I’m sorry. Really.

This weekend I bought Kyle a small present and then I immediately apologized for it before I even gave it to him. I was sure he wouldn’t like it and I wanted to explain myself.

He rolled his eyes at me and demanded his present. He also asked me to please stop apologizing for everything, especially for things like buying him a $1 silly gift. It’s not the first time we’ve had this conversation. It’s also not the first time I’ve had the unnecessary apology exchange with someone.

Things I apologized for in the past week:

1. Needing to eat.
2. Reading.
3. Playing LEGO Avengers poorly.
4. Sleeping.
5. Asking for a glass of water.
6. Shivering.
7. Having hair on my legs.
8. Accepting a glass of wine that was offered to me.
9. Not cutting my toenails.
10. Borrowing toothpaste.

Yes, I know it’s ridiculous. And yes, it makes me want to apologize to everyone for being so ridiculous. (I’m sorry, really. I am.) Look at the list! In essence, I’m apologizing for being human. I’m apologizing for claiming space. I’m apologizing for existing.

I’d also like to apologize for those last three sentences being so damn dramatic.

On one hand, I can accept that my incessant need to apologize is just part of me. It’s a neurotic little quirk that can be treated with compassion. On the other, I’d really like it to stop because I’m afraid it might actually be a little self-destructive. So, I’m testing myself.

I wanted to get Kyle a “just because” present and I thought that I might as well kill two birds with one stone. His gift is due to arrive today and other than mentioning that I bought him a present, I’m keeping my mouth shut.

It’s profoundly uncomfortable. (I just want to tell him I’m sorry if it’s a horrible pressent. But I’m not saying it.)

It’s also made me profoundly grateful for overnight shipping.

I think this holiday season might cause a nervous breakdown. Anyone else have this quirk?

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “I’m sorry. Really.

  1. yes! i can completely relate! i’m going to blame our middle child status. it’s a coping mechanism that feeds our urge to please everyone. if we apologize, it’s less offensive. but then our loved ones are wondering why we’re apologizing for existing as you said. or why are we apologizing for something their coworker did? or why am i apologizing for the fact that my baby is crying?? did i make her cry? no. am i the one crying? no. am i doing all i can to stop it? yes. then why am i apologizing???? my “i’m sorrys” have gotten worse since hannah’s been born. i’m so sorry i created this life and brought her into this world. nevermind the fact that she’s beautiful and cute and overall the happiest baby i’ve ever met. she’s crying again? i’m sorry!!!!

    it’s a self-destructive reaction in that it works lessens our validity as a human on this earth. it also diminishes our power and is often a habit of women. i bet hillary clinton never apologizes for living. imagine if she’d spent all her time as secretary of state apologizing for the U.S. (not that we don’t have a lot to apologize for, but you get my point). i am female! here me roar! *meow*

    why should we apologize for being here? we shouldn’t! i’m glad you’re paying attention to when you do and noticing how ridiculous it is. that’s a lot further than some of us having gotten. if you’re saying i’m sorry for something ridiculous, take it back! take the i’m sorry back! reclaim it for what it is!!

    i apparently had a lot to say on this matter. i’m sorry. :/
    🙂

    • We middle children are peacekeepers. It’s a pain in the ass. Also, your baby is wonderful. You shouldn’t apologize for her 
      As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become a lot more empathetic towards crying babies. Everything’s new, life is scary, and they don’t have experience yet to be deal with being cold, tired, hungry or anything else in the human experience. I really want to hug them and tell them they’re going to be all right. But that would be weird so I just go about my business. 😉
      “it’s a self-destructive reaction in that it works lessens our validity as a human on this earthhuman on this earth”
      THIS. This entirely and whole-heartedly. I have just as must right to exist and to have an opinion and to TAKE UP SPACE as everyone else on this planet.
      I’m going to start asking myself What Would Hilary Do (We should make WWHD? bracelets) Is this something to apologize for? No? Then don’t.
      I don’t think I’ve gotten to the stage yet where I can take my apology back. It feels really good to think about it though. What I’m trying now is staying silent when I want to apologize. So far, I haven’t noticed any awkward conversation gaps so it must be okay. It feels so weird but it might need to be something I need to get used to, like using a muscle that I’ve ignored my whole life.

  2. I’m not really a big apologizer, but I do tend to find myself always giving people an out, “I know I’m expensive, so I totally understand if you go with someone else”…. eff that, they know I’m expensive too. “I really want to go to such and such, but if you are doing something else, no big deal, I totally understand”… I’ve been trying to work on it. Just leave it all out. They want it or they don’t. It’s always for me anyway; I think it somehow make me feel less bad about being rejected if I tell them it’s okay first. Perhaps that’s a middle child thing, be first to acknowledge that the situation might not be what they wanted/expected.

    • No, I get it. You want to explain yourself or give other people an out so they don’t have to worry about hurting your feelings. It’s putting others before yourself….which I understand. It’s good sometimes. It’s just not a good thing ALL the time. It’s your livelihood. You need/deserve to paid just like any other professional.

  3. And I totally agree, that Hillary Clinton doesn’t apologize for everything, same with Annie Leibovitz, she doesn’t bring feelings into it… they either want her and are willing to pay, or they don’t… right?!?

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