This post is in response to the writing prompt at LINDAGHILL called Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Linda is taking a break from her blog right now but she has been given help in keeping her posts on schedule. This week’s writing prompt is being hosted by Leigh Michaels.
This week’s prompt is the word, excuse.
“Excuses are a dime a dozen.” Have you ever heard that phrase? I was made acutely aware of it when I was a kid. When I’d get in trouble, as most kids do occasionally, I would try my best to explain myself. More often than not, the reply to my explanation was, “No excuse.”
Because of how I was brought up, I associate the word, excuse, with something bad, and associate the word, reason, with something good. Trying to figure out what to say that will be received as a reason instead of an excuse is tricky, and, in some cases, impossible despite how much you may believe that your explanation is a reason. This is especially true if you’re a kid trying your best to grow up.
Now with Christmas just days away, children are trying even harder to get those excuses accepted so that Santa won’t purposely fly over their homes and just go to the ones with the children who didn’t need excuses. What excuses will Santa accept? If he’s anything like my parents were, anything less than saving a person’s life is questionable.
Maybe that’s why my loyalty to the idea of Santa didn’t last to long for me. By the time I was in first grade, I knew exactly who Santa, the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy was. I played along with the charade for a few years because of my little brother, but as soon as he found out about the scams, both of us were spreading the news all over the neighborhood.
Some people think I’m odd because I rarely give out an excuse, even if it’s something trivial. Instead, I do what they call fessing up. If I’m late to work because I let myself oversleep, that’s what I tell the boss. If I get a traffic violation ticket, I tell the cop that I wasn’t focusing on driving the way I should have. I believe the excuses are belittling to myself. I have too much respect for myself to let myself get into the habit of having excuses. I have found that by treating myself this way, there are times, more often than not, when fessing up has actually kept me from losing a job, getting a ticket or whatever else bad that sometimes just misses happens to me. Strange how it works out.
I’m sure there are those who are incredible people who use excuses. If you are one of these terrific beings, are you relieved when your excuse is accepted? Or are you feeling guilty and embarrassed? There isn’t any judgment here. I’m just curious.
From Me to You
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!