I used to be one. An apologizer. I hadn’t realized how often I uttered the words until a friend called me out for it: “Why do you always say you’re sorry?! The women who came before us have apologized enough!”
So I stopped. And you know what I recognized? That my “I’m sorry’s” were more filler words than they were sincere apologies. Now, when I express remorse for something I’ve done, or more likely something my big mouth has said, I am genuine.
Looking back on situations that have previously emitted apologies from my lips have me shaking my head today:
I am sorry you had to wait so long on those uncomfortable sofas and chairs! I pushed and pushed for three whole hours, but that darn emergency c-section took longer than expected.
I apologize, but I can’t find a babysitter who is willing to watch my kids while I drink my face off at the St. Patrick’s Day bar hop.
I’m really sorry, but I fell short on that project.
The realization that I had been apologizing for being me hit me like a right hook from Laila Ali.
Cold is the day in hell when I acknowledge anyone else’s feelings the day my babies are born, despite the discomfort of the waiting room accommodations. Next time? Oh, your back hurts? Have your back call my vagina.
When friends who cannot wrap their brains around the fact that I am a parent try to lay a guilt trip on me for not hanging out, I will tell them the truth: I choose my family.
The next time my boss lady gives me the look that is synonymous with “why can’t you read my mind?!” my response will be: I tried my best.
My goal is not to make the “I’m sorry” obsolete. I don’t think we should “yada yada yada” the apology. If I’m a turbo bitch and rip my husband a new one for not facing the silverware in the right direction in the dishwasher (again), that at least calls for a “my bad, honey!” But there are situations that simply do not warrant an admission of contrition. If my feelings are hurt or I need help or I feel the need to speak my mind, do not hold your breath. The women who came before us unquestionably apologized enough.