Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Excuse me?

It all began in the 2nd grade.

It was the year of my first mean teacher. At the time, I was completely convinced this teacher secretly worked for Satan. You know the kind. To make matters worse, in the 2nd grade, I was completely devoted to convincing my mom that without a Skip-It, I would just die...

Unfortunately, I wasn't at all concerned with learning how to add and subtract money. Hell... I'm still pretty bad at that. (Thank you, overdraft protection.)

So, when the morning came for me to turn in a money worksheet that we had been assigned to do for homework the previous evening... I was forced to think fast. "Make up a good excuse for why you didn't finish it... and don't use the words "skip" or "it" if you want to live to see another day."

Needless to say, I did not attend recess that day. Instead, I sat in the hall and sulked in my own self pity while completing my late assignment.

I still have yet to forgive that mean, old geezer.

The reason for this anecdote is, I've recently found myself making a lot of excuses, for myself, and for others. Reasons for why I don't do things, or why I do. Rationalizing treating others poorly or letting others treat me with less than what I deserve. I think it's human nature to do this; it's something we don't even think about most of the time. But, once you take a step back and realize how many excuses you come up with daily... it's a pretty scary number. And strangely enough, most of the time... our excuses suck. For example...

"My boss only lectured me because his kid puked on him this morning. I know I'm doing a good job.  So, I needed an hour or two to play solitare and clear my head, sue me."


"I'm sorry officer, I normally stop at red lights, but I just spent more money than you can possibly imagine on new brake pads. Let me off with a warning?"


"You know I love you. I only kissed that guy from the bar in front of you last night because he told me I looked like Angelina Jolie and then he bet that I couldn't kiss like her. I thought he said he was Brad Pitt. I was drunk. I had no way of knowing that what he actually said was that he was a sad Brit. Yes, I did think it was odd that he had suddenly acquired a British accent. You can't seriously be mad at me for this?!..."

We all do it... we make up excuses in our mind to cover up the sometimes embarrassing, and often ridiculous mistakes we make. The funniest part of this mind process is that we actually begin to convince ourselves that our rationalizations make complete and perfect sense, and that those people who don't buy into them are somehow betraying us.

I've always tried to take responsibility for my actions, but I am well aware that there may have been times I've swept the actual truth of situations under my brain's rug.

I'm hoping that my awareness of this vice will allow the truth to soon set me free... which, will then turn my luck around, or re-align something in my stars, and eventually, millions of dollars will fall out of the sky, right into my lap.

Highly doubtful, but a girl can dream...

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