All Apologies


Driving home tonight, I read a billboard outside a church. It was advertising their women’s worship meeting. The tag line they used was, “Want the last word? Apologize!”. Because that’s all any woman would really want, right? The last word. And she should consider eating shit to get it.


I’ve been teaching my baby girl some basic sign language. Words like More. Drink. Food. Bath. Please. Thank you. But after she had smacked the ever living crap out of her brother for the third time in a day, I realized I was going to have to teach her another one: Sorry. And a little piece of me recoiled in horror.


I grew up apologizing. Constantly. It was always me who was in the way. I should have been the one to think ahead, anticipate what others would need. To this day, I apologize to inanimate objects. “Whoops, sorry!”, I have said, to more than one door jamb on which I’ve stubbed a toe. I’m not sure whether it’s because I grew up with very little self-esteem. Or that I grew up with role models who all had poor self-esteem. Maybe it was because I thought that as a girl, I was automatically inferior. Hell, maybe it’s because I’m Canadian. Whatever the reason, I grew up saying “Sorry”. A lot.


I have so many hopes for that chubby, curly-haired little girl. That she will like herself. That she will always raise her hand when she knows the answer. That she will make enough money. That money will not be the most important thing to her. That she will experience love – as someone’s equal partner. But I do not hope that she ever feels compelled to apologize where it is not warranted.


4 responses to “All Apologies

  1. Sorry you grew up saying “I’m sorry.” LOL.

    I tend to forgive so easily. And forget. I think it was the time served at Catholic school that did it to me.

    This reminds me of one of my hubby’s favorite sayings, “Do it now, ask for forgiveness later.”
    Does that help?

  2. It’s tough to manage the balance between consideration, and supplication. When I was kid my parents used to tell me “Don’t be so bold”, and it always struck me as terrible advice. While I would never want a rude or whiney child, I hope to god I have a defiant one.

  3. Kitty – That explains why my husband dated Catholic girls exclusively (until me). They could be forgiven…

    Valliant – Word up.
    Little shithead=bad
    Rebel (WITH a cause, preferably)=good

  4. “Because that’s all any woman would really want, right? The last word. And she should consider eating shit to get it.”

    I have read this every day for three days (or whatever it is given that my ability to count went out in a kleenex yesterday sometime).

    It’s that this idea was the subject of a church meeting that just… I dunno’…

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