Monday, June 15, 2009

I'm Sorry

I’m sorry.

Why are those two little words so difficult for some people to say? I’ve been thinking about it lately, and then David Letterman’s offensive remarks and abysmal apology to the Palin family became news.

Apparently, Letterman’s succumbed to pressure and is finally trying to act like a decent man and really apologize. Although at this point I think he’s being PC rather than authentic, but then I’m a girl from New York.

Aside from Letterman, I’ve been thinking about the phony baloney “apologies” that are tossed about in public, mostly from politicians or media stars. To be honest, they make me gag.

The most egregious apology, in my humble opinion, is the, “If I hurt you, then I’m sorry.” Excuse me? Does anyone else see that for the rhetorical failure that it truly is? Saying, “If I blah, blah, then I’m sorry,” is not taking responsibility because the “if” gives the apologizer too much wiggle room and allows them to avoid ownership of the misdeed.

How about if I knock you down with a baseball bat and then when you’re on the ground I mash your face into the mud, and then later I say, “If I knocked you down with a baseball bat and then mashed your face into the mud, I’m sorry.”

Where’s the honor and integrity of admitting your mistake, owning up to it, and sincerely apologizing with heartfelt words? Where’s the offer to try to make the misdeed right?

Why can't people simply say, "I said/did blah, blah and I'm very sorry. How can I make it right?"

It’s a shame that our society is forgetting how to say, “I’m sorry.” It’s just a crying shame.

Rant over. Thanks for listening. Now please, go out and be kind to one another. And if need be, apologize. Really apologize.

*** I just watched the Letterman apology. Sorry, Dave. It didn't do it for me. His apology was based on the fact that the public misunderstood the joke. Give me a break! He simply needed to say, "I shouldn't have said that, and I'm sorry."

Letterman's gobbledegook uh, I mean, his words:
It’s the perception rather than the intent.’ It doesn’t make any difference what my intent was, it’s the perception. And, as they say about jokes, if you have to explain the joke, it’s not a very good joke. And I’m certainly – ” (audience applause) “– thank you. Well, my responsibility – I take full blame for that. I told a bad joke. I told a joke that was beyond flawed, and my intent is completely meaningless compared to the perception. And since it was a joke I told, I feel that I need to do the right thing here and apologize for having told that joke. It’s not your fault that it was misunderstood, it’s my fault. That it was misunderstood.”


denise said...

Well Ms. DiMaria, you've hit the nail on the head. I could not agree with you more. Your rant is exactly like those I've had here at home, with my husband listening to my pain when someone emotionally stabbed me and then wiggled out of an apology. Hear, hear!

Megan DiMaria said...

Thanks, Denise.

In the past, I've been very badly hurt when I was betrayed and then was giving that kind of shoddy, "false" apology.

And lately, I've heard similar stuff flying around again.

smithsk said...

In the Bob Newhart Show (remember that one when he was the writer in Vermont?) Stephanie the spoiled rich girl hurt the feelings of the handyman George. She flippantly said she was sorry & George would not accept it until some time had past and she really showed it in her genuine body language. Bob was really an observor of us humans.

Angela Breidenbach said...

I so agree.

lynnrush said...

I did see his apology, although, I did not see his show where he made the joke.

But you're right. It wasn't an apology. I used to teach "fair fighting" when I was a counselor in a past life....we used to hit on this all the time.

Can't have an "if" in the apology. Jeepers.

Great post!