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Nice guys finish last

Tony
Robinson

Sunday, August 18, 2019

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The kindest man,

The best condition'd and unwearied spirit

In doing courtesies.

— Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, III, 3

What a nice man, what a kind and gentle soul — a man who is sincere and good. There was a time in the history of the world when those words held sway and were a joy to hear. Indeed, men like those were revered, looked upon with admiration, envy, awe. They were the guys who mothers wanted their sons to emulate.

“Why can't you be like Mr Simms, a real good gentleman who is admired by all?” Ahh, such a nice guy. But sadly, the days of the nice guy are over, as those qualities are no longer looked on with admiration, but at times with disgust and contempt. “Nice guy uh…him is a damn fool to act that way in this dog eat dog world.”

Ironically and sadly, many women seem to share that view and hold those men in contempt. So much so that songs have been written about this dying breed — the nice guy. “Good guys only win in the movies,” says one. That's right, if you can recall, in old time movies the nice guy always came out on top as good triumphed over evil and he always got the girl and lived happily ever after.

Remember, “star boy can't dead in film show,” or at worst, “star boy can't dead 'til last reel.” Such was the appeal of the nice guy. Well, this isn't the movies, and we certainly aren't in Kansas anymore, trodding along the yellow brick road.

This is reality, where more than often the nice guy gets a raw deal, holds the messy end of the stick, the short straw. Who plays by the rules gets shafted. So nice guys finish last, as we'll find out after we see what these responders had to say about the 'matey man'.

Hi Tony,

In the days of Shakespeare, matey men it seems were born to parents of high stature, noble people who perhaps lived in manors. It also appears that those matey men were properly schooled in the art of lovemaking and possessed the necessary tools of the trade. Not so today. The modern matey man just needs the tools and stamina and is from all walks of life. I recall the dreads for hire on the north coast who were available to the female tourists from foreign.

Conrad

Tony,

The matey man is even more sneaky than the original female matey, as you pointed out. He is an invisible entity that no one knows even exists. His life is always in peril, for if the husband finds out about him, he's dead, and if the wife finds out about him and her husband carrying on, the scandal would be irredeemable. Either way his life is over. The matey man lives a high-risk life and everybody hates him.

Eric

What's a nice guy anyway, or who really is a nice guy? Is he a good man, a guy who always says and does the right things — kind, benevolent, caring, and generous and is appreciated by all concerned? So many questions that make us really wonder what the role of the nice guy is in modern-day society. Has he lost his relevance in this cut-throat dog-eat-dog world where it's every man for himself and devil takes the hindmost?

Sadly, the nice guy is no longer needed or wanted, except when people want to use him and take advantage of his good ways. Instead, he has been relegated to the cellar of society — a relic, a fossil, a dinosaur, a has-been.

That's because badness and scamming at different levels have been elevated to be admired and respected, leaving the nice guy to be placed on the shelf, or laughed at. “Idiot man, get a chance to skim some money and pass it up, say him is nice guy.”

Back in the day, parents encouraged their boys to grow up to be good men, nice guys who treated women well, showed them respect, love, and sincerity. A nice guy would woo a woman, show up at her door bearing a small token, take her out for a nice evening. A nice guy would even open the car door for her.

Women then were appreciative, and would gush to their friends, “I met such a wonderful nice guy, so full of manners and decency, so cultured…ahh, what a nice guy.” The nice guy would go on a date, spend the entire evening with the woman and at no time even broach the subject of sex. That's why they're nice guys.

That was then. Nowadays a guy who did that would leave many questions to be answered. “Imagine, three dates now and not even a hint or mention of sex. Something must be wrong with him. I wonder if he's gay?” She would then have sex with the next thug guy who takes her out. That's why nice guys finish last, they're just too darn nice.

Well, someone once told me years ago that, “A nice guy is just another name for a fool.” Are those words true, are we really living in an era where the nice guy is not appreciated and always ends up last in the race of romance?

I have seen nice guys do everything that they possibly could for their women, yet still got dumped. I remember this man who used to drive from Havendale to Harbour View every morning to pick up his girlfriend and take her to work in New Kingston. That's like driving from Kingston to Spanish Town and back every day… twice daily — almost 50 miles. That's a whole lot of driving, all because he was a nice man.

She eventually dumped him anyway, for a much younger man who treated her like dirt. For some strange, odd, weird reason, many women tend to view nice guys as weaklings, and take advantage of them after a while. “Cho, I can get him to do anything for me. As I say jump, he's up in the air.” And the nicer the guy is the weaker he appears in her eyes.

Don't just take my word for it, but reflect on the words of the song, “Please don't take my kindness for weakness.” Others have expressed the same sentiments. Plus, the more that the nice guys do is the more that's expected of them. “I give and give and give, and the more that I give is the more that she wants.”

Remember that song about that guy who gave his girl everything yet she still cheated on him? “I saw you walking in the rain, you were holding hands, and I'll never be the same. I gave you silk suits, Gucci handbags, blue diamonds. I gave you things you couldn't even pronounce. Now I can't give you nothing but advice. Now get on outta here.”

We live in a society where many women gravitate towards men who do not exhibit the characteristics of the nice guy, but instead are drawn to the old cruffs, rough hewn guys, cowboys, who show them scant respect.

I have a friend who treats his woman like the nearest thing to a modern-day slave that I know, yet she loves him down to the ground that he walks on. So many women have left decent nice-guy husbands and have chosen rough tough disrespectful guys instead.

Some women really are attracted to bad men and feel out of place in the company of a nice guy. “I just don't know how to deal with him, he's so nice, always there for me, never gets angry, so predictable…he's driving me crazy with his niceness.”

Maybe for some weird, warped, wacky reason, the women think that the nice guy is too good to be true. And you know what the saying is, “If it's too good to be true, it usually is.” Whatever the reason, some women simply cannot deal with a nice guy, and prefer a guy who exhibits some bad traits, characteristics that they feel comfortable with.

And it starts from a very early age too, for I have seen the daughters of my good friends ignore nice-guy suitors and were instead drawn to thugs who some would say were beneath their station. Cherry Gardens and Beverly Hills meet bad man ghetto slam.

Nice guys need not come knocking, for Miss Goody Two Shoes girl don't want you. Such is the state of society nowadays, where in the race of romantic runnings, the nice guy ends up last.

More time.

seido1yard@gmail.com

Footnote: Just the other day I was watching the TV show Jeopardy and the question came up, “Name this flag from a Caribbean country.” Up popped the Jamaican flag, which perhaps is the most identifiable flag in the world with its strong black, green, and gold. That was such an easy question to answer, and rightly so, for our country has made its mark on the world because of our music, dance, sports, style, and culture.

While watching the Independence Day Grand Gala celebrations it's difficult not to be filled with pride due to the achievements of our island. Watching our dancers, Rita Marley, Sizzla, Beenie Man, new sensation Koffee and others really summed up who we really are — a nation rich in culture that the world looks on in awe and admiration. How fortunate I am to be born Jamaican.


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