A really hip movie
from the seventies brought us the profound phrase, "Love
means you never have to say you're sorry." Who dreamed up
that piece of hogwash? If more people apologized for their
mistakes, there'd be a lot less grief in the world.
In order to be effective, however,
apologies should be sincere. "I'm sorry already. Get off
my back!" does not qualify.
My husband, Dan, frequently uses what I
call the hidden-meaning apology. "BOY, am I sorry!" he'll
mutter, leaving me to ponder what he REALLY meant.
One doesn't have to be a great orator to
apologize, yet people go to unbelievable lengths to avoid
saying, "I'm sorry." President Clinton even faced
impeachment before spitting it out.
Still, apologizing is an art. And while
verbalizing it certainly helps to right a wrong, a more
convincing apology might include a delicate pair of roses.
Guys may prefer a delicate pair of football tickets, which
leads me to another issue. Many women share the erroneous
belief that only men should be contrite.
Although we ladies are practically
perfect, we do pull a boner every now and then. And it's
only fair we grovel for forgiveness like our male
counterparts. <continued below>
In lieu of a gift, a little flattery
goes a long way. Last time Dan occupied the proverbial dog
house, he gushed, "How could I upset someone as sweet and
kind and beautiful as you?" And who was I to disagree? Of
course, you don't want to go overboard with adulation or
you risk sounding --ah-- insincere.
Regardless of who wronged who, mutual
apologies work wonders in a relationship. One person says
"I'm sorry," and the other replies, "I'm sorry, too." It
sounds like a movie and its sequel, but both parties feel
better when they share the blame.
Sometimes a whole group is at fault. I
scanned an article entitled "Apology suggested for nuke
test victims". It seems the U.S. Government used some
unfortunate people in secret radiation experiments during
the Cold War. Well, I should SAY an apology is in order!
Right after the incident, it should have
slapped its political forehead and said, "What was I
thinking??? I am REALLY sorry!"
What lesson can be learned from that
overdue apology? That it's apparently never too late to
say, "I'm sorry." Consequently, I'm making a list of
people to whom I owe amends. Let's see... my first grade
For more of Corky Corcoran's humor, see her weekly column
in the Ft. Worth Star Telegram Online.
Visit her site.
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