Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Another Song for Mary Winkler

I'm posting a lot today trying to empty some of the pots and kettles on the backburners of my mind. The kids are not here today so I have been able to actually work on stuff.


"All Apologies" by Nirvana

What else should I be
All apologies
What else could I say
Everyone was gay
What else could I write
I don't have the right
What else should I be
All apologies

In the sun
In the sun I feel as one
In the sun
In the sun
Married
Buried

I wish I was like you
Easily amused
Find my nest of salt
Everything is my fault
I'll take all the blame
Aqua seafoam shame
Sunburn with freezerburn
Choking on the ashes of her enemy

In the sun
In the sun I feel as one
In the sun
In the sun
Married
Buried
Married
Buried

Yeah yeah yeah yeah

All in all is all we are (x13)



There was a recent comment over at Lubos Motl's to one of his notes about the news of Mary Winkler's motive for shooting her husband and her telling him before he died, "I'm sorry." The comment suggested that saying "I'm sorry" is a useless exercise. For whatever reasons I've been pondering that idea a lot. I grew up with the tagline, "Love means never having to say you're sorry," from the movie Love Story. It's one of those sweet but sad love stories that can really influence a young girl in her tender, formative years. But of course, by now I've lived long enough to know that sometimes love means that you better damn well say you're sorry and mean it. So now I'm a little confused as to how I really feel about "I'm sorry" and what it does and doesn't mean and if it has anything to do with love.

Maybe Mary really didn't love her husband, but I want to think if that were true she would not have said, "I'm sorry." But I can imagine that her saying it was so loaded with a history of her constantly having to say "I'm sorry" ("All Apologies") for every little thing that her husband found wrong with her that it was almost an autonomic response ("Everything is my fault, I'll take all the blame"). But even so, that does not necessarily mean that she did not mean it and did not love him. I think that we often have autonomic responses to those we love, and unfortunately not always pleasant ones. ;-)

I used to be a chronic apologizer always saying "I'm sorry" when it was really completely unnecessary. I realize now that not everything is my fault because I am not God and don't control the Universe, or at least not most of it. ;-) But over-using "I'm sorry" does not have to mean that someone is insincere. Sometimes we want to make everything okay despite not being in control of the Universe. And sometimes in my own desire to make everything better I will slip back into the habit of apologizing for everything whether it is my fault or not. Sometimes just saying or hearing "I'm sorry" can make us and others feel better. Sometimes it's the only thing you want to hear. Sometimes it's the only thing you can say.

Maybe "I'm sorry" is overused and has lost its value in the world for most people. I don't know. But I do know that Mary Winkler is sorry for what she did. And it's really not my place to judge her motivation for saying she was sorry. What else could she say?

5 comments:

DHammett said...

I definitely think that the phrase "I'm sorry" has become overused and lost its meaning. The wife and I have taught our kids to actually ask forgiveness from the person they may have harmed rather than just mumble a quick sorry. And we do it, too. It's a lot harder to do that, and therefore a lot more meaningful.

Rae Ann said...

dh, I have to disagree slightly about "I'm sorry" losing its meaning, though I basically agree with your approach with your kids. Saying "I'm sorry" does not have to be meaningless, just as saying "I love you" doesn't have to lose its meaning from overuse. I don't know many people who complain about that, but I have heard people complain that it is said to them more out of habit than out of feeling. My point about Mary Winkler was that she probably couldn't say anything else because of all the years that she had been 'trained' to take all the blame.

DHammett said...

Were you apologizing for disagreeing with me? ;-) I wasn't addressing the Mary Winkler issue. I know nothing about it. I was merely commenting on the habit of saying things without really meaning them.

Rae Ann said...

dh, yes, I'm sorry for disagreeing with you. I really mean it! ;-)

Anonymous said...

do you know anything about these mary winkler pictures?

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ibYU1hZ0-Mk