I have no idea why. To the people sitting in our allocated seats at the cinema, to the person who doesn’t realise there’s a queue and has wandered on up to the cashier before me, the people standing chatting blocking the middle of the footpath. Why am I apologising for existing? I have no idea. Saying sorry for not liking something that someone else does, that’s a good one. Maybe it’s a cultural thing, like when I text the builder all hi just wondering when you’re coming back to do something with the crater at the side of our house, sorry to bother you, I know you’re busy etc. Why do I feel the need to apologise for saying what I mean? Why do I need to couch everything with a sorry or don’t mean to bother you? Probably because I worry what people think on an exhausting level.
I don’t want to seem rude – except when I’m trying to be (I’m real good at it). I don’t want to come across as aggressive or blunt, because I know that runs in my family and can offend people who aren’t used to it (actually I quite like it – you know where you are when people say what they mean). So I say I’m sorry but I don’t mean it most of the time and it’s just like another pleasantry rather than the amends it should be. I use it like excuse me, please, thank you. I have effectively devalued it. I actually tried the other day to just tell someone something (vague I know) without apologising and before I knew it there I was explaining away in the quagmire of excuses, justifying myself, when I could’ve stopped at the first sentence. I’m unsure where to go from here. Do I try to wean myself off my submissive habit and just be myself, or is this myself? I know I can be pretty defiant in an argument, but when it doesn’t matter I find it difficult to get away from not wanting to offend. I will start with the small everyday stuff – the people blocking the footpath, the people at the cinema. I will be polite and extra smiley but I will not say sorry. And I will do this whilst reciting Beyonce in my head, because she ain’t sorry. That way the next time you hear me say sorry, you’ll know I really mean it.