My Sorries

by Claire Minnaar

On Saturday, Ryan and I packed up the kids in record time and drove into town for a lekker cup of coffee to get out the house while there was some sun out before the heavens opened again.

Afterwards, we popped into the Checkers in the building close to the coffee shop to get a few things including a new toothbrush for Ethan, my 4 year old. I went to a cashier and greeted them nicely with a big smile :). Then, Ethan started asking me questions and then suddenly started having a sneezing attack and shouting “TISSUE, Mommy! Tissue!” over and over again. Ryan was NOWHERE to be seen and the queue was starting to grow behind me – you know those queues on a Saturday when people are in a hurry and have places to be…STRESS!!

So, without thinking, I said “Ethan, give the MAN the toothbrush so we can pay and then we will go find Dad with the tissues”. Then, when waiting for the cashier to ask for my money, I looked at the up and I noticed BOOBS! I sat there looking at the teller’s face and then at the boobs and I found myself having this long conversation trying to convince myself that this person was a man and that many men nowadays have man boobs and I couldn’t have called this person a man OUT LOUD who was in actual fact a freaking WOMAN! The horror on my face had the lady behind me in hysterics. At the end of that transaction, the cashier said nothing and looked rather…um…cross.

I left the store very quickly to find Ryan. I sorted out the allergy kid and then “ummed” and “aaahed” about going to apologise. Would she think I’m crazy? I can’t ruin this woman’s day like this? She must be so offended!?

I marched off and went to her and apologised. I got a smile out of her (YAY ME!), but I couldn’t have gone the rest of the day knowing I may have upset / hurt or affected someone’s day before of my lack of attention or lack of being present.

I’m on a personal mission at the moment to make a difference in the world. I don’t know yet exactly how I’m going to do it, but for now, it’s one step at a time. One of the things is getting present and being aware of the things that are really important. I know some people wouldn’t have given a toss about upsetting a person, but I did.

What I wanted to say today though is that sometimes we don’t even know we have hurt someone’s feelings or we just simply don’t care. I once did a course a few years ago and the guy who did the course travels extensively and his wife comes with. They stay in hotels whenever they go. He was talking about the ladies that clean the rooms and how they must feel sometimes when they come into a room and it’s just a complete and utter mess. So, his wife – just for her sake – always made the bed and tidied up – can you imagine how that must feel for a cleaning lady?

So, today, I want to start clean. I want to apologise to anyone who I have offended / upset by doing or not doing something. I always apologise when I know I’ve gone wrong or made mistakes. I have no control over how a person will relate or take the apology. No one is perfect – NO ONE! It really is amazing how a small apology can change someone’s day.

If there’s someone you have been avoiding or not been dealing with, I encourage you – TODAY – to take the first step and say you’re sorry! Not only will you feel better, imagine how that person’s day could improve.

Go on, you can do it!

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