Old vs. new-rotic

Recently had a discussion about Being Sorry with a couple of friends.
For years, I’ve asked my mother-in-love not to  bother apologizing for little stuff:   not returning a call on the same day, not making a fancy enough meal.

She reminded me of my own sorry self.

Having a dignified, excruciatingly thoughtful relative apologize over trivia made me wonder if she was approaching her second childhood.

But my apologies  are even more annoying. First, I forgot to exit childhood in the first place.  And my not-so-original sorriness is nearly existential. Perhaps common in Catholics who took catechism literally?

‘Excuse my existence, I was born guilty”.

A lifetime of of  reflexive apologizing has made me a little famous, for the wrong reason.

The nugget I gleaned from the talk the other night was: apologizing all the time is handing the other person the power to forgive, and the position of Judge. They might not want it (though most sadists would grab the opportunity, natch).

Why is this new to me?
Am I going senile?
The new thing is: do I want to be judged that badly?

This is probably not quite the bike blog you were expecting, but there you are.

The five year old brat  who has never been evicted from the upstairs garret learned early on: apologize for everything, and collect fewer spankings. Plea bargain! Lie if you have to, but look sincere.

The guilt will come.

So

~ by jacquiephelan on December 6, 2010.

5 Responses to “Old vs. new-rotic”

  1. Nice post Jacquie. I really enjoyed it and has give me much to ponder … on my next ride…o/o

  2. I have thought about the ‘apology’ often. And thinking about it, I suppose that you, the apologizer, will be the one with the positive outcome, the relief, not necessarily the person you wronged. Most folks will apologize with the right intention but on examination….well…. I apologize for being too philosophical.

  3. I don’t even come from a Catholic background and I “enjoy” the same feeling of having woken up having done something terribly wrong; perhaps having been born that way.

    My tendency toward feeling like a vile transgressor ramps up whenever I’ve been under a lot of stress (which is when I’m most likely to forget things or make mistakes that might require apologies).

    So regularly, I’m going around thinking, “oh, shit, I know I’ve done something terribly wrong,” even when it’s not that likely that I did.

  4. My son once pointed out to me that I started every sentence with I’m sorry. I have tried to stop that bad habit. But you know the story about the woman who could not serve on a jury because she always found herself guilty.

  5. My son once pointed out to me that I started every sentence with I’m sorry. I have tried to stop that bad habit. But you know the story about the woman who could not serve on a jury because she always found herself guilty.
    Freddie

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