I have chosen to open this thread in the pit because it is here that one most often sees threads complaining about being the undeserving object of someone else’s snarking, snipping, rudeness, coldness, etc.
I always shudder whenever I read those threads. I don’t object to them, in any way whatever. They are almost universally deserved. Rudeness and its kin are on the rise in our society, it would seem, and mostly it is uncalled for. I too long for a kinder gentler world.
Not long ago I was struggling with a terrible load, I was caregiving for someone who needed a lot of care, in my home. I would tell you it was hard but that would be the understatement of the decade. It went on for six years and many, many days I thought I’d surely get swept under. Caregiving can consume everything you have to give, at the best of times. I don’t revisit the worst of times, too hard.
When we took on the task a world of change came into our lives. I had to learn a great many things, like yesterday. Meds, diapers, laundry, meals, caregivers, Drs, Rns, Ots, I could go on all day. It all had to be scheduled and managed at the same time I was learning (rather late in life) to cook 3 squares, stay on top of 20 wkly loads of laundry and keep house. Things I had little experience with. Mostly though it wasn’t just keeping all the balls in the air, it was knowing you could NOT let any of them drop or disaster would ensue.
But all of that is only back story to what I’m really driving at. There were days, especially during those traumatic first 18 months, when I was literally at the end of my tether just keeping on top of what had to be done. If one little thing went wrong it was hard to be circumspect.
I am here to confess that I was that person who was snippy, snarky, damn it, even rude to the often innocent persons around me. Meter readers, delivery people, God help me, even Mormons at the door. I was just keeping my head above water and the slightest thing could set me off and I would hear myself saying things I always regretted later.
I would lay in my bed at night and think to myself, by the time this is over I will owe the entire world an apology. When I would confess to my friends that I had spoken harshly to someone and felt badly, they would universally say, “Don’t sweat the small stuff, you’re living an impossible life and under a lot of stress, cut yourself some slack!”
It was sound advice and, truth be told, there was no room to ruminate on things - another day lay just around the corner.
But those times have passed now and while I can hardly track down those innocent parties with whom I was unduly harsh, I long to apologize to someone. For my shortness, and my rudeness, and my short temper. All things they did not deserve.
It occurred to me recently that perhaps I could apologize to y’all instead. On behalf of the people who inspired your threads about rudeness or undue harshness at the hands of another. I know it’s not the same, but it might help a little I thought.
Truth is, since having this experience I am much more understanding of snark when I encounter it. My tolerance is soo much higher. And I’m sure you can see why. Perhaps my story will engender in others some of that same tolerance. Even if it’s just a drop, I’m going to count it a victory.
Every once in a long while, in response to my snark, instead of being put out or snarking back the innocent would smile with understanding almost as if they could read my struggle off of my face. I cannot tell you what it meant to me, it makes me weep to think of it still. Never once did it occur that it did not cause me to do a complete 360, my mood brightened and a smile came to my face though I deserved it not. That goodness would last throughout the rest of the day.
But I’m not here to preach to you to turn the other cheek, that is not my intention. I am here to apologize for the next person who is snarky or rude to you. Because I have been that person and I owe the whole universe an apology. I even considered composing just such a letter and sending it to my local paper.
Please accept my apology and know that you most certainly did nothing to deserve the treatment you experienced. Please know I regret deeply my injurious words. I offer you my most sincere apology and beg your forgiveness.