Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Once I took a writing workshop, and the teacher had writing exercises for us to do that banished that deadening of creativity brought on by a grim determination to simply write. One of the exercises was to write two pages of apologies. My reaction was "EEEEKKK!" but it turned out OK. Here is what I remember of what I wrote.

I'm sorry I cut that driver off when we both headed for the same parking spot from opposite directions. My justification was that I really needed to get to my meeting on time, but what did I know of the other driver's equally urgent need?

I'm sorry that I didn't speak up for the little geeky guy in drafting class, the one with the thick thick glasses. I know it was as bad as verbally abusing him myself. I hope he grew up to be a gazillionaire in the boom, and got out in time.

I'm sorry I worried so much about how shy I was, that I never looked around to see other shy people and reach out to them. We would both have enjoyed the gathering that way.

I'm sorry for all those times I used my sarcastic wit to put other people down, never thinking of how it would hurt once it (inevitably) got back to them. I was trying to funny, not cruel, but that's the way it turned out.

I'm sorry I never told certain people how much they meant to me, either as a teacher, a friend, or co-worker. It just always made me too self-conscious, thinking how meaningless MY little compliment would sound. Now they're gone, and I am left with only regrets.

I'm sorry I never had the sister that I wanted and needed, someone to share the burden of helping our elderly parents, instead of adding to their problems. I never felt I could express how selfish and mean-spirited she was without starting a fight that would put our parents in the middle. I'm not sorry she's gone.

I apologize to the pastor's daughter, the one who tried to counsel me not to marry the man I married anyway. I wasn't very polite to her, and she called me only at my mom's urging. This year we celebrate 39 years together, and I wish I could tell her so.

And this isn't two pages, but I apologize to both of my faithful readers for my shortcomings.

Bumper sticker: "Lord, help me be the person my psychiatrist medicates me to be."

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