Friday, March 23, 2012

Tired of I'm Sorry

Everyday we're apologizing – for bumping a stranger, for forgetting to call, for messing up that project at work. Most of these apologies are socially required if you don't live in Asshole Land, Population: 1. There's nothing wrong with taking two seconds to apologize for a mistake, no matter how small. It can make a world of difference to that stranger whose arm you just terrorized with your elbow.

BUT – here comes the but – there is a fine line between apologizing to show respect and apologizing for nothing. This latter type of apologizing is what's really under my skin recently: apologizing for something you have nothing to be sorry for.

I'm tired of a lot of things lately. The political war against women, bad grammar, gross food, lack of money... the list could continue. All of this can be tolerated, if not solved. Still, the unnecessary "sorries" are really what's bugging me.

Perhaps it's because I've been making too many of my own lately. It's a well-known fact that I've grappled with the weirdest of health issues for a while. Even now that I'm back down to my high school weight thanks to the wonder of exercise, eating (a little) healthier, and semi-cured of sleeping woes, it's not enough. I still get those wildly inconvenient bouts of heart palpitations. I still get fatigued and dehydrated far faster than the average 20-something. I still can't jump-start my exhaustion with caffeine nor binge drink for days. These are things I've had to come to terms with (some much easier than others), and I've been okay with them for a long time. For some reason, though, it seems I'm apologizing for my health more often than finding encouragement. Why? No one should apologize for their health or a disability of any kind for that matter.

So here I am, deciding to stop apologizing for things that are not worthy of a "sorry." Here's my list of things you will no longer hear me defending, as they should already be speaking volumes for themselves:
  • I will no longer apologize for being unwell enough to go out, be that a bar outing with pals, a family shindig, a date, or a business function. If you cannot understand the very real, albeit invisible issues I struggle with, even after repetitive and full disclosure on my end, then you are the one being insensitive, not me.
  • I will no longer apologize for perceived mistakes. If I believe what I did was the right choice, I will hold to that opinion without falter.
  • I will no longer apologize for my life decisions. I am making the choices that will bring myself and those I love to a fuller, happier place. If you are too short-sighted to see the differences I'm trying to make, you are not my problem.
  • I will no longer apologize for who I am. If you don't like the fact that I shy away from competitive sports or that I viciously correct your language, don't hang out with me.

So let's all throw our unnecessary "sorries" to the wind! We need to put our feet down, readers. Don't be a dick and stop saying sorry altogether, just stop apologizing for things like working instead of having kids, not going to church if you don't believe, and being too sick to step out for an evening. These are things that normal people will understand. You might have to tell them you'll no longer be apologizing, but they should be riding your wavelength in no time. The people that don't jump on board? Fuck 'em.


  1. I am in full agreement!! As I get older I care less whether people like me or not. It really doesn't matter. I'm not going to apologize for my opinions or personality. Don't be around me if you don't like it. Fabulous post, on a subject that is very common but rarely addressed.

  2. I've accepted that no one except Patrick likes me. And that's cool! I don't like me either sometimes, but I'm getting better about that.

    One of my pet peeves is people not apologizing when something jolly well is their fault. Like when you're in a grocery store and some stupid bint runs into you with her basket as she's lumbering through the aisle. You, because you were raised to be excruciatingly polite even though it makes you want to smack yourself, say, "Oh, I'm sorry." She stares at you and waddles by without a word, if she even bothers to glance your way at all.

    WHY DO I DO THAT? WHY? I know why, I just want to smack myself for reflexively apologizing. So yeah, I guess it's a combination of your apology hatred and wanting to stab people who don't apologize when it IS their fault.

    This is rambly. I blame the fatigue. Good on you not apologizing for yourself. No apology needed.