By Rick McVicar
I was walking out of the grocery store and stopped for a moment to let a woman pass in front of me. She was walking through the front entrance.
“I’m sorry,” she said as she walked by.
I was kind of taken aback. I had no idea what she would be sorry about. She was walking at a normal pace and made no movement towards me. She did not act like she was going to hit me. She just walked nonchalantly like anyone else would walk through the front entrance of a grocery store.
Yet she said, “I’m sorry.”
She probably said it instead of saying, “Excuse me.”
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But I felt so bad for the woman, walking around with “sorry” at the edge of her lips. She probably holds on to the word in her mouth for use at the slightest change in wind. I want to say I feel sorry for her. I wonder what kind of low self-esteem one must have to always have that word ready to go at a moment’s notice. I wonder if this woman was sorry for living, or for breathing.
Her use of the word makes me think of how that word is used when a loved one dies. When I’ve experienced a death in the family and have heard that word, I have tended to feel a bit of anger. Sorry for what? Are you responsible for the death? Why would you be sorry?
I remember a table game named, “Sorry,” I played as a kid. I always hated ghat game. How can such a word be a sign of fun? The game never made sense to me.
Then, of course, actor Ryan O’Neil recently died, known for the line, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry,” from the movie, “Love Story.” I was in high school when that movie came out and my girlfriend beat me over the head with that line. Needless to say, we never got married.