how “sorry” became the whole thing

I feel like the current sense is that saying the word “sorry” is the complete and finished reckoning for an injustice committed. I mean, you run over someone’s cat, and you look up and say “I’m sorry.”  Then they smile and you feel okay and they feel okay.  And if they victim just doesn’t get it, you say “Hey!  I said I’m sorry already!”

Now my friend Dave, who used to get beat p and thrown into jail for being homeless, says,”sorry is just the entry point to reconciliation.”  you see, there has to be reconciliation, in my mind.  not recompense.  definitely not reciprocity (you know the old joke about and eye for an eye.  well, it’s NOT a joke!)

no.  you start with I’m sorry, as in indication that you seek reconciliation.  it’s a signal to your victim that you are ready to engage, that you are not only remorseful fro your abuse of their innocence, but that you really want to insure that if there is damage to the relationship, they will let you try to mend it.

I mean, I look at this culture and I think of Monty Python:

“Charles Manson, you are accused by the State of California for the orchestration of 9 heinous brutal murders.  Do have anything to say for yourself.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Okay. No sentencing necessary.”

You can imagine a long line (“queue” for you Britons reading this) with like one-eyed psycho killers and monsers all with bowed heads marhicn past a sleeping baif, muttering “sorry”. FORGIVEN “sorry”. FORGIVEN “‘m sorry.”

you know, kids use “sorry” a lot, but they NEVER accept it.  how many adults have you heard talked about how they were wronged as a child – their mother gave the rcoking horse to their brother, not them – and now they suffer insomnia and Romania from lack of reconciliation.

I have to refer to the AA Book again: one of the Steps is reconciliation with every single person you have ever wronged.  It’s absurd!  And the book admits as much, but then says you have to do it any way.  It says that some wrongs can not be righted, but you must at least approach the person.  And it doesn’t even have to do with alcohol.  You are responsible for fixing all of your fuck ups!

I Florida, on the freeway there are signs everywhere that say “You MUST get your disabled vehicle off the freeway!” Like, I can see people in Massachusetts with tear-stained faces, looking out at the passing cars, narrowly avoiding 90 car pile ups because their Volvo 250 DL is blocking the exit lane, and whining “But my big car is broken!  Give me a break!  Jeez!”

You stabbed me. Can you put some pressure on the wound, until it stops bleeding?


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