Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Boston Isn't For Little P*ssies Who Scream

If I may paraphrase Madonna, Boston isn't a place for people who demand open niceness. Sorry. If you're looking for ebullient, cheerful, people-who-start-a-conversation-at-anytime people, Boston is not the place for you. I admit that Boston's guarded nature gets on my nerves from time to time, but that's what attracted me to Boston in the first place. When I drove through the midwest with Steph a few years back, the niceness of people in the midwest scared the shit out of me. One woman at a rest stop, with her enthusiastic "How y'all doin' today?!" had me imagining our corpses being buried along the I-80 due to our blue state plates on the car.

So it doesn't ring true that the T is offering riders $2 Dunkin Donuts gift cards for being curteous. T riders are notorious for letting pregnant women sway from the handrails, of stepping over slow old people to get to a seat, and being generally obnoxious. But bribing people to be nice kind of defeats the purpose of niceness, doesn't it? People should be nice because the world sucks enough, and sometimes a smile or a seat on the train when you're tired or sick can reinforce someone's belief in humanity. If you want to be selfish about it, the theory is if you're nice to someone, someone will repay the kindess when you need it. Kindness shouldn't be rewarded by a product-placed gift card from the Niceness Gestapo. Be a fucking adult and let the old lady sit because she's old, not because you want a donut.

No comments: