Mz. Mannerz: The Fauxpology Prodigy

It’s time for another exciting installment of Mz. Mannerz!  Go put on a codpiece and brace yourself.  Like you weren’t already wearing one anyway.

The fake apology, or as it is often called, the fauxpology.  One of the more entertaining things a person can receive.  You could write it out as “Faux pas-logy” but that’s just confusing, so just go along with me here.

As you know, I had many years of experience dating scumbag musicians because for some reason or another I used to think I was worthless, so I’ve probably received more fauxpologies than most people, including such golden hits as…

“Hey, you know what?  I’m sorry you had to pay to get the electric turned back on again, but do you even care that I finally beat Grand Theft Auto Vice City while you were at work today?”

“Sorry you’re all ‘boo-hoo sad’ with your trust issues because I haven’t told my parents about us.  I’m doing you a favor.  If my mother knew I was living at your house for the past two years she would think you were a tramp and weren’t good enough for me.”

“Well, sorry if you have to get up early for work, but I’m having a good time and I’m not ready to go home yet.  Go sleep in the car if you’re tired.”

And yes, I walked out to a bar parking lot alone at 1am to sleep in my car.  My car that I had driven him to the bar in, because he had no car and no job, yet he felt he was the person in charge of when we would be leaving the bar.  Feel free to mentally transport yourself to the past and punch him in the dick.

…so I consider myself to be somewhat of a connoisseur of the fauxpology.

Now that I’m away from that horrific horseshittery, I find these fauxpologies almost endearing in hindsight.  They really are the gift that pretends to keep on giving.

There’s really only one correct way to say that you’re sorry:

  • By clearly stating that you are sorry for doing the shitty thing.

That’s the formula, in case you’re taking notes.

My god, please tell me you’re taking notes.  This website could self-destruct at any moment and then where would you be?  How would you know that the preferred Sheen/Estevez is actually Judd Nelson?

Here’s what an apology is not:

“Sorry if there were hurt feelings.”

This is what I like to call a “non-ownership” fauxpology.  For one thing, you couldn’t even be sincere enough to add the “I’m” before the word “sorry”?  That’s red flag number one that you’re not even remotely sorry.

The usage of the word “if” is another good indicator.  When you’re apologizing to someone, that means that they DO have hurt feelings.  There’s no question as to “if” they have hurt feelings.

And who’s hurt feelings are we even talking about here?  Because you didn’t mention anything about them being mine!  What you’ve done is just semi-apologized to the air, on behalf of the air.  You somehow managed to remove both of us from the entire equation, and questioned the notion that there were any hurt feelings to begin with.  Try again, shitass.

“I’m sorry you got your feelings hurt.”

I said try again.  That means try something different.  Not try the same damn bullshit again.

“I’m sorry that you’re so sensitive!”

Here’s the thing.  Do you want to have friends?  Would you like for people to be genuinely happy to see you?  Then when you do something shitty to them and they say, “Hey, that was shitty,” whether you intended to be shitty or not, you freaking apologize to them.  This is not cause for a debate over whether or not you feel they had a right to be upset about something you said or did – something that has clearly upset them either way.  Just apologize.  It goes something like this:  “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings.”  <—— Don’t cost nothin’!  AND DON’T SNEAK AN “IF” IN THERE.

“I’m sorry you took it that way.”

This is most often said when someone has said or done something so egregious that it’s undeniable, and now they’re basically trolling you.  This is how someone fauxpologizes after you get upset when they tell you, “Wow, you’ve really packed on weight since the last time I saw you!” or “Unlike you, I actually clean my house.”  There’s only one “way” to take those statements.  They were meant to be insulting.

“I SAID I WAS SORRY, OKAY?!”

See, now you’re yelling.  You’re yelling at someone who you’ve already wronged once.

Sometimes you can do something so super shitty that no amount of apologizing is going to make it better.  Sometimes it’s a sting that will take time to fade.  Sometimes it’s something unforgivable.  If someone is still upset after you apologize, that is not your cue to yell at the person.  That is your cue to figure out what you can possibly do to make it right, if anything, or just leave them alone and respect their space.

And people don’t have to actually accept your apology.  It’s not just a given in the apology transaction.  When you apologize, you are asking someone for forgiveness.  You don’t get to demand it from them.

So!  To summarize:

Stop being a dick and just say you’re sorry.

“Well, when I was on the debate team in high school…”

I SAID STOP BEING A DICK.

My Sad and Weird and Angry Milkshake Brings All The Boys to The Yard

I was in ninth grade, sitting on a bench with a friend waiting for the first bell to ring.  The usual group of older kids walked past us from the art room over to the 600 Building, like they did every morning.  There were probably a dozen of them, all friends, boys and girls, with one couple who seemed to be attached to each other as if their limbs were going to fall off and die when they got separated from the host-body of their love.

I always took notice of the couple because she was adorable, like a smiling little elf, and her boyfriend wore one of those hats that guys wore in the early 90s, which probably resulted in a lower birth rate in the early 90s, because those hats were sexually repellent.  This one.

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About four months into the school year, Hat Boy walked by one day, poured across the girlfriend as always, and leaned over and handed me an envelope and walked away.  On the outside of the envelope was written, “To the girl with the beutiful eyes”.

You have no idea how many times I just had to type that to get it to stop auto-correcting the spelling of “beautiful”.

As a professional social leper up to that point in my life, in my stretch denim skirt and turquoise mock turtleneck over my much not-sought-after chest of an anemic 10-year old fetus, I assumed he handed this envelope to me as a joke of some kind, and that if I opened it, a can of snakes would shoot into my eyeballs.

Or maybe it was a case of mistaken identity?  Either way, he was just an intermediary passing this card off on behalf of one of his dozen friends.

I opened the envelope and there was a Christmas card inside, with a cute cartoon chipmunk wearing a Santa hat on the front.  Inside the card it said:

You’re too pretty to be so sad.  I’ve never seen you smile, but I hope you will.

Have a very Merry Christmas!

From someone crazy.

Someone you don’t even know.

Okay, no case of mistaken identity there.  In walking past me every day for four months, nobody in that group had ever seen me smile?  That sounded about right.  I was conceived, gestated, born, and raised with Resting Bitch Face.  These are un-retouched progression photos of me from birth to today:

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I know, it seems impossible that a person could look so permanently sad and weird and angry and not be in prison for life or at the bottom of the East River after plunging off the Brooklyn Bridge.  I know this about myself.  Sad and weird and angry is my charm.  If I were a man, you’d call it “brooding”, thereby making male-me irresistible to women with perilously low self-esteem.

And I should know.  I spent most of my dating-years being that woman.

“This guy seems sad and weird and angry!  Let’s date him and then be surprised at how sad and weird and angry he continues to be!”

I spent the rest of the school year trying to figure out which one of those guys had written this card.  It drove me crazy.  At that point in my life, most guys’ opinions of me were, “I guess she’s kinda funny?” and the notion of any of them desiring romance with me was as laughable as I thought my jokes were.  And by “most guys” I mean literally one guy named Mike.

Nothing came of it.  Their big group of friends still walked by every morning, and I had no idea who was behind this.

Four years later, I was seated at a table at Denny’s around 3am with my degenerate friends, and guess who our server was?  Hat Boy!  He took our order as if we had never seen each other before, brought us our food, and eventually the check.

As we went to leave, I found my nerve and said, “You handed me a card from a secret admirer like four years ago.  Who was it from?”

He said, “It was from me.  Why would I give you a card from someone else?”

I said, “Well, you were with your girlfriend when you handed it to me…”

He said, “And?”

Dewds.

Mz. Mannerz: I Am Fine If We Pretend We Don’t See Each Other

I’ve decided to start a regular-ish thing called “Mz. Mannerz.”  It will feature exciting content about how we can all be less of a jerkass in our daily lives.  Dissenting opinions will be printed out, put through a shredder, and used to line the cage of an angry rabbit that I have not yet acquired named “Dr. Stabbers”.  This is a dictatorship and will be governed accordingly.

Here’s the first installment!  Try to control yourself.

So there’s this person I don’t like.  He is my current Nemesis (I keep a rotating cast of enemies a la Nixon).  What he did to gain that ranking isn’t important, just know that he totally sucks and is completely outer limits rude and disrespectful, and if you had the misfortune of ever meeting him in person, I have zero doubt that you would agree that he is a universal double turdburger with cheese.

The thing that drives me the most insane about Nemesis, is that even though we do not get along AT ALL, he feels the need to barge up to me any time he sees me at a restaurant, a concert, even just walking down the street, to wave frantically and say hello to me.

And touch me.

Did I mention the touching?

I have watched in slow-motion horror as he’s sprinted across a city block to flag me down and touch me.

Ohh well, you see, even though I have instructed Nemesis on no less than five occasions, in no uncertain terms and with a look of death on my very married face, that he is NOT to touch me, there he is.  Touching me.  You would think that my glaring at his hand and through gritted teeth saying, “Do NOT touch me.” would do it, but nope!  Apparently, Nemesis feels completely entitled to touch me even though I could not be more clear that it is not okay to touch me.  WHO DOES THAT?

Also?  I am not “ha-ha don’t touch me” laughing when I say this to Nemesis.  There are no mixed signals here.  I am openly hostile to him.  When he approaches me, I take this particular stance.  NOT THAT HE CARES.

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Self-portrait, 2019.

This is to say, Nemesis is very aware that I don’t like him.  The feeling is mutual – I can assure you he doesn’t like me, either.  Yet there I am, trying to run twenty rows back at the movie theater, hoping that he won’t see me when I realize he’s sitting in the fifth row.

Oh, he’ll see me.  He ALWAYS sees me.

Sometimes he yells out my name from across the street and I pretend I don’t hear him.  That’s when he starts sprinting towards me.

Can’t we just pretend that we don’t see each other??

So here’s the thing.  Nemesis is certainly not the first person who has done this to me, and I’m sure you’ve probably had plenty of people do it to you, too.  The person you can’t stand – who knows you can’t stand them – who can’t ever see you out in public and just LET IT GO.

It’s like every ex who feels the need to come up to you and say hello every.single.time they see you in public, even though your relationship was a flaming napalm toilet of shame that ended with you smashing the original tapes of his early recordings with a hammer on your back porch after you found out he never stopped cheating on you from the first day you started dating until the last, routinely stole money from your purse, and went to Ireland for a month and came back with a permanent Irish accent and started calling french fries “chips” even though he was from Colorado.

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Fairy godmother.

Oh man, did that guy have it coming.  Trust me.  This was the same guy who gave me a secondhand rock for Christmas.

“Well, I saw you from the other side of the club…”

Then stay on that side of the club!

Now you’ve just made it awkward for both of us!  Yes, I saw you when I came in, and I am totally okay with neither of us acknowledging each other’s existence.  I am so, so 100% willing to pretend I didn’t see you.  I am so, so 100% okay with you pretending you didn’t see me.  Let’s pretend to not see each other together!

“I figured we could act like adults and at least say hello when we see each other.”

No thanks!  I’d really, really, mega prefer that we behave like pissy teenagers who pretend the other person no longer exists!  I’m fine with that.  Please, by all means, let’s not act like adults!  Acting like adults is highly overrated!

So!  To summarize:

  • Don’t ever, ever touch anyone who has told you that it’s not okay to touch them.
  • If you’re not actually friends with someone, feel free to just leave them alone when you see them enjoying a nice dinner out.
  • Just because you dated someone ten years ago doesn’t mean you have to chase them down to say hello, especially if the reason your relationship ended was because you were a nuclear asshole.  Let it go and let that other person live their goddamned life.

Sincerely,

Mz. Mannerz