“I’ve Been Trying to Stop Apologizing So Much,” by Sophie Lucido Johnson

Aug 5th, 2015 | By | Category: Nonfiction, Prose

I’ve recently come to the realization that I say I’m sorry because I lack self-confidence, self-worth, and self-respect. I’m starting to understand that if I’m going to get serious about really loving myself, just as I am, I am going to have to stop apologizing for everything. So you will understand that I have nothing to say about having just crashed your car into a telephone pole.

First of all, why do telephone poles even exist anymore? No one is using telephones. Telephones are obsolete! The fact that the telephone pole was there in the first place is symbolic of America’s communal refusal to evolve.

In my weaker days, before I saw myself for the amazing human I truly am, I would have acknowledged that I probably shouldn’t have taken your car without asking. I know you just left the room for a moment to get a copy of Thus Spoke Zarathustra to share with me. But come on! You know how I hate German philosophy. (Or, you SHOULD know how I hate German philosophy, because who likes it besides college-aged boys with ironic glasses?)

You left and I noticed that your Mazda keys were just lying there on the coffee table, basically beckoning to me, and I considered what it would be like to take a quick ride to the juice bar. I thought about how I would get a carrot and guava juice, and how I would maybe even stop and get a salt bagel, and that just sounded amazing. I must have been hungry! To tell you the truth, I don’t ever really like the food you have at your house. It feels so good to be honest with you about that. So anyway, then I said to myself, “Hey. You are worthy. Now what do you really WANT?”

I’ve been working so hard on taking care of myself lately; I’m trying to really model for people what it looks like to be self-nurturing. Like last week, for the entire week, I did yoga and watched Designing Women instead of going to work. When my boss called to tell me that I’d missed a meeting so vital to the work of the company I may have cost her HER job, my impulse was to apologize. It took all my emotional strength to work through that, but I managed to tell my boss that I was tending to my spirit, and forging a deep, sacred path. She told me that I could have at least called to cancel the meeting. I told her that sleep is important to physical and psychological well-being, and the meeting was at 9 a.m. Notice how I didn’t apologize! Maybe that was just the impetus she needed to take a few days off herself.

While we’re on the subject, I also slept with your husband last week while you were on your business trip. I don’t know if he told you; based on your demeanor, though, I’m guessing he didn’t. It was great! Haven’t you noticed that we’ve always had a sort of chemistry? Like, he’s always touching my arm and telling me I look “smashing” in my outfits when I go to cocktail parties at your house? He told me that he’s been wanting to open up your relationship, which I think would be amazing for both of you. He said you’re not really into it, but you should do it. He and I are insanely physically compatible. Yikes! There it is again! I feel like I should be apologizing to you! It’s amazing how deeply ingrained these social compulsions are!

I grabbed the money you had in the front room on my way out. I don’t have a job anymore, so this is great to have. You feel like a significant part of my spiritual journal, and I’m not just saying that. I didn’t make it to the juice bar, but I did see an amazing bird on a telephone wire just before I crashed. Maybe telephone poles are necessary evils, so birds have places to roost. I guess everything has a purpose, huh? I’ll see you next week, same time. Obviously you can’t give me a ride home today, but that’s really ok. Don’t apologize! I will enjoy the walk.


Defenestration-Sophie Lucida JohnsonSophie Lucido Johnson is a writer and comedian, and the editor-in-chief of Neutrons Protons. She has been published in McSweeney’s, Jezebel, The Hairpin, The Nation, ROOKIE, Punchnel’s, and plenty of other places. She lives in New Orleans and teaches children about feelings during the school year. Obviously, she has a cat.

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