We’ve all done stupid things.
Little things. Big things. Hurtful things. Things too painful to remember or too huge to forget.
Then there are the things we need to admit publicly, just to get them off our chests. And maybe because they make good stories.
I’ll go first.
Cousin Annette, I’m so sorry I let you walk off a pier into the Potomac River while you were blindfolded during a trust exercise.
It was at that camp in southern Maryland where our folks took us every year on religious retreats. The trust activity came early in our age group’s getting-to-know-you routine that year.
I’m still not sure why you agreed to put on that blindfold and trusted me not to steer you into a pole or the swimming pool. I guess after a lifetime of seeing each other at family gatherings, you thought you knew me.
More to the point, I still have no idea why I didn’t work harder to live up to that trust. Maybe I thought you had already figured out we were on the pier, that you heard the water rippling underneath the clunking of the whole group’s shoes on the wooden decking. Maybe I thought you realized you were veering off to your right. Maybe I … oh, hell. I don’t know. I was 10 years old — who knows what I was thinking.
Kerplash! went your right foot into the shallow water on the beach beneath the pier, soaking your shoe but mercifully nothing else. And you laughed, got back up on the pier and — God love you — put the blindfold back on and trusted me to guide you the rest of the way along the water. Though we moved a bit more slowly from then on.
Anyway, after all these years, I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive your idiot preteen cousin.
I owe you an apology, Tony Re.
It’s been 10 years since I broke your knee during that Phys Ed softball game. Sure, it was an accident. But I do hold myself responsible, since I was only playing way out in right field in the first place because I wasn’t what you would call “athletically inclined.”
So when you drifted out in my direction for that shallow fly ball, I should have assumed you had it instead of barreling in on you, a blur of gangly limbs flailing haphazardly.
If nothing else, I should say I’m sorry because I got a darkly funny story out of it, and you had to miss a year of JV soccer.
So, Tony, no hard feelings, right?
I am sorry I keep forgetting to do the washing up.
On Monday, I had to work straight after dinner, and I just kind of … forgot. On Tuesday, I thought I’d done it, but then there were the glasses that I’d forgotten on the coffee table and I just thought, “Screw it, I’ll do it tomorrow.”
On Wednesday I went to the cinema with Lis and Rich, and I was so annoyed at the ending of the film it that just slipped my mind once more. I did take the rubbish out, though.
Thursday night I worked straight after dinner again, and Friday I went out for a drink with a work friend. Saturday, you reminded me to do the washing up.
It’s late on Sunday, now, and I’ve done it. I’ve also cleaned the hob and the counter-top — that’s how sorry I am. I do like living with you, and I think you like living with me. It’s just that I’m very forgetful.
With love and jokes about badgers,
Your flatmate, Clare
Dear Crunchable readership,
More than five years worth of articles leads to any number of faux pas, boo-boos, and hyperbolic misstatements. I wish to apologize for a few of them.
I’m sorry for using the word “lexicon” in a column title. I was just showing off. I’m sorry for suggesting that Whitesnake could never be considered classic rock. I’m sorry for saying “Scary Movie 2” was the worst movie ever before seeing “Scary Movie 3.” I’m sorry for ever writing a column about how hard it is to be a writer, when it is now obvious that anyone who does so is a douchebag. I’m sorry I ever thought I could understand women, and then tell other people about my startlingly simple revelations. (See the previous statement about douchebags.) I’m sorry I ever made fun of the college kids protesting the war in 2003. Their “Make Peace, Not War” signs and copious bodypaint have, in retrospect, been the deciding factor in turning the tide in the Middle East.
I’m sorry I called the Wachowski Bros. a pair of “goddamned, motherfucking sons of bitches” and told them that I wanted to “pour artificial butter-like substitute in [their] nostrils until [their] brains are marinated in salty grease and then shove [them] in a microwave until [their] skulls burst like Jiffy Pop.” This was a misstatement, as the Wachowski Bros. don’t have brains.
I’m sorry I said that one day the Plutonians would come and anally probe all of the astronomers. It was a xenophobic misrepresentation of a species. Plutonians have no interest in our assholes.
I’m sorry for referring to the prime representation of an entire faith as “Space Commander Buddha.” Buddha’s actual rank is “Admiral.”
For that matter, I apologize for taking potshots at any number of organized religions over the years. It was wrong and really too easy. I apologize to you all.
Except for you Mormons. You guys are still screwed.