Monday, July 16, 2012

Sorry Definitely doesn't Seem to be the Hardest Word

I don't know why Elton John (and then of course, unforgettable Blue) sang about it being hard to say sorry because I cannot keep myself from saying. Literally (actually literally, not as in 'I am LITERALLY melting: I literally can't keep the words from exiting my mouth).

Soon, it'll be all I say. I'll walk into a room. 'Sorry.' 'What for?!' 'Dunno. Just, y'know, thought I'd be safe.' 'Oh right. Fair enough.' (it'll just become de rigeur). 

I blame it on English reserve. As a nation, we're too sorry. We must apologise for being merely alive. We apologise for someone's relative being dead, we apologise if they've received some bad news, we apologise for giving them bad news, we apologise if someone bumps into us, we apologise if we bump into someone. It's become a reflex. I'd never pull someone up if they didn't apologise to me though. The worse I get is giving them a hard Peruvian stare (a la Paddington Bear). To the back of their head, of course. I'd never do something as confrontational as let them know my discomfort.

Even when someone wrongs me, I apologise for what - perhaps for want of something to say, or just so they don't think badly of me (God forbid!). The thing is, I think some people think that's all I can say. It's like having tourettes. I pass someone on the stairs and I'm overcome with a strong desire to say those two pathetic syllables. Again.

Thing is, if you apologise, it is then inferred that is your fault. But it is also a great opening gambit. Can't think of something to say to someone you're passing? Just apologise. Then they can protest that 'it's ok' (hang on, what's ok? You didn't even do anything!).

In the grand scheme of things, it's not a bad thing. I'm terrible at holding a grudge and I'm always the first to say sorry during a raging row. But sometimes, I'd love to be unapologetic about my existance.

I'm trying to be less sorry, but it's not really working out, due to my much-too-nice disposition. But there could be worse things to be, I suppose. Like an axe-murderer. Or a Cliff Richard fan.


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