Recently, I found myself feeling like I had to apologize to some friends because I was going to be late to dinner. See, I had already missed two nights in a row of bedtime routines with my 2-year-old son, and I was not about to miss a third. My friends and I were having a difficult time scheduling dinner, because I was holding everyone up with my plan to put my son to bed. This meant I couldn’t get to dinner until 8:30pm, when everyone else could be there before 8pm. I started feeling like some of them were annoyed that I wouldn’t just make things easier for them by skipping another night with my son, and I started getting angry because I shouldn’t have to apologize for wanting to be with my child at bedtime. So, guess what I did? Not only did I not say “sorry,” but I took my time with my son and then didn’t show up to dinner until 8:45pm. And that felt good.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I feel like I am constantly having to apologize for something.
I don’t know if it’s a southern thing, or a woman thing, or a southern woman thing, but some days it feels like I say “sorry” more than my kid says “mommy” (just kidding, nothing beats that). I say “sorry” to the person who bumps into me at the store, as if it’s my fault that they weren’t paying attention. I say sorry to the person tailgating me, as if it’s my fault they want to go 90mph in the fast lane and my 80mph is slowing them down. I say sorry to my fellow restaurant-goers, as if it’s my fault my toddler is losing his mind over a lost crayon. And I’m just done. I’m not saying that I’m not going to apologize when it’s warranted, like when I have legitimately done something or someone wrong. But I’m done with all the other apologies — the ones where someone is undeservedly expecting one from me, or the ones where I say them out of politeness, or the ones where I say them out of defensiveness. D-O-N-E, DONE.
For now and forever, I’m sorrynotsorry.
To my son on a day we don’t leave the house: sorrynotsorry, but I just don’t have it in me to drive you all over town today and do all the fun kid things outside and at the museum and at the aquarium; living room yoga and racing cars will have to do.
To my husband on a day we don’t have sex: sorrynotsorry, but after dealing with a toddler banshee-screeching in my ear and running me ragged all day, I just don’t have it in me to feign interest in anything other than wine and mindless entertainment tonight.
To my family on a day we have PB & J sandwiches for dinner: sorrynotsorry, but I just don’t have the energy to slave over a hot anything tonight (unless it’s a guy and his name is Tom Hardy).
To my house on a day I leave smashed peas and dried milk on the floor: sorrynotsorry, but I just don’t have it in me today to care about the bacteria slowly starting to creep in; I’ll wipe you down tomorrow after my kid eats one too many raisins or crackers off the floor.
To my parents and sisters on a day we don’t talk: sorrynotsorry, but I just don’t have the time today to expend energy on anyone other than the people I’m required to feed and keep alive.
To my friends on a day we don’t get to hang out: sorrynotsorry, but I’m just going to stay home with my husband and kid tonight; I like you, but I don’t want to see you today.
To my son’s teachers on a day when I am unable to show appreciation: sorrynotsorry, but I am simply too tired, too overrun, and too poor today to provide a token of my esteem; I am forever grateful for all you do, but today I only have words for you.
To the stranger on the playground on a day your kid is being awful (especially when it’s affecting my kid): sorrynotsorry, but I meant what I said when I told your awful child to chill the flip out.
To my bank account on a day that I spend too much money: sorrynotsorry, but if I don’t buy all of these items at Target today I might go into a rage. Mama NEEDS some things for herself.
To the public on a day that I don’t have it in me to look pretty or smile at you: sorrynotsorry, but I’m just too tired and stressed out to put on a face for you today. I’m normally a pretty happy person, but I just can’t today.
To myself on a day that I don’t work out: sorrynotsorry, but I’m probably still going to eat ice cream tonight. Lots of it. Maybe even the whole tub. And it’s going to be glorious.
To my readers on a day that I don’t reach you with my words: sorrynotsorry, but I just can’t be everything to everyone. I hope you can be okay with that. I know I’m going to try my darndest to be okay with that, too.