January 14, 2010

how not to apologize

On Monday night, a friend and I were having dinner at a local restaurant. A woman in a long and puffy down coat, wearing a hat and carrying a tote bag, squeezed between our table and hers, back to us, en route to sit down. She knocked over my friend's glass of water, spilling the contents into my friend's lap. The stranger turned to face my friend and me, and simply announced, "I'm not that big."

Upon hearing this story when I returned home, Tom commented, "Well, that's sort of like an apology, in that they both begin with 'I'."

1 comment:

  1. Well first of all, clearly RUDE, and I love Tom's line!

    Then it makes me think ... how sad that we live in a society where a woman is conditioned to be defensive about the size of her body and how much physical space she occupies.

    In that brief second or two between when she knocked over the glass and when she spoke, her mind didn't think "I'm clumsy." Her mind thought "I'm too big." And then "No I'm not! That's an insult! I have to defend myself against the unspeakable implication (even unstated) that I am *large*."

    Maybe Jim can explain why the brain can process self-doubt and self-hate so quickly. :(



Blog Archive