“You Seem Like Such A Nice Person…”

The other day I was talking to an acquaintance who mentioned that he was almost finished my latest book (Spy In The Sky).  He said he was enjoying it just like he had the previous ones; but then he added, “You always seem like such a nice person, and then I’m reading your books with all that sex and violence…”  He trailed off.

I wasn’t quite sure how to respond.

I guess it’s good to be seen as a nice person; although ‘you seem like a nice person’ is a very different statement than ‘you are a nice person’.  But that unfinished sentence sounded a lot like it might be completed by, “…and then I realized you’re actually just a scary pervert, gotta-go-goodbye-don’t-call-me!” 

Come to think of it, he didn’t stick around long after saying that, either.  Hmmm.

I generally keep a tight rein on my dirty mind and potty mouth when I’m in public because I don’t like to upset people unnecessarily.  But then new acquaintances think that’s what I’m really like; and nothing could be further from the truth. 

I mean, I like to think I am basically a nice person:  I try to be kind and patient, I offer a helping hand and a listening ear wherever needed, I donate and volunteer, and I’ve never once eaten a kitten or puppy for breakfast.  Or any other meal (or snack).

But when the wrench slips off the bolt and my knuckles hit solid steel at high velocity, nobody would ever call me ‘nice’.  ‘Shockingly vulgar and potentially violent’, maybe.

So that’s my dilemma:  Is it better to horrify and repel new acquaintances by letting it all hang out right off the bat?  (That’s ‘letting it hang out’ in the linguistic sense, not the physical – I do have some boundaries.)  Or should I lull people into a false sense of security, only to shock the shit out of them later?

I’ll let the philosophers decide…

Update: I’ve known this acquaintance for a while, and he has an offbeat sense of humour. He was teasing, and I thought the whole thing was funny. I meant this post to be funny, too; but realized afterward that it might be misconstrued. I hope nobody was upset; and if so, I’m very sorry. I should have mentioned that I was chuckling while I wrote this! 🙂

34 thoughts on ““You Seem Like Such A Nice Person…”

  1. Hi. For the first two or three years, I didn’t use profanity in my stories. But those days are well in the past. Variations of the F word, among others, appear pretty regularly now. We’ve got to be ourselves, and should do what comes naturally, I think. See ya.

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    • I think so, too; especially in books. In person, I cut people some slack because I don’t have a visible warning label. (Although I probably should come with one. Maybe I need a T-shirt.) 😉 But my book descriptions all state clearly that the books contain coarse language, moderate violence, and sexual situations. I figure if people read the description and then go ahead and read the book and get offended anyway, then they’re intentionally trying to be offended. If that’s what turns their crank it’s okay with me, but I’m not going to feel guilty about it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. LOL….love the post!! Love your characters and wouldn’t change a thing!! I would say you are open and honest. Nothing wrong with that!! Honestly who doesn’t swear and use colorful language in certain situations. Almost all of us!! Keep doing what you are doing….again, love your writing!!

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  3. Basically I think you’re a nice person. I’m also sure you know 15 ways to kill someone with that wrench you scrape your knuckles with.

    I think you should just let people think you’re a nice person but once in awhile pick up a random object and say, “Did you know you could use this screwdriver to blind someone?” True friends will listen, the others aren’t worth your time.

    Just my thoughts. 😉

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    • I would agree with you if I thought he’d been serious; but I’m pretty sure he was only teasing. He’s got a very offbeat sense of humour! 🙂 And I should have mentioned in my post that I was trying to be funny about the whole thing. Sometimes I succeed; other times not so much. Sorry about that…

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  4. I love your books just the way they are. Never too much sex and violence. I have all of them archived on my nook. I unarchived them a couple of years ago when a new book was coming out. Reread them and I kept thinking where’s this person and when is this going to happen. Also there was things I forgot too. I’m 65 and it nice to read a book that not about a 20 something women. Please don’t stop!!

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    • Thank you so much, Debbie! I’m thrilled that the series held up to re-reading and you still enjoy the books! I haven’t started plotting Book 17 on paper yet, but I hope to soon. I’ve also written a few snippets that might turn into a book about a 55-ish woman; but I enjoy writing Aydan and the gang so much that I haven’t switched over to the new project yet. Maybe someday… 🙂

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  5. Yeah, I guess it’s probably not horrid to have a governor on your mouth and brain, lord knows I wish sometimes I did. But “impulse speeches are us” lives here, and I sometimes wish it didn’t, LOL. Having said that I always have hated when I meet someone that I think I have loads in common with, only to find out later that there is this THING out there, and we are chalk and cheese and then I feel like “you bitch, you never told me that and I’ve known you for a year”? I suppose balance with a bit of a lean to being yourself is where I land. After all, who else could be you better? (I am pretty sure I’d like the real you, so there!)

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    • Aw, thanks for that! 🙂 I’ve been pretty lucky about belatedly discovering new things about people I’ve met — usually their previously-hidden quirks just make them more interesting. I love collecting oddball friends, since I’m an oddball myself!

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      • Well oddball friend, perhaps your ears were burning tonight? We were out for my birthday eve, dinner at a tiki bar. There was a discussion about trips we want to do, and I mentioned we want to fly to Winnipeg and take the railway to BC and Vancouver Island. I mentioned I had a friend on VI who was an author and both women said they think they’ve seen your books although not read them – yet. But I think I have them convinced to start!

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        • Hey, that’s awesome — thanks for being my ‘street team’! It’s a constant struggle to attract new readers, so I really appreciate your efforts. As long as I can keep selling books, I’ll keep writing ’em! 🙂

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  6. I truly believe that law schools won’t admit this, but they must teach at least one semester of effective use of the f-bomb. With my better half now working in the legal field, that is something she’s brought home with her. Some days, it seems attorneys pepper each sentence with it. I’d hate to be around them when they order a pizza.

    And unfortunately, I’ve picked up that habit also. Working on one of the car projects, it’s not hard to let one fly when things aren’t going well. (One? Who am I kidding? Some days it’s a constant stream of ’em!) Only I have to watch it, since there’s a six-year-old next door. And seniors on the other. I have a reputation to keep up!

    But that’s only in my own yard. Out in public, I’m probably the most patient and understanding person in line. Quiet, even. So I guess I, too, seem like a nice person? 😁

    For your books? Hey, it’s too late to change now! Keep on keepin’ on. Characters aren’t colorful in fiction unless they have their own unique way of “speaking.” If that involves the occasional naughty word or three, nobody’s going to die over it. McDermott couldn’t be an ass, and Hellhound couldn’t Hellhound, unless they spoke the way they do. 😉

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    • True indeed! Hellhound: “Golly, mister, would you please stop waving that gun around? It’s making me anxious.” NOPE!!!

      But hey, I’m glad I’m not the only publicly ‘nice’ person out there. And I’m pretty sure that if were in the legal profession, I’d swear, too. A lot. Also if I were a full-time mechanic. Or a plumber. Or… ya know what? Never mind. About the only profession that wouldn’t inspire me to profanity would be if I were a church minister. And the chances of me ever becoming a church minister range from ‘non-existent’ to ‘uncontrolled hilarity followed by divine lightning bolts of retribution’.

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      • I seriously think they should rephrase the old saying. “Swears like a sailor?” Nope. “Swears like an attorney?” Nailed it.

        And I cracked up at your Hellhound quote. Somehow I’d picture him yelling that, dressed in a polo shirt and khakis, clean-shaven, driving a late-model Camry with a half-empty Starbucks in the cupholder and a Christmas tree air freshener hanging from the mirror. Yyyyyeah…I can’t see it happening either. 🤣

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  7. I agree with the person who said just be yourself. Right now people are just starting to get reacquainted with their social skills after being “distant” for so long so a lot of awkward conversations are being had. It’s probably a good bet that your acquaintance has thought about what he said, realized how it sounded and has mentally kicked himself once or twice over it. If your habit is to think well of peoples intent and motives then I say believe he was trying to give you a compliment that he didn’t quite pull off. If on the other hand you’re a bit on the cynical side then don’t worry about it because his opinion doesn’t count anyway, lol. J/K.
    Have a great week!

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    • I’m pretty sure he was only teasing. That’s how I took it, anyway. In fact, that’s how I take comments like that from anyone. I laugh and make a joke of it, and it’s only afterward that I stop and think, “Hang on, were they actually trying to insult me? Oops. Oh well…” And I go on my merry way, completely oblivious. Sometimes a lack of social awareness is a good thing. 😉

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  8. Maybe something in between? People whom I like and who like me, know I’m sarcastic, honest, and straightforward. A bit of a potty mouth at times. Acquaintances would only know this if they read my memoir or if I’m totally comfortable with them. I’m all about being yourself and if people don’t like that, so be it. Not a good marketing strategy for a memoir, probably, but you’ve achieved enough in your career to know and realize that your books are good and successful. I think you can probably get away with pretty much anything on an author-in-person level. 🙂

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    • Aw, thanks, that’s kind of you to say. I don’t worry about my language when I’m meeting fans in person — if they like my books, I know they’re hard to offend! It’s the other social occasions like garden club meetings where I censor myself, and that’s not going to change unless I develop some mental issue that takes away my verbal filters. And I’m really hoping that never happens. Nobody should have to deal with me completely unfiltered. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Lull them into a false sense of security – and then (depending on their reactions) sidle away, snickering or watch them run, while laughing out loud.
    Which comment firmly shows were I sit on the ‘nice person’ equation.

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    • Ha! Love it! It’s always interesting when people read my books and find out what I’m ‘really’ like. Half of them withdraw, and the other half breathe a sigh of relief and say, “Hooray, I can relax! I don’t have to watch my language around you!” It’s certainly a convenient way to screen potential friends. 😉

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  10. I personally think that person needs to check their own habits. It is a book and if he/she/it likes the books then what is the problem? I don’t mind a damn or shit here and there. At times it’s all that works. Even the F bomb. I really don’t like hearing them too often in casual conversation but if you hit your thumb with a hammer then let it all hang out. I love your books so don’t change yourself or anything else.

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    • Thank you, Barbara — that makes my day! I didn’t really get the impression that my acquaintance was criticizing the language or content in the books, but the ambiguity of his comment made me chuckle. Ruefully… 😉

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  11. If I often expressed my thoughts and ideas out loud I am sure I would either be in prison or a psych ward at minimum or maybe president of the country. No one would want to be near me and who would blame them? I suspect if a lot of people “spoke their mind” all the time we would be in an extremely hostile environment. I hope I am wrong, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re probably right. I don’t think we’re necessarily all feeling hostile all the time; it’s more that one hostile outburst goes a LONG way. I’ve read that it takes ten positive interactions to counteract a single negative one. Which is why I don’t swear in public — I don’t consider swearing to be hostile, but a lot of people do. So I guess people will continue to get a shock when they read my books… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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