I used to think that the world divided into two types of people:
Those who apologize and those who don’t.
Now, I think that’s no longer true.
Because these days, there are many more apology categories:
People who apologize too much.
People who apologize too little.
People who demand apologies.
People who apologize for things for which there is no apology.
And people who apologize for people who can’t bring themselves to apologize for themselves.
If you follow.
Sorry if you couldn’t follow. Really, I’m sorry.
Yes, I apologize constantly.
As in all the time.
I always apologize if it’s my fault.
Like I’m human, I make mistakes, and I’m sorry for them.
But, to bust myself, when Francesca and I have one of our little Chihuahua battles, wherein we yap at each other until we both have headaches, I have been known to apologize after.
And she will say, “You’re just sorry that I’m upset. You’re not sorry that you did anything wrong.”
And I will think, she’s right.
So my apologies aren’t always absolutely pure.
And I apologize for that.
I also apologize if it’s not my fault, and on the contrary, even if it’s your fault.
If you’re late, I’m sorry. If you forgot, I’m sorry. If you bumped into me, I’m sorry. I had an entire marriage apologizing for things that weren’t my fault, or even wrong. And in the end, I was only sorry for one thing:
That I married a jerk.
That was my fault.
I know I’m not alone in this.
Not in the divorce, but in the apologizing constantly.
Women do it all the time. I don’t know who taught us to, maybe Society in General, because Mother Mary certainly didn’t. She told me, don’t take any guff. Only she said a word that begins with an s and rhymes with hit, which is a far better word than guff.
Mother Mary apologized when she was wrong, but as she was never wrong, she never apologized.
Honestly, I was fine with that.
But these are the days when everyone is either apologizing or demanding apologies.
TV pundits are apologizing to politicians.
Politicians are apologizing to each other.
Politicians are apologizing to voters.
The Justice Department apologized to a federal judge. Antonio Brown apologized to Ben Roethlisberger. Some people want the Houston Astros to apologize for sign-stealing, and others want California to apologize for interning Japanese Americans during WWII. Then there are people like Harvey Weinstein, convicted of rape, who isn’t apologizing at all.
I’m not sure you can apologize for a major felony.
That might be in the category of things you can’t apologize for.
That might be in the category of things you should go straight to hell for.
Sooner, rather than later.
It’s not to say that apologies don’t serve a purpose, because they do. But there are things that no apology can cure, which is what I suspect a lot of these apologizers are going for.
After they apologize, they want everything to go away.
And some things just aren’t.
An apology isn’t an eraser.
By the way, I just heard somebody on the news say “get over it,” in response to past alleged sexual misconduct.
“Get over it” is not an apology. It’s the opposite of an apology. But it’s said when an apology is required, so it’s tricky.
I bet anybody who’s saying “get over it” should really be saying, “OK, you got me, where’s the handcuffs?”
Then there are people who demand apologies.
I never demand an apology. I think if you have to ask for an apology, you’re talking to someone you shouldn’t bother talking to. Because that person will say the magic words like “open sesame,” and you will open a door that should probably stay closed.
And finally there are people who demand apologies for other people.
I always think of The Godfather Part II, after Michael Corleone has lied at the congressional hearing, and his lawyer Tom Hagen shouts: “This committee owes an apology, senator!”
Tom Hagen is an apologist, which is something else in the news. Politicians hire people to apologize for them, because they can’t bring themselves to offer even a meaningless apology.
Even I can do that.
And you know what?
The whole thing makes me sorry.