I don't know about you, but I apologise all the time. It was when I caught myself last week mumbling "sorry" to a guy who nearly knocked me over on the street (let that sink in) that it occurred to me that this was getting out of hand. Like most women on planet Earth, I would have been way more productive this week had I not spent most of it apologising.
I don’t know why we do it. I’m so sorry. I'm guessing there are millions upon millions of us, compulsively murmuring "sorry" to our pets, our children, our partners, and total strangers in the supermarket as we muddle our way through our daily lives. Maybe we apologise because we really thought we'd amount to, well, more somehow. Maybe we apologise because we haven't yet figured out that we're enough, as is. Maybe even more than enough.
And maybe, just maybe, it's time we knock it off. Because seriously? What a waste of time. I decided to keep a running tally — every apology that crossed my lips or mind — to see just how bad I've got apologitis. Ahead, check out all the things I was truly sorry for in the last week.
Dear dogs, I know, I know — I’m sorry. I see you both over there, drooling listlessly on the couch. You’re wondering how it’s come to this, and you’ve correctly ascertained that it’s MY fault — the lazy, vice-ridden human who just binge-watched TV for four hours instead of taking you on a hike.
I know you’re disappointed I adopted you. I don’t give you enough long walks, and I have never once attempted to bake you organic, fire-hydrant-shaped dog biscuits from scratch. Come to think of it, I haven’t gotten you store-bought dog biscuits in a long time, either. And I never wrap your Christmas gifts — because I always forget to give you Christmas gifts. I’m sorry. I deserve the “presents” you leave me. I really do. Maybe I can make it up to you? Would you like your own Instagram accounts? I just saw a miniature poodle who won a cruise.
Dear guy blocking the kosher baby dill pickles while yammering on your phone, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I stupidly said, “I’m sorry,” when you finally bothered to turn your head to acknowledge my presence. You looked annoyed and vaguely freaked out, in an oedipal kind of way. So I’m sorry if I gave you a flashback to the time your mother walked in on you and your, uh…pickle. I’m not proud of it, but sometimes I count carbs, and pickles (supermarket and otherwise) have zero. We do what we gotta do. But, you know, really sorry things got weird in aisle 4.
Dear Mom, I’m sorry I didn’t feel like helping you slide the secondhand mattress and box spring you just bought into your brand-new, bedbug-repelling cover. I have no excuse for not helping you, except (1.) I’m lazy, and (2.) I am a horrible daughter who thinks if you buy a secondhand mattress and box spring, you probably already have bedbugs, so...
Also, totally sorry I didn’t become a doctor like my little brother, because then I wouldn’t have had to borrow money for my new dishwasher (which is no longer new but I still owe you for). I’m also sorry I laughed when you couldn’t think of the word for that thingie, because now I can’t think of the word for it either. If it makes you feel any better, my kids are now laughing at me because yesterday I called a paper towel a "potato chip." This is my punishment for being a lousy daughter.
Dear daughters, I’m sorry, girls. I knew when I made the choice to let your Canadian puppeteer father knock me up that there was a good chance we’d be passing down some spectacularly weird genetic material to you. This has proven to be the case, as evidenced by your crooked bottom teeth (sorry), teenage acne (double sorry), anxiety in crowds (agh! apologies), and bizarre sense of humor (oops). I also apologize for your weakness for papier-mâché, poutine, and excessive quantities of maple syrup. Yes, I know that the last three are entirely your father’s fault, but I was the one who opted to mate with a man who was living out of a lime-green camper van when I met him, so I’m pretty sure that’s my bad.
I’m sorry, too, that we got a divorce and broke your brains and hearts in your tender formative years. (I hope you will take some solace in the fact that said divorce means you have a 40% better chance of writing a best-selling memoir than your boring classmates with intact families.)
Dear future husband, I’m sorry I cry even after you’ve sent me more than 17 kissy-face emojis in a 24-hour period. I have no excuse, except that I have never before been engaged to a kind-hearted, old-school gentleman who knows how to communicate. You really seem to like me. It’s all very confusing. Plus, in my defense, you’re so hot it’s completely freaking me out. I’m sorry that I am not a super-flexible, relentlessly optimistic yoga instructor like your ex-wife or a blonde camping enthusiast like your ex-girlfriend. I’m sorry I post things on Facebook that your mother hates.
I’m also sorry I cry when I’m sad, happy, and when I can’t even tell you why — like the time you found me bawling beside a half-empty bottle of merlot while sitting on your kitchen floor in front of the stove and the soggy risotto. I hope you’ll take it as a good sign that I cry this much around you. It means my heart survived the apocalypse of online dating, which is pretty miraculous, come to think of it. I also hope that you’ll take me up on my offer to do "that thing," unless you don’t want to do "that thing," in which case, I apologize for bringing it up — because ew! Who would even?! Sorry!
Dear hair, I'm sorry for what you might have been had I not permed you to a crispy, premature death in the '80s. And while I'm at it: Dear vagina, I'm sorry I gave birth without a C-section. Twice.
I just started it off by taking the Lord’s name in vain. So sorry, God. I'm also sorry that I am totally not living up to my potential — I didn’t get everything done this week that needed to get done, not even close. But, uh, you probably already noticed that from your “I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed” vantage spot, peering down on this gnarly human race you hath wrought. I'm so sorry — for us all.