January 4, 2011

Infidelity Blues or, What I Learned From Cheating On My Car.

Donovan and I have been together for about 2 years now.  He’s young, spry, responds well to my touch, and even likes it rough.  His cheery exterior belies the heart of a lion.  His diminutive size is perhaps his greatest asset.   He is, by almost every measure, the perfect car. However, ours is not a perfect relationship.  And we recently parted company for a few days.  This is a summary of the events that followed.

January 3, 2011

Let apologies collect interest, they're worth more

Gentlemen, let me first state that I love you.  I do.  Now, before any suggestions for group hugs (or worse) get thrown around, let me clarify.  I love men, the smell of their cologne, the timbre of their voices, and those little noises of contentment they make as they're on the horizon of sleep.  I want to aggressively tango with the strong ones and dress the psychic wounds of the weak ones.  Men just DO it for me.

And because I care, I wanted to tell you about a disturbing trend I've been noticing.  You all apologize far too much.  I know!  That goes against the grain of every comedian to grasp a mic in their sweaty hands on amateur night.  But, I've never been one to shy away from the truth, and am not afraid to talk about the 800 lb gorilla in the room.  (By the way, I hope you weren't too attached to the bananas in the bowl of wax fruit.  They got partially eaten and thrown through the front window.  Oops?)  So, I'm going to give it to you straight.  Stop that.  Right now.

Now, before every girlfriend, wife, or hairy-pitted feminist jumps on me and rides me like a $2 whore, let me define what I mean here.  I'm not saying to never apologize.  I'm saying that you should scale it back to only include things that are A) in your control, and B) you truly feel apologetic about.  Words have power.  The more they're bandied about, the less they mean.

Let me give you two examples:

Scenario A: A man and a woman are having a disagreement about what movie to see.  She wants ChickFlickA, he wanted TestosteroneFestB.  He says some things about how he doesn't care for her choice in movies in the heat of the moment and she takes offense to it.  Leaving out how they handle that part of the argument, let's assume later he goes to her and tell her that he's sorry that his remarks hurt her and that he will work to try and better consider the words that leave his mouth in the future.

Scenario B: A man and a woman who met online just recently are chatting.  The hour is getting late and he has to be away from the computer in the immediate future, whether it's to go to work, go to sleep, or fulfill some other social obligation.  In his goodbye, he tells her he's sorry that he has to go.

Scenario A is a sincere apology. It's meaningful, respectful, and powerful.  Scenario B is not.  It is no more effective than saying you're sorry for being blond.  There is nothing that can be changed in Scenario B.  Those are the facts of the situation, it's time to go, regardless of what you'd like to have happen.  Yes, it's polite to let the person know that you don't want to wrap things up, but there are other ways to do this.  "I hate to cut this short because I've enjoyed this, but I really need to go." for example.  If it's a truthful departure (it is, isn't it?  *eyebrow raise*) even throw in something like "will you be around later, say after XX:XX?"  See?  Same result, more empowerment.

Words are finite.  Well, I should say it's more the trust in them.  I'm all about admitting your mistakes, coming clean about your feelings, and striving to grow as a person.  What I'm not all about is seeing other people knuckled under by convention. This is most certainly one I'd like to shine a very bright light on and shoo back under the rug from whence it was summoned.

TLDR, tell a girl you're sorry when your heart hurts a little, not because your mouth formed the words.  It will mean more.