Sunday, September 09, 2007

Excuses

Have you ever noticed that the same excuses get used by different people all the time? I mean it gets old to the point where they can be considered cliches. Because I mean, people say them as if it makes them special, like nobody else goes through those experiences or feelings. I mean in our society we've had for a while now 1) a high divorce rate, 2) traffic, 3) and the need to work to make a living (well, most people anyway). Yet you always hear:

"My parents got divorced so I haven't had a good role model for relationships."
Yeah? Well you and every other jerk who uses that excuse for being chicken shit or an asshole when it comes to dating.

"Dating is so hard for me."
Yeah, and it's a breeze for the rest of us-we're just living in a romantic comedy over here.

"I don't do well with rejection."
Really, cuz it's my favorite part of asking guys out!

"I'm not a morning person."
Well I'd like to lounge around in bed all morning too but I'm an ADULT and I have to be somewhere in the mornings to make a living. Try going to bed EARLIER.

"I'm a visual learner."
Yeah, cuz it's easier to just get the information from watching it on television or looking at a graph for a minute, rather than spending the 30 minutes reading the research article.

"Sorry I didn't get that to you, I've been busy."
Yeah, and I'm just basking in free time over here. But I use a PLANNER so that I can follow-through.

"I wish I could be creative and get paid for it."
Yeah, you and everyone else with a pulse.

"I try to be a spontaneous person-life happens when you're making plans."
Well maybe that's why you don't accomplish much.

"Sorry I'm late, the traffic was crazy!"
Well, the secret is, the technology to be able to beam ourselves places has been available for like 30 years now, but only for a special few-that's how I got here on time. Guess you could wait for that, or ALLOW for driving time in your schedule.

Boy, Yalom couldn't be more right with his term "delusion of specialness."

6 comments:

pastamasta said...

Heheh... "delusion of specialness"... that might even be overstating matters, there are a few people of this ilk who have delusions of adequacy. Personally, I usually go for ridiculously outlandish excuses (e.g. "Sorry I'm late, I've splintered my pancreas") in the full knowledge that they will be recognised as such, but in the hope that the attempt will be thought charming and I will be forgiven. Occasionally, it actually works.

Felda, Jerry Seinfeld's Biggest Fan said...

LOL! Pastamasta, you always have the most astute responses. :) I love the "delusion of adequacy." I think I'll share that with a professor of mine who is a Yalom fan, and who has the same sense of humor and existential questions that I do.

I can see some profs that would appreciate an outlandish excuse and some that wouldn't! :) How about "Sorry I'm late but I was listening to a voice in my head telling me to assist the mafia." ha!

over 'n out,
Felda

pastamasta said...

<serious>I assume you're referring to Irvin Yalom...? I know of him but have never read any of his works. I'm not sure whether I'd call myself an existentialist or not - I believe very strongly in creating your own value/meaning but strangely enough I'm not a huge fan of anxiety. I'm more along the lines of Kierkegaard, I suppose.</serious>

Felda, Jerry Seinfeld's Biggest Fan said...

Yup, referring to Irvin Yalom. I'm not a huge fan of anxiety either but I've dealt with it for so long that in some ways it's become part of me now!

Ah yes, as far as meaning in life...I thought I had my mind all made up about that but as time goes on and the more I learn, the more meaninglessness I'm starting to see. I just wonder what it'll take for me to get out of this existential crisis so to speak....

BE said...

I think part of why people, myself included, feel compelled to make excuses is the perception that we should be able to do it all, and do it all well. Behaviors are good indicators of where our priorities are, and it feels pretty rotten to say to someone, "My friendships were a low priority this week; that's why I haven't been in touch." Also, even though you might be trying to take responsibility for how your actions reflect your priorities, it just doesn't go over well. It feels better (and may be better accepted) to say that event x got in the way. But is that making an excuse? I don't know. I feel like I've been the excuse queen for years. And the same damn excuses are wearing thin. I just want to be able to accomplish more, better. Yet I don't. What does this say about me?

Felda, Jerry Seinfeld's Biggest Fan said...

BE: of course I'm just trying to present my observation in a humorous way, that these things are said so much they sound like cliches, regardless of whether people know they're alone in the matter.

But to answer your question specifically, I think if excuses get used enough, then outside of the content of the excuse itself, the underlying pattern or message is that the relationship or responsibility (or whatever "thing" at hand) is not priority for you. Even though it's not malicious on your part, that's the reality of the situation and if it is causing distress for those involved, then the situation probably needs to be reevaluated.

For instance, when someone gets married and/or has kids, the reality is that other friendships become lower priority. Perhaps not on an emotional level (you don't stop caring just cuz you're now a mom) but realistically on a schedule-wise level.

In the end, we need to decide what others' excuses mean to us and how much we're going to invest in the person/situation.