The last few weeks have included several days during which multiple annoyances have been in abundance. These petty annoyances don't amount to very much on their own, but when added to a string of similar incidents they have become monumental.
For instance, this weekend Chris and I did the dreaded deed: the baby sago palms are no more. While Chris was doing the heavy labor, I decided to clean-up one of the flower-beds. Nestled between two struggling marigolds I found two fresh coils of dog poop. The bed I was working in is closer to the backyard than the street and prior observations lead me to believe the scat belonged to one of the next-door neighbor's two large dogs. The very dogs who are turned loose without leashes when nature calls. I've had the pleasure of observing the little fellows in the act of eliminating in my yard. This usually happens when I'm working in the shade of one of the trees or working near the front door. If you aren't looking for me, you won't notice that I'm there.
One of the dogs' owners is usually within a few feet of them and so they're aware of the fact that the little rascals are decorating a neighbor's yard. The only time I've heard them tell the dogs not to poop in another yard is when the yard's owner is visibly present. One day, I was bent over spreading mulch when the Alsatian came bounding up, sniffed the tree next to me and prepared to begin the christening. My neighbor wasn't bothered by her baby's actions until I straightened up and she noticed they weren't alone. We made eye contact and I called out a greeting. She didn't acknowledge me. Instead, she called for her dog and hurried into her backyard.
A few days ago, I had just parked my car and was gathering my things when I heard a muffled slam and felt the car vibrate. There was a young woman peering into the passenger-side window with an embarrassed look on her face. She yelled, "There's no damage!" before hurrying away. She'd parked too close to me and had opened her car door without looking.
I went out and had a look and didn't notice anything significant. It may not have occurred to the young woman that she and I would be going into the same building, or that I would end up in line behind her at the post office. As soon as she recognized me standing behind her, she became agitated. She stepped out of line to look at a case of stamps and began talking loudly to a friend. The gist of the conversation involved mailing invitations the following week. Since they wouldn't be sending the cards out that day, there was no need to be at the post office buying stamps, she said. She ignored the strange look her friend gave her and exited the lobby. Her friend waited a beat before following.
After I mailed my package, I decided to have another look at the car door. I found a spot where some paint was missing. It might have been a coincidence and the young woman opening her door into mine might not have been responsible for the chip. I can't honestly say one way or the other since she was long gone.
The petty events I've been torturing you with all have the same thing in common; no apologies. When did people stop taking responsibility? When did apologizing become a lost art?
Why does apologizing have to be an art at all?
The simple act of saying you're sorry needn't be a monumental moment and goes a long way toward defusing a situation before it gets blown out of proportion. Apologize with sincerity and acknowledge the fact that you've done something wrong. You may feel better for it and I can guarantee the other person will appreciate the acknowledgement.
And so, for torturing you with my rant, I will say, "I'm sorry."