~Sunday, October 01, 2006

Penitence

I woke up Sunday afternoon feeling hungover. There wasn't a drop of alcohol in my system, that's just how I feel when I sleep too much. The dog had moved from under my bed to the foot of my bed, ready in an instant to go outside when I got up.

I padded into the living room and squatted down on the floor where my computer is tucked away in a corner. My apartment isn't big enough for a desk. I began my morning rituals: check the Hotmail, check the Gmail, and moderate comments. There wasn't much on a Sunday outside my Word of the Day e-mail (vernissage : a private showing or preview of an art exhibition).

I lazily clicked over to my MySpace. I hadn't been on much recently, but I checked just in case. In my inbox was an e-mail marked "Hello..." from an unrecognizable boy. It's probably just one of those "You're hot, let's chat" e-mails, I thought. I opened the letter preparing for an ego boost. Instead, I got this:


Huh? What is he apologizing for? Sending an e-mail after I went to bed? Who is he?

I clicked on his profile and scrolled down to the schools section. I went to high school with him. I scrolled up and looked at his friends list and I knew who he was. He and I had one date 10 years ago when I was 15. Almost 10 years ago to the day. We went to a haunted house with a group of friends. After the date he started ignoring me at school. He said he didn't want me as a girlfriend.

"Well fine, let's be friends then."

He slammed his locker door shut and began walking to class. I followed him. "You don't know me," he said quietly.

"There's time for that. We can get to know each other." Oh god, even I wouldn't have been friends with me back then.

"Look, things just got out of control that night," and he disappeared in the classroom, leaving me in the hall.

It happened a few times when I was in high school. A boy would like me and go out with me exactly once. His friends found out and teased him mercilessly because I was too plain, or not popular enough, and he would never speak to me again. To everyone's surprise, I was a late bloomer and this isn't the first apology I've received through MySpace.

I haven't seen him in 8 or 9 years and I hadn't even given him a single thought in all that time. My eyes stung. Nothing makes me upset quicker than feeling validated. I was right in being hurt when he did that. I was right when I cried in that class we shared two periods later. I wasn't being silly.

I got up from the screen and made myself a bloody mary. Sucking on an olive, I responded, "Apologize? For what?" I at least had to make him say it.

Why do people feel the need to apologize for something they did too many years ago? Do they really want to repent?

10 comments:

M said...

It's the feeling guilty as shit thing. THEY want to be absolved through forgiveness. Hell, it works for the catholics. heh

Anonymous said...

Good call Mez - I agree, Catholic guilt. I used to suffer from CG and I'm not even Catholic! Okay, I was christened...damn they're good if that's the case. Anyway - I don't do regret anymore. I just don't do stuff that I might have to regret.

Sarah said...

Mez- I thought his reasons were purely selfish and had nothing to do with me.

Nick- That's fine and all, but this is the stupid stuff we did when we were kids. You don't regret any of that?

Indiana said...

Ok...why do people or why do guys?

Guys for one of two reasons.

1. Yes they really do go through some life epiphiny and realise they treated someone like shit, and in some kharmic-universal reckoning they hope to at least let that someone know that they really are sorry.

2. They find out you became a hottie, and realise they may have missed the catch of the century and hope that by apologising that it may open a line of dialog, that could lead to "what if's" and missed possibilities.

So they either are feeling sorry (and yes this could be guilt) or they want to get into your pants.

Phil said...

I sure owe some apologies but will I give them? Unless circumstances collude to sit me across from the offendended; probably not.

Here's the irony. Act stupid and everyone thinks you are a prick. Apologise later and everyone thinks you are a wuss.

Sarah said...

Indy- after reading his blog, I think it's a mixture of both. But I can tell people it's just #2, right? Because I am way hotter than he is these days :)

Phil- So how's those phone calls from 1996 coming along? Lol- I'll eventually stop finding that funny...

I don't think men are wusses to apologizing now, but I do wonder about their motivations.

Anonymous said...

Nope, no regrets. Not now anyways. Probably explains why my life is in the toilet, karma running over my dogma over and over again.

Barbcue Sauls said...

4th, 5th, and 6th step. Personal inventory, making amends.

Rocky Mountain Princess said...

Good for you for not making it too easy on him.

I hope you're able to forgive, for yourself if nothing else.

Miss Natalie said...

Maybe he's going through AA, isn't that one of the steps?

 

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