Thursday, November 10, 2011

For the sake of Pete!

Who is this Pete person, and why are we always worried for his sake?

Have we, as a people, forgotten the fine art of the apology?  I ask this because of an instance I witnessed in the halls of my established educational facility (IUPUI).  The incident triggered in my mind several other incidents that were of the same ilk.  What happened was this:  A girl was sitting in a busy hallway.  Classes had just let out, and the hallway was filling with walkers.  Sitting girl is quite tall, and decided she needed to stretch.  To do so, she stuck her legs out into the middle of the hallway, tripping someone.  She was tall enough that her legs went almost to the other side of the narrow hallway, blocking nearly the entire path in which people were trying to walk.  The person she tripped got upset and said, "Hey, you probably shouldn't stick your legs out into the hallway.  People will trip."  At this point, shouldn't the response from sitting (and now tripping) girl be, "I'm sorry.  I didn't mean to trip you."  Shouldn't it?  Instead, her response was, "Pay attention to where you are going.  You could have stepped over my legs."  I don't understand the response, but I see it a lot.  Instead of apologizing to the person who has been offended, hurt, etc., the offender blames the offended for being offended, as though the offender's offensive action is the offended's fault.  Offend.  Just for good measure because I hadn't typed it enough.

Moreso, even if it is an accident, aren't you supposed to apologize?  The girl accidentally tripped the other person.  Had she said, "Sorry, it was an accident" then the tripped girl likely would not have walked off disgustedly shaking her head.  Also, I'd not be writing this blog, so there's that.  Thanks, tripping girl!  Anyway, this links to another incident that happened a few weeks ago.  Two groups of friends were out at separate bars.  One person in one of the groups and one person in the other group don't like one another.  Mutual friends of these two were out at separate locations.  One such person posts on Facebook that they are at such and such bar with such and such people, including the one person from one group that the other person from the other group doesn't like.  You following?  No?  Me neither.  So, the OTHER person that doesn't like the one person posts to the mutual friend that, "I guarantee you'd be having more fun with us at this other bar."  Rude, right?  The implication is, "Oh, I see you're at that bar I hate with that person I don't like.  You'd be having more fun at the bar I like with me instead of with those other horrible people."  The people she doesn't like were linked to the post, so they could read the rude remark.

In this situation, a few people pointed out the rudeness of this statement.  The offender, instead of saying something like, "Oh, that came out wrong.  I'm sorry" said something to the effect of, "Lighten up.  You all read it wrong."  That's not an apology.  You were rude.  You possibly hurt someone's feelings.  If you really didn't mean to be rude, and it was an accident, then apologize!  If you don't apologize, and then say something along the lines of, "It's not what I said, it was what you heard" then you are blaming the person you hurt, making it all the more likely that you really hurt them on purpose and didn't think you'd be called out on it.

Same thing happened in a relationship I was in once.  Boyfriend was in the living room with his friends and thought I was asleep.  They got in some sort of testicle fight, where one of them didn't want to go see some nerd movie and one of them did, so they needed to prove that nerd dudes are not as good as not nerd dudes or something.  My boyfriend needed his nerd friend to know that nerds are virgins and that he was not going to that movie or whatever because, "I get pussy whenever I want."  I heard this.  I was pissed.  I do not give up the vagina just because some dude demands it, and it makes me look like a total hoebag in front of these friends to say that I do.  It also made it seem like he had no feelings for me (not the case at the time) and that all I was good for was a piece of ass.  I was not happy with this.  So, I came out of the bedroom and demanded an explanation.  Whose pussy WAS he getting into whenever he wanted, because it sure as hell wasn't mine.  What explanation did I get?  Not an, "I'm sorry, current love of my life.  I was trying to prove to my buddy that I had more testosterone than he has."  Oh, no!  The "explanation" I got was to blame me.  "I didn't say that.  You must have heard me wrong."

There are many other witnessed incidences of this same thing, but I'm not going to recount them all to you, because my blogs are already too long as it is.  Back to the main question, do we not apologize anymore?  Seriously?  Can no one admit when they are wrong?  Because, dudes, I am telling this to you in all sincerity.  THESE ARE SITUATIONS IN WHICH YOU APOLOGIZE!

You should listen to me, too, and I will presently tell you why.  Because I have had social training, and if there's one thing torture taught me, it's how to be polite.  I'm, like, a manners expert.

1 You Said What?:

Leticia said...

I could not agree more and from now on you will be known as the go to person for manners related questions! ;)