Busted . . .

I tell people this ALL the time and I think many of them I am going for some sort of "back handed compliment" and or " . . . protest too much" and or some massive, muscle straining eye roll but I am well, WELL aware of my personality flaws and - more importantly - my faults.

I own them ALL and at ALL times. While I'll certainly take an opportunity to clarify, inject facts, remove emotion, and generally keep things OBJECTIVE . . . when my weaknesses overcome my strengths and trouble comes my way (as it frequently does) I do the ONLY logical thing I can do - own it and APOLOGIZE.

This is NOT bragging but it is the simple truth - you can not carry yourself and behave in this world the way I do without knowing that apologies are part of the persona.

I will disappoint. I will hurt. I will offend. I will anger. I will drop heavy objects on toes. I will eat the last Triscuit. I will eat the last box of Triscuits. I will say the wrong thing at the wrong time in the wrong way and in the wrong tone. And when all those things (and more) happen . . . I WILL apologize.

I can do this because I'm not a bad person. I have never intentionally harmed anyone. I've never set out to hurt anyone with my words, actions, limbs, or behaviors. I'm not capable, I don't think, of offending someone for sport. There are times that I just don't care that your are more sensitive about X, Y, and Z (you're an adult, grow up) but I will ALLOW that you are and I will try to respect your boundaries and borders and soft spots . . . unless you want me to think you're a good person for "rescuing" friggin' dogs and cats and lizards and other of G-d's creatures. I digress . . .

I don't ever apologize disingenuously. If you hear the words "I'm sorry" escape my mouth - I mean it. I'm not a seven-year-old kid on the playground with a crouching teacher and a wagging finger in my face standing in the way of the teeter-totters and other shenanigans until I apologize for being a tattle-tale (yes, I was a little rat as a kid . . . I quickly outgrew it, thankfully). I'm an adult of reasonable intelligence, emotional instability, and generally anti-social mindsets. I GET what a real apology is and I understand why people appreciate them so much.

SAYING the words "I'm sorry that . . . " or "I apologize for . . . " or "I feel bad that I . . . " actually make me feel good. It is the rare moment that I step back and put you - fellow adult who should be of thicker skin - first. I am better the next time for getting the shock the collar administers when I cross the invisible fence of your personal comforts. I totally get that.

Now for ME . . . HEARING those words is hollow and useless. If you offend me (and good friggin' luck with that), save your breath. Save me a wheat cracker or two. Life goes on. If you can find a spot on me or in my life, belief systems, ambitions, or focuses that I'm not confident enough in that you can actually chip at that . . . I'm proud of you. If you apologize for it - you're just feeding the beast. It truly doesn't matter MOST of the time. Be better for me or the next person. You're welcome.

What is the point of all this? Simple . . . I disappoint and hurt people. I apologize. I try to be better. To clean up the mess is the right/minimal thing to do. If you feel you are owed an "I'm sorry" from me . . . let me know. I'll happily administer one where and when it is due and mock you mercilessly when and where it is not. Seriously - screw the animals . . . help your fellow man.