764: Litter Fuss

A bit ago we were at a friend’s house. Their toddler bumped her teeth against my son’s hard skull and started crying. Her mother comforted her. Then the girl managed to slip off the couch and started seriously bawling. The older brother, who is three, turned and demanded that my son apologize, which I thought was fascinating, because we all watched her slip off the couch, but I guess he felt it must be someone’s fault. His mother started to tell him that Walter did didn’t do it, so didn’t need to apologize and I cut in with “Wally, tell Elle that you’re sorry she feels bad.” The other mother loved this idea and changed the lesson to one in how you can show sympathy by apology instead of assuming blame. I personally dislike excessive apologizing. It makes me feel like I’ve put a burden of guilt on the person abasing his or herself. I loathe guilt. I always tell others not to apologize, write back when you feel like it, cancel plans if you need to, I don’t need a string of excuses, either do something or don’t. In the U.S. it’s predominantly woman who seemed cursed with the excessive excuse curse. I don’t know if it’s some sort of patriarchal influence or simply a personalty trait more common in females, but for me, I will apologize when I deliberately do something I regret, like playfully scooping up another friends’ three year old from behind and accidentally scaring the daylights out of him, but I’m not going to say I’m sorry because I didn’t pick up my phone right away or that I caught a cold and need to cancel plans. It’s just silly.