My Sincerest Apologies To My Exesby Chiara Atik on March 04, 2013
Yesterday, some coworkers were randomly talking about Build-a-Bear Workshop, when it hit me. A flash of tiny overalls. A pink bow around a furry ear. A paw that, when pressed, emitted a pre-recorded sound of — no! No! Noooo!
“NO!” I yelped, involuntarily.
My co-workers paused their conversation and looked at me quizzically.
“You guys…I just remembered something. I made my high school boyfriend a Build-a-Bear…..of myself…”
My co-workers winced. I continued.
“….and then I insisted he take it with him to college.”
The co-workers gasped. I buried my head in my hands, in shame, because what I didn’t understand then as a lovestruck eighteen year-old, I can see all too clearly, as a twenty-six year old: forcing (and I’m sure I did force, I was quite insistent at that particular age) an eighteen year-old man to show up to college with a stuffed bear in overalls and a pink bow is a near criminal offense. I think — oh god, it’s hard to type this — but I think I was completely offended when I came to visit him at college and found the poor bear stuffed near the back of his closet. I mean, of course it was! This poor kid had a roommate and a reputation to think of! It was college. But at the time, I made a fuss and pouted and whined until the bear was placed prominently on his shelf. (For the duration of my visit and not a second longer, no doubt.)
I didn’t know any better. I thought I was allowed to do that. I thought that’s what being in a relationship meant — giving each other bears and public displays of affection and being worshiped. I learned the truth eventually, but not in time for that boyfriend.
So, sincerest apologies to that Ex.
And apologies to the guy I dated when I was 22, who had fantastic taste, who let me pick a restaurant, any restaurant in New York for dinner one night, and let me drag him all the way downtown to what I now realize is the definition of mediocre Italian dining. Because I was so young and so unsophisticated then, and didn’t realize there was a difference between good restaurants and bad. He didn’t complain and didn’t say anything negative about his Olive Garden-caliber marinara. It wasn’t until at least a year later that I realized, with a pang, what an embarrassing dining choice that was. Oh, it’s not the world’s greatest offense, certainly not as bad as the mini-me Build-a-Bear. But it’s a regret, a small but persistent one. Sorry, dude. I shouldn’t have picked that restaurant.
And sorry, so sorry, to the ex with whom I had an argument about table manners. He was right. It doesn’t really matter which is the wine glass and which is the water glass. I mean no, I still, fundamentally, think that matters. But not more than someone’s feelings, not more than a tranquil dining experience, not more than a relationship. Whoops. I should have let that one go. I am sorry when I think about it now.
These aren’t big regrets. These aren’t relationship-ending offenses. These aren’t the straws that broke backs, or watershed moments. They’re just little things that I’m sorry about.
And I’ve learned from them, sure. I won’t be returning to Build-a-Bear for romantic purposes, that’s for sure.
But I know that these missteps will likely be replaced by others in future relationships.
But in the meantime?
Sincerest apologies. Seriously. I feel bad.
What would you like to apologize to your ex for? Tweet #SorryEx at @HowAboutWe, and we’ll retweet!