Life, America, Randomness

Please Forgive Me

with 2 comments

Any person visiting America will tell you that the 1st thing that strikes him (tall buildings and black people dating Asian chicks aside) is the amount of time strangers ask for his forgiveness.

Ambling the streets or strolling any random store used to be exhausting for me. Furthermore, I suspect I started developing a mild case of guilt complex from all the aliens who engaged me in “I’m Sorry” tête-à-tête. Every time a person walked within 10 meters of me – “Excuse me.” When someone was looking at the same shirt I was checking out on the shelf – “oh, Sorry”. When my eyes met a pretty girl’s eyes and we stared at each other for a split second – “Sorry”.

Why do Americans apologize so often? Is it one of those “I was raised in a Catholic School and the nuns used to rape me with a ruler” type of cause-effect story? I admit it’s nice that people are aware of others’ space. But if the goddamn streets are crowded and you and I are walking in opposite directions, you don’t need to apologize for wanting to get home. I don’t care, really – and that does not offend me, I swear.

Or maybe that’s not it at all?

I pondered, at some point, whether all of these apologetic strangers aren’t really sorry for standing behind me on the escalator or that they’re not really shameful for smiling at me while standing in line at the grocery store. Maybe “Excuse me” actually means, “I’m here”. Maybe “Sorry” actually means, “Notice me”. If so, what is the catalyst for such behavior? Granted, walking the streets of a major US city resembles nothing. Every time I’m in Manhattan I feel like an ant, so if that’s the driving force, I guess I can understand how people seek these “I’m sorry” exchanges just so they can (in a way) scream for their existence.

Whatever the reason may be, I’d really appreciate it if the next time I’m riding the bus someone will just punch me in the face on his way to the back seats. Then he can burp, look at me with disgust and say: “America. Fuck yeah.”


Written by Frankelstache

June 22, 2009 at 10:00 am

2 Responses

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  1. Things to do: Punch Frankelstache in the face.

    Hahaha, I could never brink myself to do that though. But, on the subject of apologetic Americans. I think it might have something to do with the pace at which people live their lives in the states. Fast food, ordering things next day air, iPhones. Everything you could ever want at your fingertips. Maybe they think things as innocent as eye contact are inconveniences & they feel guilty for wasting your time?


    June 23, 2009 at 6:04 am

  2. Dear Death,

    Your comment is thought provoking. Americans definitely like to feel guilty a lot, that I agree with. Perhaps that’s why us Jews feel at home here.

    Thanks for visiting,


    June 23, 2009 at 5:55 pm

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