Monday, January 11, 2016

the "too nice" BLOW OFF

I had this habit in high school of always befriending the new kid. Anytime I saw someone eating lunch alone, my empathy levels went through the roof and I had no choice but to introduce myself and take them under my wing. I was like the Cher to everyone's Tai-- except I wasn't popular. But after about a week of trying to ingratiate the new kid into my group of friends, I would come to regret it. As it turned out, I kind of liked my social circle without any new personalities added to the mix.

To be fair, some of these new kids were really odd. There was Robin, for instance, a kid from England who wore the same blue flannel everyday with a bright red backpack. He had a curly blonde mullet (in the late 90s), a very thick British accent, and... HE'D NEVER HEARD OF THE BEATLES. How could a kid who grew up outside of London not know The Beatles? Clearly, his family lived in a hole-- that they were not fixing, because they'd never heard that Beatles song, because they didn't know The Beatles existed. Eventually, Robin found his own friends and we stopped hanging out with him. But I was the one who made the overture to be friends with him in the first place and suddenly I was blowing him off.

And then about twenty years later, there was the guy who worked for the LADWP. I would see him every morning while jogging to my pilates plus class (Trust me, I hate myself just as much as you do for typing that sentence). He was a regular fixture and incredibly nice and friendly. Eventually, we knew each other by name. It was all perfectly harmless until he asked me for my number, so we could go jogging together. And I gave it to him. I couldn't exactly give him a fake number, I was going to see him every morning. But I had absolutely zero interest in a jogging buddy. Eventually, he called me and I never called him back and when we ran into each other, I made up some excuse that I live with my boyfriend and he doesn't want me running with other guys. Too nice = eventual BLOW OFF.


Last week, my parents are in town for a night and we go out to dinner. We Uber back to my house from the restaurant and I strike up a conversation with our very young and sweet driver. Turns out, he's from Russia and he's only lived in LA for two months and he doesn't know anyone. I can't handle this. Having been raised by immigrants, all I think about is my dad living in the states, with his whole family thousands of miles always-- all alone. Naturally (after two cocktails), I tell our driver that I'm happy to help him if he ever needs anything. I give him my phone number. And now we're making plans to go out for Thai food and I'm having friendly person's remorse. But this kid seems sweet, so I'm going to break old patterns, make good on the plans, and not blow him off.

Has this ever happened to you? You're too nice and forthcoming and then you start feeling like it's a drag to hang out with said person you've been nice to? Or do I just sound like a total dick? Comment below.

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