Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Art of the Apology

People like us -- special and devoted to the New York Times rule -- must be cautious with apologies. Since I have told Caroline I will apologise to Marvelle, I thought I would take this opportunity to demonstrate the proper apology. The explanations are in italics.

Dearest Marvelle:

Your misunderstanding of some of the communications that passed between us has led to an unfortunate situation. (Remember, usually the person you are apologizing to should be apologizing to you.)

I have the misfortune of being attractive to women. I do not enjoy it and have done my best to discourage these women in the kindest possible way. It is something so many of us with special qualifications must bear. Thus when we had lunch a few weeks ago, I now understand that you misunderstood my kindness for something different. (Let's keep in mind who started this.)

Given your misunderstanding in that instance, I now understand why, when you brushed against me over the Atlantic, you reacted the way you did. (Reader, by now you are getting the drift.)

Now I understand that you somehow interpreted my Valentine as something untoward.

(This is critical, pay attention.) With all possible sincerity, IF I have offended you, I am sorry. (Ok, note that the apology is not for the actual action. Thus, you take no responsibility and are in good form as far as the New York Times. In effect, it is an apology only because she acted like a bit of a nut. Isn't it great -- the conditional apology. Dean Bumble could not do better.)

Your devoted friend,


No comments:


Buy.com Coupon
Buy.com Coupon