Posted: Wed 10th Dec 2014 07:04
It all started the night before my good friend came to visit. Not even someone I need to impress, just a really great down-to-earth friend. I mentioned slightly frantically in the evening when the children were asleep to my husband that 'we really need to tidy in here' meaning the front room and meaning not me! It would take me three hours of my evening to sort through all the piles, hoover and clean the stains from the sofa and the rug. And my husband certainly wasn't in a position to do any tidying - he was holding a sleeping babe and in for a night of tele and well-deserved break.
So I went on Facebook, did some work, kept eyeing the unsorted piles, kept giving the stains an evil look and figured I could quickly run the hoover over tomorrow morn after dropping off our eldest at school.
I went to bed, woke up, fed baby, had shower, helped older one to get ready, exhorted (ok, nagged) her to tidy up some of her bits and meanwhile the hoover stayed in the cupboard and the stains remained on the sofa and the carpet and the rug.
Let's go back to my shower time. I didn't just have a shower. I started to say that one word... that one little teeny tiny yet ever-so-loaded word that I hear myself and many other women say every day. SORRY.
I could hear my thoughts clearly... sorry about the mess... ah yes, sorry about the stains... sorry about the pile of books, sorry that the rubbish is still in the kitchen as is the recycling, sorry that the hallway has some stuff in it and suitcases that we still haven't unpacked from China six months ago, sorry, sorry SORRY!
Wow! I was practically starting to hyperventilate! Right! I told myself there and then in the shower that for once, just for once (and perhaps this could be the start of a beautiful new habit) that I would not say sorry AT ALL when my friends came round. I would not apologise for the stains, for the paper and books piles, for the rubbish, for anything. My mind was already starting to battle this and I wanted to say sorry. I don't know why. It is something I have been accustomed to doing when anyone enters our home. My mother came to visit a couple of weeks ago and I could hear myself saying the 's' word before she'd even walked through the door.
It was five minutes before my friend arrived. No time for hoovering, (feeding baby again). No time to sort anything. No time to quickly go upstairs and fold three laundry loads of washing (just in case they wanted to go up into our bedroom!) NO TIME! This was it! I was about to have a friend over and NOT SAY SORRY.
You know what I am talking about, right? If you think this truly doesn't apply to you I want you to be super aware next time someone comes to visit. It could be that you don't say sorry because you spent four hours cleaning your family home before some came over for a quick 30 minute coffee and natter. It could be that you are one of those people who have really cracked this habit. Are you? Hmmmm... I am not so sure!
Back to my friend date!
As soon as she arrived, I had to go out without fastening my bra. I wanted to apologise for this but kept my lips shut. Really... it was tough! No kidding! She was 15 minutes late (I didn't care) and she said sorry for this and also sorry about her trousers (I am not sure why as they looked really cool to me). I suppressed the extreme urge to apologise for living in a gated community. But rules are rules! I turned it round with a story... 'I love living here but I do find it frustrating that we have to put in a code to get in...' and then talked about the story of when our home nearly caught fire many years ago and how I actually felt a bit safer here. What I really wanted to say was... you guessed it!
We walked into the home and again, it was all I could do to not say 'sorry about the mess!!' (this friend has 3 children... I KNOW she does not care but I still wanted to say it. I refrained. She complimented our home... how lovely, how warm, how sweet. (you haven't seen the stains yet!) We ventured past the kitchen (sorry about the rubbish) and into the lounge. More exclamations from my beautiful friend. I tried to see the room from her perspective. Was it really that bad? Not one single mention of piles or stains!
We chatted nineteen to the dozen for an hour straight. She said 'sorry' for various things along the way, each time me giggling to myself and also thinking that if I wasn't conducting this experiment, that I would have also said sorry a few hundred times by now.
We had a great time. She brought gifts. She said sorry about the gifts. I was so happy for the gifts (but am truly sorry that I ate them all and didn't save any for my family!)
Then... she put baby on the carpet. I eyed the stains. Would she notice? Would she give two hoots? I knew she wouldn't but I really wanted to apologise to validate that I knew what she possibly knew. Her baby vomited over the carpet. "SORRY"! She exclaimed.
She left and I was sooo happy to have spent time with her. I love her to bits!
So ladies... what do you think? Is it time to stop saying sorry?
Unless you really need to say it and then play them this song that I wrote about really being sorry!
I hope you enjoyed reading this! Please share with all the women you know... and if you catch yourself saying sorry (sorry I am overweight, sorry I have a milk stain on my boob, sorry I am not wearing make-up today, sorry my carpet has bits on it, sorry my car has rubbish everywhere, sorry that I have a spot on my chin, sorry that I am using this wipe to clean my cup when you just saw me wipe my baby's vomit with it, sorry I smell of garlic today, sorry that I am feeding my baby out of a pouch and not home-cooked food, sorry that I am eating this chocolate when I am on a diet.... ) just give yourself a hug and say 'Would you like a cuppa?' instead!
Love you x
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