Over the weekend, we took Presley to a waterfront park. It was kinda crap and rainy out, but we went anyways.
When we were getting ready to leave, I was strapping P into her carseat, you know, taking the normal (ridiculous) length of time it takes to do this somewhat annoying procedure. She thinks it’s funny to stand up with force while I’m trying to get her arms in the straps. She will not sit down. Now she’s screaming a high-pitched scream because she wants a book that fell out during the struggle. #ToddlerProblems.
Anyway, I’m there, working away for what feels like a few minutes trying to contain this tiny wild woman, and in the back of my head, from what sounds like somewhere in the distance, I hear someone gently saying “sorry…. sorry…”
I ignore it, because obvs this person can’t possibly be talking to me. Plus, it’s a park parking lot. What are the odds anybody else is near me while we’re loading up to leave? It’s not 11:37pm in the movie parking lot after a full house has just let out.
“Sorry… sorry….” a little louder.
Then my husband, who is already sitting in the drivers seat buckled up, leans back and says “Cour, there’s a woman behind you. She’s trying to get by.”
Is she? IS SHE THOUGH? Let’s think logically about this.
How on EARTH am I supposed to know that “sorry” means “excuse me, I’m trying to get into my car” ?
I’m being dramatic. Of course you can believe somebody, especially a woman, would behave in this way.
Because we friggin’ do this ALL THE TIME.
We’ve even come up with the ridiculous concept of somehow being sorry for NOT being sorry at all… Like, here’s my opinion on X and it’s raw and may not be favourable and I don’t care what you think… I’m sorry but I’m not apologizing for being me. #SorryNotSorry
What is this?!
Real talk: In this moment, I was annoyed. Probably related to the fact that my daughter was being loud and cranky – but still, it irritated me.
Why are you saying “sorry” in place of “excuse me”?
I’ll have you know, the old me would have said “Oh! Sorry!” in response to her initial “sorry”.
On this day, though, I said nothing. I finished securing the strap, picked up Presley’s shoe (because of course she purposely threw her shoe out during this ordeal), shut the door, looked her in the eye without so much as smiling, and walked passed her. This is not typical of me.
Then I realized: I was annoyed by this situation, but I am SO guilty of doing this all the time. ALL the time.
In the grocery store, while someone’s cart is (unbeknownst to them) blocking my way. (But not before silently waiting a generous amount of time for them to realize on their own, naturally.)
Also in the grocery store, when MY cart is accidentally in the way. Why am I sorry about that anyways? It’s harmless and I literally did not know I was in the way.
“Oop! Sorry!” *moves cart*
When I want to sneak by somebody, anywhere.
“Sssssorry.. ?” *slithers past quickly, so I don’t *gasp!* disturb them any further*
When Starbucks gets my order wrong, and I ask them to re-make my drink. (This doesn’t happen often, just so you know. My experience with Starbs is pretty damn good and consistent. But, it’s still a worthy example.)
“I’m SO sorry, this was supposed to be soy! I think it might be 2%. Do you remember?”
Followed closely by:
“You know what? Don’t even worry about it. It’s fine! I’ll just drink it. It’s okay!”
“No no, it’s totally fine! Thanks! Sorry to even mention it.”
(Stop judging me, I’m not even lactose, I just like the taste of soy in my iced coffee. Whatever. Leave me alone.)
When I need to ask a question at the doctors’ office, like I’m somehow bothering or disrupting the receptionist.
“I’m sorry, can you tell me where the bathroom is? I haven’t been here before.”
When I need to ask someone for a direction or just ask a question in general.
“Sorry, do you know how to get to Water street? That way? Great thanks!”
Why am I doing this? Why are YOU doing this?
DO NOT BE SORRY FOR THINGS YOU AREN’T ACTUALLY SORRY FOR!
An apology is something that should hold meaning, and by haphazardly throwing sorrys around, I think we’re diminishing the importance of ACTUALLY being sorry for something.
When you are truly remorseful, make a mistake, screw up, forget something, drop something, break a promise, say something you don’t mean…. all those times it’s okay to be sorry. To SAY sorry.
Someone standing in front of the exact card section you need to snag a card from, are they?
NOT A TIME TO BE SORRY.
I know, I know. We’re Canadian, and this habit has comically become our calling card – somehow making it seem like we’re the “polite” country because we are always apologizing.
NEWSFLASH: Apologizing for everything, even when it isn’t warranted and you don’t mean it, does not make you polite. (How is this even a thing, PS?)
It makes you confusing.
So for future reference, if I’m not actually sorry about something, I’m going to work really hard not to use the word. There are plenty of other words I can practice using.
“Do you mind telling me where I can find ________?”
“Hey there, do you know where I can find the chocolate section? …Err, there isn’t a section devoted to chocolate? What kind of store is this?”
When the time comes, I think it’s going to be difficult to explain to my daughter why on earth I keep apologizing for silly things, while forcing her to apologize when she actually does something wrong like smack somebody in the face and then laugh. (She does not, at all, know what “sorry” means at the moment.)
So friends, ladies, anybody reading this… don’t be sorry. Please! Thank you.
(Now that’s polite.)
Say what you mean! Use your words!
I’m done being sorry.
*Title image courtesy of pexels.com