, so when they perceive it in a man it just pisses them off. What they prefer are abusive qualities moderated by charm, because they are already abused personalities, given the culture. I’m not kidding.
Hey, I don’t buy it because there is another “nice.” A nice that is born of blood and guts. A nice that says to the skags in the motorcycle gang, “Fuck you and the hogs you rode in on. I exemplify hope and reason and concern.” See, I raise the fallen banner high, Jill, so satirize me, shoot me, stab me, dismiss me, go screw the Four Horsemen of the fucking Apocalypse if that’s what turns you on, I’m nice!!!
[slowly regains composure…looks apologetic…]
Sorry, I didn’t, uh . . . don’t know how I got into that . . . just “nice,” you know . . . well, anyway, sorry.