Sorry not sorry

Do you find yourself apologising for things which aren’t your fault, or which don’t even need an apology? Example: I ordered new blinds for my daughter’s bedroom. But they arrived in the wrong fabric, and when I returned them, I found myself apologising for the trouble of needing to have them remade in the right fabric. Even as the words were coming out of my mouth, I was thinking, “Wait, why the heck am I the one apologising?” But I couldn’t stop myself. I’m an unnecessary apology-maker.

This isn’t the first time I’ve apologised for something that isn’t my fault. I do it at cafes when I need to ask for a new fork because my son dropped his on the floor. (Side note: Why do kids drop their utensils on the floor so often? At what point do they outgrow this? Also how is it possible to drop one’s fork while one is using it to shovel chocolate cake into one’s mouth? I would like answers.) I apologise to the cashier at the supermarket when I want to use a coupon (“Sorry, I’ve got one of these…”) I say sorry when I need to hand in a permission slip with money to the school secretary. I’M APPARENTLY SORRY FOR HANDING OVER MONEY. Good grief.

Writing this down makes me cringe. WHY can’t I stop saying I’m sorry when it’s really not necessary? Where does this come from? I know it’s a reflex of some kind, and not a good one. But I don’t even realise it’s happening until after it’s done and I’m kicking myself for doing it yet again.

A friend pointed this tendency of mine out to me recently. “Why are you apologising? You didn’t do anything wrong,” she reminded me. I know. I’m saying sorry and I’M NOT EVEN SORRY.

I guess it’s a misguided effort to tell the other person that I value their time and don’t want to be seen as a nuisance. Or maybe I’m seeking reassurance for my introverted ego? Or maybe I just hate confrontation of any kind and I would rather avoid it at all costs so I’m actually apologising to MYSELF? Hmm, that’s an interesting and somewhat far-fetched take on the situation, brain.

It’s probably something to do with being a woman and being socialised to feel like I have to rationalise my existence on the planet. But that’s too deep a thought for me to plumb tonight, when it’s already 11pm and I’ve still got laundry to fold and leftover Halloween chocolate to eat. Sorry.

What I’m reading this week: Crunch Munch Scrumdiddlyunch: Remarkables Food Project (Remarkables Primary School $35)

When I was growing up, school fundraising cookbooks were hand-typed, mimeographed, and comb-bound – pretty low-tech. This school fundraising cookbook is right up there with the most professional cookbooks I’ve ever seen. Gorgeously photographed, with a mixture of restaurant-quality recipes from professional chefs and delicious home-cooking recipes from the local school community, this 240-page cookbook is hands-down the best school fundraising cookbook ever. Seriously, if your school can top this, I want to see it. The recipes are pretty darn delish too, and I found so many great ideas for things to pack in kids’ lunches: chicken, bacon, and corn pies; cinnamon scrolls; smoked salmon tart, pad thai prawns… If you’re looking for a holiday gift for a food-lover in your family, this will definitely tempt their tastebuds. A worthy cookbook for a worthy cause!

Have a great week.
Katherine Granich

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