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An apology long overdue - Flourish and Blotts

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October 1st, 2015

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08:30 pm - An apology long overdue
I need to set the record straight, and I may have a very limited timeframe to work with, so this needs to get done now.

Years ago I began a program which I jokingly entitled "Making Women Cry." It was based upon the idea that I would craft things and then give them to the women in my life, unrelated to any holiday or birthday. Within that overall idea were a number of assumptions, and I now realize that they were incorrect.

The first assumption was that I had at least some talent or skill necessary to craft these gifts. They were largely things made of, or with, wood, although not exclusively. They were intended to be "pieces of art" although I applied that term rather liberally, and as we all know, true art is in the eye of the beholder. As I consider the breadth of the items that were a part of this idea I realize, as I did then, that not all of them really qualified.

The second assumption, which was, I realize now, utterly flawed, was that I understood the world in which we live. Please allow me to explain.

While I will admit the whole idea was too altruistic, I failed to properly consider viewpoints other than my own. I saw these as gifts, while the recipients saw them more as unsolicited attention. I never sought their consent, nor did they ever grant that. I just assumed.

I now realize that their reactions, while often providing me with some level of ego gratification, could not possibly be genuine. They were in the uncomfortable position of being forced to respond in some socially-acceptable way, while at the same time feeling like the drunk at the bar wouldn't leave them alone. I never asked, nor gave them an opportunity to decline. I was, to put it in simple terms, a serial emotional rapist, creating havoc by forcing my attentions upon women who had no opportunity to make their own choices about the appropriateness of my actions.

In at least a couple instances, I even delivered those things in person, leaving the victim with no possible escape route.

I was wrong to do that. I failed to consider or recognize that there might be another valid point of view, and that my honorable intentions could be interpreted in other ways.

So, it's time to apologize, to each and every one of my victims. I'm not sure I remember all of them, which is truly sad, but I can identify many. In no particular order, I'm saying I'm so sorry to Holly, to Keiko (multiple times), to Jean, to Sandra, to Kay (multiple times), to Cynthia (too many times), to Tina (more than once), to Gretchen, to Julie, to Rose, to Andi (multiple times), to Sheena, and to Leeann. I'm sure there are more, and for those I can't remember I'm even more sorry.

I recognize that my apology in no way undoes the emotional damage I've done, but I am unaware of anything I could possibly do to reverse that. The best thing I can do is go away, and hope that might provide some degree of closure. I won't ask for forgiveness, because I don't deserve that. I should have known better, and I should have recognized the failure of my actions. I've been told I'm a good listener, but clearly in these situations I listened for things I wanted to hear and failed to properly comprehend the actual responses. I missed (or simply ignored) the signals that were loud and clear.

So, for those who believe that #notallmen is bogus, I guess you're likely correct. Certainly my protestations about being included ring hollow when I consider my actions in this light. There is a saying in Marriage Encounter that says "Feelings are neither right nor wrong." Clearly, if those are your feelings, then they are, if not right, certainly valid. I accept that. They are the product of my insensitivity, and that's my doing, not yours.

I could, I suppose, ask God for forgiveness, but I just can't believe in a deity that allows unlimited "sins" and then says "It's all good if you ask for forgiveness." Maybe that means I end up in that other place, but I'm well aware I've done more than enough damage to deserve that. And...I guess I'll find out pretty soon anyway, so it's not like I'm going to dwell on that for very long.
Current Mood: melancholymelancholy
Current Music: Barber - Adagio for Strings

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