Last week I asked you guys to cough up the meanest thing anyone's ever said to you. That might have been a little ... less than fun, wading through all those buried everyday traumas to uncover the nastiest barbs that burrowed in and slowly corroded our self-esteem.
But it was also a tiny bit freeing, right? That was my hope, at least. Because not to get all preachy, but I do think there's power in spilling our secrets, exposing the little (or big) humiliations we've stuffed down and pushed back -- the things that make us feel shamed, separate, or less than.
Anyway, we probably all agree that, in accordance with that classic '90s bumper sticker, mean people suck. So now let's remember the opposite: sweet, rosy, mushy gushy NICENESS. Pinpoint your favorite moment of basking in someone else's kindness. You can share something they said, or something they did -- up to you.
Here are a few of mine:
1) My parents have said a million and one nice things to me, and done a million and one nice things FOR me -- more than I could ever possibly remember or recount. (Sorry to be vague, but this one is too big for specificity.)
2) Right after my dad died in 2010, one of my best friends from college took a train from Brooklyn to DC to visit me for the weekend and help take my mind off the awfulness of what happened. We stayed in a fancy hotel and she took me to movies and out to dinner and to buy mass quantites of my favorite gummy candy. Oh, and frozen yogurt. There was much frozen yogurt. Anyway, somehow I managed to relax and have fun, and it meant a lot to me that she was willing to put her own busy life on hold for those few days (she has a very young daughter and a husband).
3) Years ago, my long-distance then-boyfriend surprised me by flying from his home in Florida to visit me in NYC, where I lived. It was a Saturday, and I was at a Built by Wendy sample sale (I remember this minor detail, not sure why), and when I left the shop, I discovered him hiding on the street, waiting. (I think he might have brought flowers, too? Or maybe my memory is embellishing that bit.) He'd gone to immense trouble -- cleared it with my roommates and somehow tracked me down in Manhattan -- in order to pull this off (it was the pre-cellphone days, so it was actually pretty complicated to plan). By far the sweetest thing a boyfriend's ever done for me, though it's slightly bittersweet, as we eventually broke up.
4) He also used to bring me flowers for no reason and leave notes that said things like "I love you, babe" all over our apartment. For no reason. This kind of killed me, in a good way. It still kind of does.
5) In 2005, when I was going through a big breakup and was a total shattered mess, another of my best friends from college drove from Boston to Brooklyn to stay with me and help me pack up my apartment (I'd decided to move home to DC). Meaning SHE packed up my apartment while I sat idly by and cried and railed. She even labeled my boxes, and did the annoying sh*t like wrapping the dishes in newspaper.
There you have it. It's the weekend -- let's bask in the glory of other people's decency! OK, go.