oh please, I'm sorry

I'm not much of a housekeeper. That's not the habit that's annoying me lately. It's that I tend to apologize when someone walks in the door. Hey, until that person comes in, I don't really notice the scum of dust, the stack of paper. So the apology is automatic. Oh dang, look at this place. I'm sorry!

I'm trying not to do that any more. I want to get out of the habit of feeling I owe the world sparkling surfaces and am a bad person for not providing them.

So now you're warned: if you come to my house, you probably get a welcome, an offer of coffee (good coffee, too) and the use of a chair that won't make your clothes dirty. The bathrooms are often okay because I hate gross bathrooms. The kitchen is usually clean because I like clean kitchens. Otherwise. Oh, dear. Oops.

This whole APOLOGIZING for a lack of action that's not really owed to anyone is silly.

Here's another thing I'm not so good at-----promo. Hey, I've done some, but I'm no Bianca D'Aarc or Toni Andrews. I'm talking about the kind of writer who's confident, smart and good at that job of putting themselves out there, movers and shakers businesswomen who know how to be professionals. I want to applaud them and yeah, I'm envious. I probably suffer because I don't have that ability. But I'm not going to keep saying sorry I'm not as shiny as all that. I'm going to break the habit of apologizing.

Why am I currently on this rant? As usual, I was set off by stuff on writer loops. I keep reading this sort of message on the loops:

I'm sorry I haven't been participating in the promo loop as much as usual. And then typically, oh, god, these words are followed by a horrible heart-wrenching story.

I'm sorry I haven't been posting there. I promise to do better. My mother was in intensive care. My husband was run over by a bus.

No, no, NO. Stop. Do NOT say sorry. (and hey, if you really do feel like you let your side down, be reassured that no one was harmed by your absence, except perhaps you, because you didn't sell as many books.)

Maybe you could manage something like "Whooowee, I'm glad to be back to being able to post regularly [and if the poster is in the mood to share details, but only then, because they owe nothing more] let me tell you, my life has been extraordinarily shitty lately."

Of course someone whose life has been extraordinarily shitty lately doesn't want or need Miss Prissy Pants rants. But since I am a mother, unsolicited ill-timed** advice is my raison d'etre. And I will now start a movement to stomp out the unnecessary apology. I say anyone joining my movement must agree that the phrase "I'm sorry" is way overused by people who don't owe anyone an explanation, much less an apology. By the way, no, this does not include the absent-minded apology when you bump into people or chairs. That's not the same.

I grant you over-use is not as horrible or morally abhorrent as the under-use of the apology by the guilty who don't know how to sincerely employ the phrase, "I'm sorry."

But the automatic public apology and explanation is unnecessary and . . . well. . . . I'm sorry, I just find it annoying.

** not to mention mind-bogglingly trivial. However you see? No apologies. I'm practicing.


  1. I'm on over sorrier. I didn't even realize it until my friend and Yoga teacher just told me to quit it. Yikes.


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