The Sorry Syndrome

When it comes to the apology game, I’ve been hit with a double whammy!! The first comes simply with being Irish.  So many of us carry that ingrained necessity to constantly appear humble which has often translated into every second phrase being ‘Sorry’ or ‘I’m sorry’ or ‘Sorry but…’ when other words or phrases are actually more appropriate like ‘Excuse me’ or indeed no utterance at all.  Sometimes superfluous mutterings are better left unsaid.  But that’s not our way – we Irish, tend to talk and have mastered the art of conversation; while also acquiring the delicate articulation of the mea culpa.

My second whammy is that I’m a woman…Sorry but it’s true! (see what I did there!).  And I lied…I’m not one bit sorry.  The thing is that as girls, as teenagers, as women in this country of ours – we have been programmed to apologise for so much…for having an appetite, for talking, for talking softly, for talking loudly, for laughing loudly, wearing imagesHQP6MVHW.jpgclothes that WE like, for having hairy legs or hairy lips or hairy pits, for farting, for burping, for pooing, for drinking, for liking beer, for smoking, for liking whiskey, for working, for liking working, for sex, for liking sex, for loving sex, for wanting sex, for wanting more sex, for wanting no sex, for having brains, for having opinions … I could go on for quite some time here.  If you have never thought about it… take a moment and consider it.  I’ll find it hard to believe if you tell me that as a woman, you’ve never felt you had to make an apology or excuse in some shape or form for at least one of the above… that you’ve never opted out of wearing that sleeveless top just because you hadn’t got around to shaving under your arms last night – that in itself is an apology & we’ve all done it; we’ve all let that judgement, that societal bullshit make a decision for us instead of saying ‘So Fucking What!’  Show love, respect, confidence and care for yourself in the words you use to yourself and about yourself.

When I went to live in NY all those years ago (don’t make me say how many! :-D) I practically apologised for my own existence on an ongoing imagesbasis.  It was ridiculous and I didn’t even realise it until one of my flat mates pointed it out to me.  I was shocked at the time but I’ve never forgotten it and I’m so glad she did (Thank you Owl! X).  It took a long time to really break the cycle but I do not apologise now unless I am genuinely sorry for something that I need to apologise for.  Thankfully, that doesn’t happen too often as I try to live by the ‘Treat others as you wish to be treated’ mantra.  My point in this whole post is … I’m NOT sorry…not now and never again and I hope if you identify with any of this that you’re not sorry either!

Unless this Government makes me sorry to be Irish by continuing to ignore the autonomy and the rights of Women in this State… but that’s another post altogether…

Laters for more rambling musings 🙂

Helena x

 

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