Sorry for Over-Apologizing

The building I work in has two kinds of doors. They are either all glass, from the ground to the ceiling.  Or, they are solid wood, from the ground to the ceiling.

Beautiful, big, solid wood doors, the kind Ron Burgundy would probably compliment, and then lay claim to inventing or something.

And every time I open one of those wooden doors, to exit the stairwell or head into the bathroom, I hear an apology.

“Oh,” the woman on the other side will say. “I’m sorry.”

And I always say, “It’s okay.”

Because, it is. And I don’t know what else to say, because if you think about it, what the hell are all these women (myself included sometimes) apologizing for?

For somehow being genetically deficient, unable to trigger X-ray vision to see through that door and know someone is on the other side? For opening the door at all? For being in the space I had intended to be in?

xray vision

I’ve been paying attention to this for a little while. And guess what? Dudes don’t do this. Every time I open a door and find a guy on the other side, there are no apologies. Literally ever. It’s just a maneuver, one of us making space for the other one – sometimes, more often that I expect honestly, the guy will step back or make a gesture to hold the door for me, which is always nice.

But there’s never an apology. Ever. Because there’s no reason to apologize.

Just kind of wondering out loud if women are wired to be apologetic. Maybe even unnecessarily apologetic.

I know I am. For silly things. It’s like an involuntary reaction sometimes. To the point my kids tell me I don’t need to apologize for certain things, like traffic. I literally have apologized to them about traffic, as if I had some fault in it.

no apology traffic
A road that requires no apologies. Perfect.

I know, there’s likely some back story to my over-apologizing, for sure. And, I know when I do apologize, especially around my kids, it somehow overcompensates for apologies they will never get from the other half of their lives. But, that can’t be the same for every woman, can it?  It’s not possible. There are definitely reasons to apologize, though.

Taking the rest of the toilet paper and doing nothing about it? Yeah, kind of an uncool move.

tp photo
The roll in the kids’ bathroom. Just trying not to raise jerks. And apparently trying not to clean fingerprints, either. (quasi apology)

Tripping me on purpose as I walk through the doorway? Totally. Stealing my purse? Throwing spaghetti on me? Spitting on my favorite shoes? Or any of my shoes, really. Yes. Totally apology-worthy moments. Also, totally messed-up and really weird.

Opening a door at the same time as another human, though? No apologies necessary. Really. Doors are meant to be opened.