Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Don't Forget To Forgive Me

In actuality, the head of today's post is a song title. Never mind that it was written by my daughter Grace when she was about six. It was actually part of a medley, including "Don't Forget to Love Me" and "Don't Forget to Kiss Me." The last song, as little Gracie would admonish me, "is for the girls."

She also wrote a paean to her gym teacher. I will not name him or the song, but the last line was "He's too cute to say 'no.'"

Ah, these kids today. And yesterday.

But the initial title has been ringing true for me lately.

Forgiving, I believe, is some powerful shit. And—like bulbous C7 Yule lights, funny sitcoms, modest athletes, and uneasily-offended people—the concept has become antiquated, shopworn.

Is there that much that is unforgivable? I think not. What, someone called you a name? Someone broke up with you? Grabbed your parking spot?

In line with a dearth of forgiving is the waxing of the word hate. How can you hate a band, a team, a TV show, or seafood. Really? No, I do not hate Pink Floyd, as a friend asked me last night. I just cannot stand their wobbly, snoozy, grooveless, goes-nowhere music.

Also in line is the faux apology. Example: "I'm sorry, but I drink only sweet wine." Now, I might feel sorry for someone with such horrid taste in the noble grape, but why apologize for one's opinion?

Forgiveness is such a noble trait. I have written before about the galpal who stopped seeing me and tried to apologize years later. I was never mad about the split, but felt a tad disappointed. Her apology was heartfelt; she looked almost morose. My admiration for her zoomed after that night. And has stayed in that rarefied air.

It is also noble to cut off someone's apology, to tell them no apology is needed. How often does that happen?

I am relieved when I am forgiven. I felt great when a guy—who was at odds with me for years (and I with him)—came up to me with a handshake many moons later. I felt lightened, almost buoyant.

I once knew a basketball coach (let's call him Spike) whom I heartily disliked. I was an official at the time. He was a nitpicking, never-happy bully to us zebras. He often got personal with criticisms. He was so obnoxious that every referee in town couldn't stand doing his games. One night, a fellow ref said to me before one of Spike's games, "Let's just ignore him tonight." It worked like a charm, for Spike's BP went up exponentially the less we paid attention to him.

One Christmas Eve, I spotted Spike at church. I found myself wondering whether he sneered at The Big Guy during Mass. I was hosting my annual All Holler's Eve Bash afterward, so I buttonholed Spike and invited him. He looked as if I had just hit him with a taser. He demurred on the invite, but I felt better about myself.

I can think of quite a few people whom I'd like to apologize to and ask forgiveness. It's been so long, I think some may have departed.

Try this, folks. It not only restores your faith in others, but theirs in you.

I apologize for such a serious tone today, for my lack of snark. Please forgive me.

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