When I asked Ally Blue to write a blog post I thought for sure she would talk about paranormal activity, what’s under my bed, or why we should all be afraid of what’s coming at us from the another dimension. Yet here she is blogging about niceness. What a great topic just before the holidays!
Before I say anything else, I should probably confess that I am not a lifelong romance reader. I really only started reading romance when I started writing it back near the beginning of the century. Which isn’t as long ago as it sounds, since we’re not quite ten years in. Anyhow, the point is, I haven’t been a romance reader as long as a lot of you guys have. And I’ve been a part of the online romance community — the blogs and such — an even shorter time. I’m not sure how long I’ve been reading romance blogs, but it’s not all that long. No more than a couple of years, I guess, if that.
My point — and I do have one, I promise — is this. I’ve noticed something that kind of bugs me, and I’m hoping some of you who have been around Romance Blogland longer than me and are more familiar with its nooks and crannies can tell me if what I think I’m seeing is real, or just me looking at things crooked like my husband says I do sometimes.
Here’s the thing. It seems to me that a fair few folks frequenting the romance blogs have a problem with niceness. I don’t mean people are going around saying “Everyone be MEAN! Mwahahahaha!” If that’s happened anyplace, I totally missed it. No, I’m talking about the disturbing number of folks out there who seem to equate “nice” with “dishonest.” This inevitably happens in any heated discussion on certain blogs. Things start turning ugly, someone pops in and wonders why people can’t be nicer to each other, and a whole bunch of commenters jump on that person with remarks equating niceness with Sparkly Unicorns of Perfidy and espousing the virtues of their own version of honesty, which always seems to involve being as cutting as humanly possible. As if the only way of being honest is to go for the jugular.
I just can’t understand what’s inherently wrong with people trying to treat each other with respect, and I really don’t understand why “nice” has to equal “let’s all lie to each other and pretend there are never ever any problems” in some people’s eyes. I know for a fact that it’s possible to be honest with someone without being cruel, snide or otherwise ugly. Hell, we do it here at Wave’s all the time. How many times have we had intense discussions about touchy topics here and managed to keep it from turning into a flame war? You do that by being respectful. By being — say it with me, kids — NICE.
So, what do y’all think? Is it just me? Is my definition of “nice” totally skewed? Do I just see these things because I like being nice and always want other people to be nice too? Or do y’all notice this trend on some of the romance blogs as well? Well, maybe “trend” is too strong a word, especially since I’ve seen this going on ever since I’ve been hanging around the blogs. But still.
Tell me what you think. All opinions are appreciated, agreeing and dissenting. One thing about it, I know you guys will be honest, yet somehow manage to treat me and each other like human beings worthy of an opinion. And there won’t be a Sparkly Unicorn in sight g
(Disclaimer: I will not name any of the blogs I’m talking about here. Some you could probably guess, others you might not.)