I’ve never been big on New Year’s resolutions. In fact, I prefer to live every day like it’s New Year’s Eve, eating too much cheeseball and wearing outfits that are inappropriately shiny. So, when I say this next thing, it’s less a resolution and more…some sort of synonym for resolution that I am too lazy to look up.
I am done saying “sorry.”
Not that there is anything I’ve been saying “sorry” for in particular.
And that’s because I say “sorry” for everything.
Which is why it has to stop.
See, I grew up in that unique part of the Midwest (re: everywhere in the Midwest) where saying “sorry” is right up there with breathing and playing corn hole (not as dirty as it sounds). We say “sorry” more than we say “like” and we, like, say “like” like a lot.
Of course, not everyone raised in the Midwest is like this. For instance, people who need to legitimately apologize for things never do. Like your crappy unemployed ex-boyfriend (I can change him!) who wrecked your car or your racist, meth-addicted cousin who always ruins Easter by doing lewd things with the ham. However, your great aunt Selma, who just cooked a seven-course meal for 43 people, will apologize profusely because the homemade apple pies made from scratch are a bit too tart because her grocery store ran out of the apples she prefers to use and even though she went to seven other grocery stores to try and find them she had no luck so please forgive her.
I personally am one of the worst “I’m sorry” abusers. At this point, saying “I’m sorry” is pretty much just a reflex. For example, here is a list of things I’ve actually apologized for in the past year:
My husband having a nightmare.
Liking a Taylor Swift song.
Talking too much.
Not talking enough (usually to the same person and within the same 15 minute period).
Making a woman move her gigantic purse from the subway seat next to her so that I (and the almost 20-pound baby strapped to my chest) could sit down.
The lasagna being too cheesy (as if such a thing exists).
Making the coffee too strong (as if such a thing exists).
Bumping into a coat rack (to the actual coat rack).
There being nothing good on TV.
For taking too long to write on the weekends.
For forcing my son to eat vegetables.
For forcing my husband to eat vegetables.
For forcing my dog to eat the vegetables my son and husband both stealthily threw on the ground.
Hitting that guy in the face with my pregnant stomach repeatedly when I tried to awkwardly get up from a teeny-tiny restaurant table (although that apology might have actually been warranted).
It has gotten so bad that I’m pretty much just apologizing for existing. For taking up space and oxygen. For daring to be a person with opinions and faults and bad moods and quirks and interests and guilty pleasures and a less than stellar record of walking without knocking anything over.
But the last straw, the reason I have to put a stop to this now, is that I realized I was constantly apologizing to my baby. My 10-month-old baby. A tiny human whose only goal in life is to kill himself in ever-increasing creative ways (his latest: whacking Mommy’s face before she’s had her coffee).
No parent should ever apologize to their kid for doing the day-to-day things that keep them healthy and alive. And yet, there I was. Saying sorry, I know you don’t want to but it’s naptime. Sorry, but you can’t hurl yourself off the couch headfirst. Sorry, but you can’t shove that fork (where the hell did you get a fork?) into the outlet.
And I know if I don’t end this now, I will eventually release into the world one of those 23-year-olds who can’t do his own laundry and thinks he’ll become a world-famous electro pop DJ.
But most importantly, I don’t want to raise my son into a man who thinks it’s normal for a woman to apologize for everything. Because too often, we do. It’s a bad habit too many of us need to break.
And mine ends today.
Sorry, but that’s just the way it’s going to be.