Saturday, October 24, 2009

Wishing I Was A Bad Person: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

Sometimes, I wish I was an asshole.

OK, let me clarify: There are times where I definitely am an ass. Just yesterday, for example, I had a horrible day at work that was preceded by another crappy day at work, and I found myself moody, irritable and -- worst of all to the loved ones around me -- more or less refusing to be consoled. I just wanted to be moody and irritable, crawl into bed, hide under the covers and disappear.

But in general, I'm considered to be a good person. I treat my friends and loved ones well, I listen, I don't break the rules, I don't have a criminal record, and I feel I'm considered by my friends to be someone they can rely on.

In short: I have "nice guy syndrome." :-)

But here's the problem: Like all people, we do bad things. It's inevitable. We're humans and we're not perfect people. But when a nice person -- someone not considered to be an ass in general -- does something bad, it goes over far worse than when someone considered to be an ass does the exact same thing.

For example:

Let's create a person who is a general ass -- let's call him Steve -- and he and his friend Linda have made plans to go to the movies on Friday night. Friday comes and Linda can't get a hold of Steve. He's not returning calls, texts e-mails or smoke signals. By this time, Linda's other friends have already made plans and her Friday night is ruined, because Steve has suddenly fallen off the face of the Earth.

The next day, Linda comes to find out that Steve didn't fall off the face of the Earth. Rather, his buddies asked him if he wanted to hit the bars with them, and he agreed, conveniently blowing off Linda, forgetting all about their plans, and not realizing his phone was buzzing when Linda was calling because he was drunk off his ass drinking Patron.

Now what do you think is Linda's reaction in this scenario? Is it:

a) Anger, frustration and utter disappointment because Steve just totally blew her off and didn't consider her feelings. Or

b) Just kind of shrugging her shoulders and brushing it off because, hey, Steve is Steve and that's how Steve is. He's an ass and we just have to accept that.

If you answer is "a", you're an idealist like I used to be. :-)

Amazingly, most reactions to this scenario are in the "b" category. Because people generally considered to be assholes have basically been given a pass by a number of their friends to be assholes because...well, they're assholes and that's just what assholes do.

Now, take the same scenario from earlier and put another person in the situation -- let's call him Nevin -- a nice guy, reliable, keeps his plans, calls if he's going to be a few minutes late because he values your time, etc. Let's say I blow off Linda without explanation and it turns out that I went to the bar, got drunk, and pretended I didn't hear my phone. You think that Linda is going to give me any sort of "asshole" or "well, Nev in general has always been a good guy so I'm gonna let it slide this time" kind of pass? Hell no!! She's going to scream and shout and be hurt and offended, not speak to me for weeks, and be chilly toward me for several weeks after despite my repeated apologies, completely ignoring all the times I've been there for her!!

Now let me ask you: Why is that?

Why do assholes get forgiven more easily than non-assholes? Is it because we're holding non-assholes to a higher standard? Don't non-assholes have a right to be flawed too? Why are suddenly all the good deeds done by the non-assholes erased in one fell swoop because he -- or she -- had one minor asshole moment.

And then there are the times when the asshole does something nice. And it's not even a big deal. It's something like handing someone a bottle of ketchup for their fries. Then the asshole is the greatest person to ever walk the Earth. Because we expected him to hog all the ketchup like he always done, but today he had an epiphany that -- hey -- maybe you'd like some too!!

You know?

What I'm saying is: Sometimes I envy the bad people.

They have it easy.

They're not expected to answer their phone.


Before I get to this week's Sign of the Apocalypse, I want to give a shout-out to longtime reader anothersuburbanmom, who has a very entertaining blog called Check it out!!

And now for this week's:


Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt recently fired his estranged wife Jamie McCourt as CEO of the team.

Somehow, I don't see "makeup sex" in their future.


Anonymous said...

So true! As a fellow nice guy, I feel your pain, lol. I've said it more than once over the years. And its even worse when your best friend is the asshole, as mine was growing up. He always got the girl, the admiration, the free pass, and I got... to watch him get all that shit.

Good guy appreciator said...

It is upsetting because we need the "good guys" to balance out the world of assholes!!!! Let me put it in terms that are Nevin friendly: eating vegetables. Let's say you order a huge steak dinner, and it arrives and accompanied with it are carrots and broccoli. If the carrots and broccoli are bland and not seasoned well, will you care? Eh, maybe a little, but not really. As long as that steak is good and juicy, the world makes sense. But if you bite into the steak, and discover a hair, you immediately freak out, and you will lose your shit, guaranteed.

Some people were born to be steak, some vegetables. Just be the steak Nev, and appreciate your place in the world because we sure as hell do!!! :)

Eryn Sanders said...

Nev! I was seriously JUST having a similar conversation with Jon yesterday. I had just aced that econ midterm that I was so fearful of the week before. I had literally studied a total of 15 hours for it the week before (that's a lot for me, who rarely studies for tests). When I informed my parents and Jon of my triumphant victory over economics, they just responded with, "Of course you did- you always get A's." Not "Good job, Eryn!" or "Wow, you worked so hard and it paid off!" Nope. Just run-of-the-mill me doing my usual overachieving thing. It made me wonder if I should just start getting Bs and Cs so that people would be proud of me when I get As!

There's a Calvin and Hobbes comic in which Calvin has a very similar conversation with his classmate (and girly nemesis) Susie Derkins:

Calvin: What grade did you get?
Susie: I got an A.
Calvin: Really? Boy, I'd hate to be you. I got a C.
Susie: Why on Earth would you rather get a C than an A?
Calvin: I find my life is a lot easier the lower I keep everyone's expectations.

That always makes me smile. in short, you're not alone, Nevdogg!