All apologies

I’ve never had a problem with the word ‘sorry’. I said sorry when I smashed a wine glass at Dave & Alex’s house one New Year’s Eve, sending tiny shards across the living room (as well as the glass’s copious red contents). I said sorry when I forgot both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day in the same year, although the emotional scars of guilt still remain. And I said sorry on a flight to Manchester once, when I accidentally poured a tomato juice over the beige chinos of the bloke sitting next to me.

Sorry never was the hardest word.

But sorry suddenly seems to be the word that I use more than any other. Given that I’m still not exactly sure about the precise vagaries of day-to-day life in this country, I find myself constantly making mistakes. When I go to push myself through the subway entrance, I push the wrong way, blocking the person behind me. When I write a press release, I use the word ‘honour’ rather than ‘honor’ to the confusion of all around me. And if I order a lunch delivery, I never know which slip to sign or which to retain, and have to look forlornly for someone around me to take pity on the foreigner.

Each time I make a mistake, a quick ‘sorry’ seems to get me out of trouble. But from the way I shrug my shoulders and pull a Wallace & Gromit-esque look with my mouth, I think it’s pretty clear when I say sorry that I am actually saying something along the lines of “I’m so sorry that you have been forced to come into contact with a bumbling British fool who still doesn’t know his dimes from his nickels, and leaves his trolley in the wrong place in the supermarket.”

The more I say sorry, the more I feel like some kind of Hugh Grant figure, foppishly apologising for anything and everything just in case it’s my fault. The woman who accidentally barged into me as I walked out of a shop earlier today had barely had time to register what had happened before I had said sorry for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. If the Ministry of Defence had a sorryness alert system, I would currently be on red – a defcon one of apologeticism, if you will. I might even say sorry for using the word ‘apologeticism’ in a blog entry, if you’re lucky.

If ever I didn’t say sorry to you for something terrible that I did, now is the time to seek closure from me. Whether it was my fault or not, an apology is yours for the taking. All you have to do is ask.

One thought on “All apologies

  1. Pingback: A Brit Out Of Water » Blog Archive » 200 things you simply have to know about New York (part three)

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