Do you ever have a moment when your brain wanders to a past memory and you realize you should apologize for something you didn’t realize was so bad at the time? That happened to me today, so I wanted to go ahead and put those apologies out there.
To the moms in the preschool parking lot…
All school year I have been cursing your name. I have accused you of doing the most heinous of acts in a preschool parking lot: backing out and not looking. Day after day, I have full on yelled at you from my car, “you are NOT EVEN LOOKING!,” followed by a lot of huffing and puffing noises, accompanied by dagger eye dirty looks. How dare you endanger the safety of these small, precious children? Are you in such a hurry to get to Crossfit that you cannot be bothered to turn around and look over your shoulder as you pull out of your parking space?
Then a few weeks ago, my husband’s new work car arrived. It has a beautiful screen on the dashboard. Guess what? When you put the car in reverse, a camera comes on and the screen displays what is behind you. Yeah, this makes sense now. These women are not being negligent, they just have a newer model car than me. That’s cool. I’m sorry. You are a responsible driver and do care about the safety of small children. My mistake. Carry on.
To the little girl in the bathroom at Chuck E Cheese, 1993…
You should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 21 years old now. All these years I have been worried that I traumatized you and I really do hope you can forgive me. I was only in high school and it was my first job. I really hated it but I liked having money so I could put gas in my car. Also, they let us eat pizza for free which was an awesome perk. But, Little Girl, you have to understand that being in that Chucky costume was very overwhelming. I had to balance a giant head, that weighed at least 300 lbs, on my scrawny 17 year old shoulders. There is limited oxygen and zero peripheral vision and the inside smelled like the sweat of all the Chuckies that came before me.
As if that alone was not enough to make me want to cry, on that particular day there was a rowdy gang of unsupervised 7 year old boys. Through those tiny little mouse eye holes I saw 3 of them come charging at me. I thought this was for the customary hugs kids like to give Chucky, but instead they ambushed me! There was a 4th boy behind me who yanked the tail as the other 3 pushed me down. They cheered as the giant, awkward rat tumbled to the ground and then proceeded to jump on me. I am assuming someone(s) pulled them off of me because the next thing I knew I was making a break for it. Which as you know, Little Girl, is where you and I met.
You see, when you are in an oversized character costume that smells like a colony of hippies and have just been waylayed by 4 energetic boys and you are gasping you to catch your breath, you tend to forget a few details of the situation and head to the closest place to take refuge. For me, that was the bathroom. So when I stumbled in and saw you there, the look of shock and terror on your face made me realize my error immediately. Then you started shouting, “Get out Chucky, get out! You’re a boy! You can’t be in here. Get OUT!!” At this point, Little Girl, I was starting to experience a low grade panic attack. Which is why, before your bewildered mother could swoop you out of the bathroom, it was 100% necessary that I duck into that stall and remove the enormous mouse head from my shaking body. Then you screamed. That is when your mother drug you out, of what I can only imagine, is now the backdrop for all your nightmares.
I hope you can see why I ( or Chucky) did what I had to do in order to, you know, breath oxygen. Talk to your therapist about forgiving me and moving on. Do it for the both of us.
To the parents of the 4 boys who pummeled me when I was in a Chuck E Cheese costume, 1993…
I have spent a long time holding you responsible for what happened that day. Obviously you were horribly inattentive parents who were raising rotten excuses for children. At least that is how I saw it until I had children of my own. I see things with more clarity now. The kids can roam free in an enclosed area. They sell beer there. I get it. I do. And I forgive you. Can you do the same for me?
I have slandered your name for years – chemical laden and toxic I would have nothing to do with you. I swore you off for your offensive fumes and poisonous residue but overlooked your uncanny ability to make my shower spotless. Let’s be honest, I didn’t buy you. Jeff did. Your arrival in my home was met with an emphatic “NO!” I had tried every organic and all natural cleaner out there and nothing was getting all the grime and slime that seemed to be overtaking my shower. So when Jeff cleaned the shower and used you, Tilex, I was converted. My gleaming white shower is probably worth the risk to my pulmonary system. So…I’m sorry. Or I will be. When my lungs collapse. But when the paramedics drag my heaving body into the ambulance they’ll be all, “daaaaaamn that’s a good looking shower.”
To the doctor who performed my first C-section, 2007
I have a feeling you have already forgiven me. Actually, you were probably never really that upset with me to begin with, but I feel I should apologize nonetheless. One thing about that whole crazy emergency-rush-to-the-OR situation has always stuck with me and I feel bad about it, so here goes.
When you and your team were working hard and fast to safely deliver my mildly distressed baby, in a very last minute situation, I kept interrupting. Remember? I kept saying, “Excuse me? There is a pinching in my vagina. Excuse me?” And you and everyone else in the room kept ignoring me…but I kept saying it. Over and over. Because I was pretty cracked out on being awake 42 hours and having lots of drugs pumped into me AND I thought it was a baby slipping out. Until finally you said, quite kindly I might add, “Just relax, it’s a catheter.”
Yeah, I’m sorry. Like, really super uber sorry.
So friends, the moral of this story is: if you have an apology to make, it’s never to late. And also, never work at Chuck E Cheese.