Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

 Today  a pal and I were engaged in our typical nonsensical daily conversation that keeps us from jumping off of bridges.  You know, the type of marshmallow fluff that only the people engaged in the conversation are interested in: cute puppies, ninjas with lasers, why people with bad grammar suck, delicious burritos, etc, etc, etc.

 But then my boy got real on me.  Like Sarah Palin on Oprah real.

 It seems that during his formative college years, he regarded himself as the single guy and was not the stand up ooey- gooey hot pocket of love and honor and commitment that he is today (you get the picture).

 Long story short, he believed he owed one of his wounded an apology and wanted to know if he should say he’s sorry.  The girl has moved on, but my boy believed she deserved something.  (BTW, isn’t it funny how we can deserve both good and bad things, depending on the day/how big of a bastard we are being)?

 This got me thinking, why do we apologize?

 There are a lot of reasons we apologize; most  typically because it helps keep a steady environment of peace and sanity, especially if the person is someone you live with or are within close proximity to on a daily basis such as a wife, brother, roommate or colleague. Let’s face it, life is tough enough without a coworker eating your Special K or your cubicle mate ratting you out for Facebooking.

 Depending on how lippy or irritable you are, you may even find that apologizing becomes as commonplace as saying Thank You or Good Morning or You Need to Leave Before My Roomate Wakes Up.  Half the time they aren’t truly sincere, but they’re an outreach; a symbolic white flag and a moment in time where we put our hands up and surrender for the sake of maintaining a staid routine.

 But what about those really long overdue apologies?  The kind that can’t be done with a SomeEcard,  but rather have to be penned with one of those old-fashioned quills and ink by candlelight or done standing on someone’s doorstep in the rain in the middle of night (and it HAS to be raining for drama sake).

 You know what I’m talking about, and we ALL have someone in our lives that deserves a  I FUCKED UP, YOU’RE RIGHT, I’M WRONG, PLEASE ACCEPT THIS GIFT CERTIFICATE TO BENNIGAN’S type of apology.  Hopefully not too many but I’m sure you’re thinking of that person right now.

While sometimes we are looking to repair the relationship which was demolished due to our own missteps, many times (especially romantically) the involved parties have moved on.  Yet, we have this nag, this itch to tell someone we messed up and it was all our faults.

 Call it Catholic Guilt/Jewish Guilt/Karma/Overbearing Mother, whatever you’d like, but isn’t it inherently selfish to apologize sometimes?  Even if we are truly truly sorry, by apologizing we’re reopening someone else’s grieving process and spring cleaning our bad deeds shelf in order to make room for the mistakes we’ll more than likely make sooner than later…because, well, that’s what humans do.  Since we’re the offender we get to breathe easy while the hurt party now has to replay the damages and spend a lost weekend watching reruns of Mad About You and eating Thai food. 

 Good intentions or not, apology accepted or not, we’ve now placed something back into someone’s conscience that time and the human memory have done a pretty good job of removing on their own.  Things like your father’s difficulty accepting your liberal arts degree or your grandmother’s shock that you live with your boyfriend!  See how easy that is!

 Another factor that comes in to play is time.  Whether its embarrassment, denial or simply the abhorrence of the offense, sometimes the desire to apologize can take years.  It’s really easy to say “I’m sorry because I was young” or “I’m sorry you didn’t understand my love of jam bands at the time.”  But to  just say “I’m sorry” with no bows or strings or gadgets attached can be really tough.  If you do something horrible to someone, are you better off apologizing immediately as a sign of recognition or to wait a while to show sincerity?

 I don’t have the answers to these questions, because if I did I’d have a book option from Harper Collins right about now.  Rather, I’m thinking out loud instead of doing menial marketing pieces.  However, I am certain that if you’re going to say those tough words, make sure you don’t do it on a post-it note.

 It didn’t work on Sex and the City and it sure as hell won’t work for you.

 And if you never apologize?

 You’re a dick and that’s for another blog post.



Read Full Post »