Asphodel also means “Our love shall endure after death.” A grim bouquet.
Recently SorryWatch was doing the New York Times crossword puzzle. (5/26/16.) Spotting the clue “A white one is said to symbolize ‘I’m sorry’,” we thought we had it nailed. Yellow roses mean ‘I’m sorry’! Well, no. We had to figure it out from the crossing clues – it was “tulip.”
Tulip? Huh? We’ve looked into the language of flowers. We even had a file listing flowers that mean sorry, apology, atonement, contrition, or even “my regrets follow you to the grave.” (Asphodel, since you ask.) A white tulip was not on the list. WHAT THE HELL?
Posted in The Mechanics of Apology
Tagged asphodel, Aunty Flo, Captain Midnight, green carnation, hydrangeas, I do not want to talk about Severus Snape ok?, language of flowers, Lyle Lovett, New York Times crossword puzzle, Oscar Wilde, spider mums mean “your mom creeps me out”, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Picture of Dorian Grey, unfortunate imbroglio, white tulip, yellow rose
A letter to Utah’s Lieutenant Governor, Spencer Cox, from his constituent Bari Nan Cohen.
Dear Lieutenant Governor Cox:
You know that rockstar apology you gave to the gay community in Utah after the mass shooting in Orlando? The reason your speech went from local news headline to viral Facebook post so quickly was because it was epic. As a 15-year resident of Utah—I moved here for the skiing and found an amazing community in which to raise a family—I am all in for your apology. Sure, I’m a sucker for beautiful oratory—it was heartfelt, and gorgeous, and I’ve dissolved into tears each time I’ve read the transcript or watched the video. But this thing has legs not only because it took by surprise those who had dismissed us as a Red-State backwater with no truck for diversity (um, yeah, they’re wrong), but because it did many hard things well—including acknowledging our state’s many shortcomings in the human rights arena. And, most importantly, because you did it with love. More on that in a minute. Continue reading
You all know Brock Turner? Convicted three-count felon? Stanford swimmer? Recipient of an astonishing, articulate and heart-rending victim impact letter, read aloud in court by the woman he sexually assaulted? Dude who could have gotten 14 years in prison but was sentenced to six months, of which he’ll probably serve three? His dad has issued some words that generally go along with apologies but in this case are not apologies. Continue reading
Posted in Apologies and the Law, Bad Apologies, Bropology, Judicial Apologies, True Crime Apologies
Tagged athletics, Brock Turner, Dan A. Turner, Michele Dauber, rape, rape culture, Stanford
We’ve been known to say that a bad apology is in many ways worse than no apology, and that if you don’t think you’re wrong, don’t offer a half-assed apology — one that doesn’t truly acknowledge wrongdoing. BUT. This quote is also correct. From The Gottman Institute, whose work on marriage is worth reading about, it reminds me of a brief Ogden Nash poem, “A Word to Husbands.”
To keep your marriage brimming
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it;
Whenever you’re right, shut up.
It also reminds me of advice from my mom: Is it more important to be right, or happy?
Here at SorryWatch, we highlight egregious bad apologies (and good ones! we love good ones! there just aren’t ENOUGH of them!), but rarely is life entirely black and white. Often when we have the opportunity to apologize, we’re neither entirely in the right nor entirely in the wrong. We have a choice, then, to apologize from a place of non-self-righteous non-douchery. It’s not easy, because we are all defensive creatures whose fragile egos have a hard time admitting that we’re in the wrong, in any way whatsoever. But we can choose to apologize for making a point in a jerky way. For hitting below the belt. For bullying. For nagging. For continuing a fight long past the point of having a point. For not acknowledging the other person’s point of view and dignity.
Go ahead, ask.
In 1954, Ethel Payne was a reporter for The Chicago Defender, the biggest black-run newspaper in the nation. The Defender had sent her to Washington. She’d had a White House press credential for 3 months, the 3rd black reporter ever to do so, but hadn’t ventured to ask any questions.
According to biographer James McGrath Morris, her voice was “quavering” when she finally called “Mr President! Mr President!” President Eisenhower, picking her out from the 200 reporters at the press conference, smiled and nodded to her.
She didn’t toss him a softball.
Posted in Bad Apologies, Presidential Apologies, Sorry If
Tagged Capitol Police, Chicago Defender, Ethan Michaeli, Ethel Payne, Eye on the Struggle, Howard University choir, James Morris McGrath, Lincoln Day, President Eisenhower, racist on my own initiative sir!, Washington DC
Georg Schoenerer has no memory of publishing the news that Kaiser Wilhelm had died. Which hadn’t actually happened. Which Schoenerer will go to jail for. Unclear whether his visitors have any memory of getting dressed in the morning.
If you don’t say exactly what it is you’re sorry for, it can ruin an otherwise good apology. It’s evasive. The person you’re apologizing to may feel like you’re not facing up to it. It seems insincere. So when you apologize, don’t say you’re sorry for “what happened.” Or “the unfortunate incidents.” Or “yesterday.” Or “the way that went down.” Or “the stuff at the party.” Or “the events leading to the whole thermonuclear kerfuffle.”
But what if you can’t be specific because you have no memory whatsofrackingever of what you did? Or any memory of that whole night/day/semester?