Friday, November 03, 2006

The Art of the Apology.

Have you noticed, no one seems to know how to apologize anymore? Well, I guess that would mean actually admitting to doing something wrong.

This morning, I had to drive my godson to school --Which means I had to be up and out of the house earlier than usual. And, as is typical when I leave early, some lovely parent was blocking my driveway - I live near an elementary school. Unbeknownst to me, I apparently didn't receive full ownership of my driveway when I bought the house. No, it belongs to every lazy, late, loser parent whose kids go to that school.

When I opened my gate, she moved further down the street. When I drove past her car, I stopped and motioned for her to roll down her window. She just stared. So, rather loudly, I asked, "Could you not block my driveway in the future?"

She just waved me on shaking her head.

"Ma'am, I just wanted to ask you..." She starts blasting her radio.

At that point, I called her a few choice names I wish I had not screamed in the presence of elementary kids!

But it got me to thinking about apologies.

OK... I know this is a sore subject. Literally, at least 3 times a week, I simply cannot come or go to / from my own home without someone being in my driveway. A few years ago, my neighbor returned from work one evening to find two cars in his driveway. He pulled in behind and went inside. About an hour later, a couple of rather sheepish, embarrassed parents knocked on the door and asked him to move his car. They did not apologize...just asked the homeowner to move his car! He informed them that he was on long distance and they would have to wait. He watched his favorite t.v. show before moving the car an hour later.

My favorite is Election Day. Then you get every voter who is "only going to take a minute to vote" also blocking my clearly marked driveway. A few years ago, I used a cane to walk. (Prior to this, I was in a wheelchair for many months, which was followed by months on a walker and then to the cane. It never once occurred to me to block someone's driveway so I could park a few feet closer. ) Anyway, I returned home to find an errant voter in my driveway. I hobble into the polls and loudly announce that the driver of the silver Lexus needs to move the car NOW.

On the way back home, I mumble something about everyone thinking they're special to which this dimwit would-be voter replied, "I AM special."

I replied, "Lady, I'm special too and in case you haven't noticed, I'm handicapped. It HURT to walk over here. And that's MY driveway and I really want to just go get in bed. "

Only then did she apologize.

All anybody wants in this world is to be heard. That's all I wanted from that woman this morning. All it would have taken was, "Oh, I'm so sorry. It won't happen again."

But then that would take her admitting to doing something wrong in the first place. It seems that is a hard thing to do. And it really makes me wonder what these people are teaching their children. At this point, I think their primary educational objectives are: you are the only one that matters; you can do no wrong; Never worry about how your actions might affect someone else.

Now that's something to be sorry for.


Velvet Sacks said...

Last time I clicked on the CreekHiker link, there was a blog name but no blog. Today I tried again, and found THREE posts. You go, girl! I'm looking forward to getting to know you better.

Ordinary Janet said...

I was curious about your "rude people" category and read this. I wonder, are you still having problems with people parking/blocking your driveway? This was a great post, you're right, people don't apologize enough. It's like "every man for himself".