“Mea Maxima Culpa – My most grievous fault.”
Last week I really pissed a woman off.
I went to collect one of my kids from an activity. It was one of those hot days in Sydney where bats were falling from the sky – dead. Combine this heat with my natural propensity to be a bit lazy; I parked my car close to my destination.
A bit illegally.
A tiny bit over someone’s driveway.
I knew I should not have done it, but I swear I was only going to be 45 seconds and I had left enough room for the person to get through (if they were careful) and really. Let’s be honest. What are the chances that that driveway was going to be used at that very second?
Turned out the chances were quite high.
I returned with my kid, only to find the owner of the driveway standing next to her car. Black Audi. Black Suit. Very black expression on her face.
A short and passionate exchange ensued, with her spitting chips at me and me apologising profusely. Of course I was wrong. I told her so: “I can understand how annoying that must be,” I offered. “I am so sorry.”
It seemed the more I agreed with her and offered up my most sincerest apologies, the more she was getting worked up. It was not until she whipped out her phone, telling me that she was calling a tow truck that I realized she was a little more than just plain worked up.
She was completely losing it.
I got in the car and left. My son was beside himself with fascination. “That lady was mad!” he said, staring at her as we beat a hasty retreat.
“I did a bad, bad thing,” I confessed. I felt dreadful. I cannot recall a tongue lashing like it for years. And I am a lover, not a fighter, and will run a mile from a confrontation.
Admitting you are wrong feels, well, wrong. But sometimes all you can do is apologise, and hopefully learn a lesson from it. Sorry seems to be the hardest word.
Infamous apologetic offerings that immediately spring to mind are those delivered by Kanye West, Tiger Woods, Mel Gibson and Bill Clinton.
Bill and Tiger had some apologising to do when it was discovered that they could not keep it in their pants. Mel Gibson was arrested in 2006 and expressed his displeasure at the officer, bizarrely announcing that “Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.” After that outburst, he issued the following statement:
“I want to apologize specifically to everyone in the Jewish community for the vitriolic and harmful words that I said to a law-enforcement officer the night I was arrested on a DUI charge.”
…. before taking himself off to rehabilitation.
Rap singer and serial tool Kanye West stormed the stage at the 2009 MTV Music awards as pop star Taylor Swift was accepting a gong, only to grab the microphone and announce to a shocked audience that the gong should have gone to his mate Beyoncé.
Later, he used Twitter to publicly apologise. Taylor still has not spoken to him since. And I don’t really blame her. What an asshole. And by the way, Mr. West, it would be far classier to have delivered a hand written note. Just saying. Kanye West has manner issues. But back to me.
My abhorrent behavior on that driveway on that long, hot day has made me rethink the way I park so yes, a lesson has been learnt. And while I’m at it, here are a few other things I’m sorry about.
I am sorry that I did not make the most of my bikini days.
I am sorry that I had that extra glass of wine last night.
I am sorry that I did not wear sunscreen religiously throughout my twenties.
I apologise to all my high school teachers.
I am sorry that I have never been to Italy.
I am sorry that I did not buy real estate when I got my first full time job back in 1997. I am really sorry I did not buy truckloads.
I am sorry that it took me so long to self-discover that I was not management material.
And finally, I am sorry if the black-suited lady from the driveway does not read The Hoopla, for if she did, and indeed if that lady was you, then trust me…
I will never do that again. I promise. Pinky swear.
When was the last time you apologised? What was it for?
Is there anything you’d like to apologise for now?
MORE STORIES BY MRS WOOG
*About Mrs Woog: “I can be found in the laundry, folding laundry, sorting laundry and dropping off the dry cleaning. I am mum to two boys, boss of my husband and master of a cat and two guinea pigs. Come nightfall, I watch TV while tweeting which drives Mr Woog insane. I like to read cookbooks and eat out. During my waking hours I ferry kids around in the Mazda while drinking takeaway coffees and listening to talkback. I think about going to the gym every day. I used to work in the publishing industry before I realised it was nothing like Elaine Benes from Seinfeld made out like it was. Now I write this blog. And I never get writer’s block. It is a gift I have.” You can follow me on Twitter: @Woogsworld.