24 June 2009

Well, Excuse Me

It happened again this morning. I'm sitting on the aisle seat on the streetcar, minding my business, when I get someone's bag hard upside my head.
"Sorry", she says.
Meanwhile, she is continuing on down the aisle, making no effort to move her bag to a less dangerous position, and hasn't actually looked at me.
Definitely not sorry. Why did you even bother to say it?

Here's the other one. It's sadly even more common.
"Excuse me".
One hears it all over Toronto these days. I hear it in the grocery aisle as I try to reach something while my arms are full. Suddenly someone's cart rear ends me.
"Excuse me".
On the bus, standing in the overcrowded hell of rush hour, someone barrels past saying it while he's pushing me out of the way.
At the TTC turnstile, I have been shoved face first into the glass by back pack toting commuters who can't wait for me to pay my fare and just have to jam that stupid ticket in the box and jump in front of me in line. But it's somehow OK because they say the two magic words?

Look it up in the dictionary.
Excuse - to disregard an offense or fault, to try to minimize blame.
Saying "Excuse me" is supposed to mean you're asking for forgiveness from the person whom you have just offended. No one here is acknowledging fault or asking pardon. When they say "Sorry", they really mean "Move. Get out of my way. I'm in a bigger hurry and my needs are more important than yours."
You are not being polite or well bred or whatever it is you tell yourself you are. Using a couple of words incorrectly does not make you any less of an A-hole.

My creepy looking new paper doll fiendishly agrees with me.

1 comment:

elisabetha said...

and here we have the myth that canadians are polite with our "sorry" and "excuse me"s. i know exactly what you mean with people ramming up the ticket booths...considerate folks in the big city are getting far and few in between. the other day i got up to offer my bus seat to a mother with a young child, only to have the seat taken by another young woman before i could offer it!! geez!