Wait, wasn’t I mad at you? or Women v Men: Sorry, not sorry!

As you lay there in bed and address me gruffly one last time before turning your back towards me, I wondered, again, what it was that I had done?  What had I done wrong?  Did I disrespect you?  Did I ignore you?  Did I offend you?  Did I break your heart?

I think to tap you on the shoulder and question you about it.  I think to tap you on the shoulder and

tell you
I’m sorry,”

like so many other times, not knowing what I had done wrong but not wanting to fight, not wanting to disappoint you.  Then I stopped myself.  For some reason – and I couldn’t for the life of me remember why – I wasn’t supposed to seek your attention.  I wasn’t supposed to seek your approval.  I wasn’t supposed to request your forgiveness.

In the twinkling blue light of the television, I laid back on the bed and stared at the ceiling.  What had just happened?  What the hell was going on?  Why was I so confused, and why would I not let myself react how I felt compelled to?

I began to reconsider the events of the past week, already a fog in my mind.  Again, that nagging question, “What had I done?”  

Monday had passed, and you had told me something that didn’t seem quite right.  But I didn’t want to fight, so I ignored my instincts and let it slide.

I knew it was a lie –

I always do –

but I didn’t want to fight —

Tuesday you acted out – probably a consequence of whatever had gone on Monday.  I tried to ask you about it, but you got angry.  So, instead, as is the norm, I reverted to a caretaker, asking what I could do to help you, what I could do to make it better.  You, however, brought the lie forward.

Wednesday I found you out.  Or, rather, it had gone so far that you couldn’t hide it anymore: the evidence was on the table.  Rather than apologize, you dragged it on.  Rather than be truthful, you told another lie – a smaller one, but a lie just the same.

I knew it was a lie –

I always do –

but I didn’t want to fight —

Thursday you were unwell.  I imagined that you weren’t ill, just suffering for your actions, but I was the caretaker.  I plead with you to try and calm down, I asked what I could do to help; we did, of course, have a prior engagement.  I bribed you with the opportunity to do what you wanted – no consequences – if we could just not let my father down as he was expecting us.

Friday I realized that the horrible truth you told was not even as horrible as the real truth.  I slept all day, didn’t eat and tried not to bother you.

I knew it was a lie –

I always do –

but I didn’t want to fight —

By Saturday morning, I was strong.  I gave you an ultimatum.  You sulked and said you were sorry.  I said it didn’t matter; I said that this time you had to handle yourself alone.  I didn’t answer your texts from work.  I didn’t answer you happily on the phone.  I was broken, but I was trying to be strong.  It was hard, but I was doing it.

When Saturday night came, we were together again.  You said you were sorry, and I nodded.  You said you would cook dinner, but I had already started.  You tried to touch my shoulder, but I shrugged you off.  I told you that I wasn’t ready.  I told you that I needed you to change before I accepted you back so close to my heart.

And that was the end of your apology.

A woman, whether or not she has done something wrong, will apologize.  A woman will apologize for bumping into you, for taking up too much space, for expecting too much, for your failures.  And she will keep apologizing until she has made it right.

A man will apologize once and offer one half-assed gesture that does not even hold a candle to the wrongs he has done you.  Be careful, though; if you don’t make it enough for you, if you don’t make it work, you will be the one that ends up apologizing.  You will be the one who’s sorry for offending the other’s efforts.

Woman, 

you are just

asking for 

way too much —

So suddenly it hit me.  Or maybe not so suddenly, but I did get there eventually.  That’s why I wasn’t supposed to apologize to you – that’s why I wasn’t supposed to be looking for your forgiveness.  Because I hadn’t done anything.  My only error was expressing contempt for your lack of a conscience.  But, sadly, I’ll end up apologizing anyway, even though I didn’t deserve any of it.

Because I am a good girl–

xLoJu

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