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Using Ethel as I'm Sorry -or- How Often Did Mark Twain Screw Up?


Some of my favorite moments of life is when people who do fuck up shit end up quoting quotes to cover for the fucked up shit they do.

Especially when it comes to the idea of Forgiveness.

We all have that friend who is so much in a constant state of saying "I'm sorry" for something it becomes white noise to you...and for them, the phrase becomes less of a proclaiming of guilt and sincere Mea Culpa's and more like a proper name they use.

The should just rename the phrase "I'm sorry" to "Ethel"

  • Ethel, I did this to you.
  • Did I really throw up in the sink of dishes...Ethel.
  • For crying out loud, Ethel!  How often do I have to say Ethel?? Ethel!!

The idea of using Ethel instead of I'm sorry to me would at least make the apology that I know the instance for the apology is going to happen three months from now for the exact same thing, would at least be amusing for me.  It would sound appropriately insane.

Ethel is certainly a big part of your life.  Maybe Ethel can clean your vomit out of the sink.

Forgiveness has always been a hard thing to dole out to people asking for it.  Yes.  There are times when someone who has done something not all that pleasant asks for it and you know, if it is not completely egregious?  Forgiveness is a wonderful thing.

It's just the people who just seem to be asking for it all the time are the ones that make you wonder why in god's name people keep giving it to them.

You can always tell that person who asks for it a lot.  Especially on-line.  Their Facebook and Twitter Walls are generally interspersed with memes and quotes from philosophers and poets filled with Forgiveness Quotes.

Why is that?  Because people who do the right thing usually don't need a poet or philosopher to help them beg for forgiveness.  They are usually...not in a constant state of saying Ethel...

Brainy Quotes has pages and pages of Forgiveness Quotes.  I would like to share my views on some of them:

Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names - John F. Kennedy

I'm quite sure Jackie Kennedy Onassis never forgot Marilyn Monroe's name every time she had to deal with them sneaking Marilyn out of the White House.  

Thank you, Mr. President.  Sounding a little like Nixon's List there...Wonder how often Jackie forgave both you and Monroe before you know...those really bad things happened to the both of you...

Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage in admitting you are wrong. - Bruce Lee

 Sorry Bruce.  There is no courage in admitting you are wrong.  Zero.  Especially the super big mistakes:  Hey Jim Jones, you actually lived through Jonestown and you just said Ethel.  That is courageous.  You are forgiven.  

Yes.  It sounds stupid...because it is stupid.  

And, if you are in a constant state of asking for Forgiveness then in theory this quote from Bruce Lee means you should have a million Purple Hearts in fucking up on a constant basis.  

Maybe you should stop being courageous and start being a big ass chicken shit for the sake of everyone around you.  A chicken shit in the idea of not getting to the place where you do fucked up shit to apologize all the time.

I wonder how often Mr. Lee thought he was courageous when he said Ethel before you know...that really bad thing happened to him.

My favorite all time quote regarding forgiveness comes from the honorable Mark Twain that people use a lot.  Almost more...than asking for Forgiveness:

Twain Quotes 

"Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it."

I especially like the part of this particular meme that has the word "Lifehack" underneath it.

This is actually the most depressing idea of giving forgiveness you can ever imagine. Especially for the Violet in question.  

The Foot Crusher is asking for you to give them the sweet smell of your fragrance in forgiveness.  Probably after you have already given them the beautiful visual of kindness just being a violet in the first place.

You see (Foot Crushers of the Violets in a Constant State of Crushing Violets...)  Have you ever thought when you use this phrase as a part of forgiveness...that you for all purposes have killed the violet and that smell is a fragrance that only last for a moment and then lingers away?

The violet is dead. Crushing it over and over again no longer gives off a fragrance.  It does the first time.  It doesn't once you have killed it.  You have to find new violets to crush.

Just wonder who are you on a regular basis:  The Violet or the Foot Crusher.  There are a lot of fragrant shoes and dead violets with broken petals out there.  

Which one are you in terms of asking for forgiveness?  If you got a ton of sweet smelling shoes?  You are probably the person who should change I'm Sorry to Ethel.

Forgiveness for some is a hard thing to do.  Especially confronted with expecting to give out forgiveness time and time again.

Ethel for being this way.  My sincere Ethel for thinking like this.  Your shoes do smell flowery though.  Congrats with that.   But hey...