This week a friend told me I was sweet, and my back went up. It was a compliment and I knew it, but it still ruffled my feathers, and I wondered why. Isn't sweet one of those words like nice that has completely lost its mojo?
A drinking game based on hearing the word nice will make people very drunk very fast - I've seen it happen. The word is like, well, like like - everywhere, all the time, in many places it doesn't belong. It's almost a diss. If you can't think of anything to say about something or someone, you can always dredge up nice. It's a bland word, a nothing. A puff of air carries more weight.
But sweet is loaded. It's the girl-next-door called sweet by many, but not called at all by the outliers, who are, come on, the interesting people*. I wasn't that girl, but I got into a jock and health thing in school that read as much the same. Most of the interesting people* were exploring science...in all its forms. Brain science, body science, chemical science. (*An unfair generalization, I know. Not all the interesting people are, in fact, very interesting, and some prove the Chinese curse: May your life be interesting.)
I was exploring other things, and paid for it by being something that often translated as sweet. I don't think much about school daze, and I'm a little surprised to be writing about it, but perhaps the combo of finding high school folk on Facebook and being called sweet was a perfect storm.
So, forgive me if I don't take the compliment. I don't mind kind or good, and for some reason, being called my sweet doesn't bother me at all. But I'll pass on nice and on sweet, even if it means being interesting.
Reading: Out of Africa (again)
Listening to: Elvis Costello sing Byrds lyrics:
You may be
sweet and nice
But that won't keep you warm at night
Blooming: Climbing rose