The Late Apology

Yesterday I got an apology that was 22 years overdue.

Sort of out of nowhere (sort of not, Facebook and old pictures stir up dusty old memories that we’ve worked so hard to suppress) a guy that dicked me over in 10th grade sent me an apology.

A boy that cheated on me in 1989 apologized to me yesterday.

Wrap your head around that.

He said “…and not that it matters much now, should of been said many, many years ago but I am truly sorry Sarah if I ever hurt you, treated you disrespectfully or rudely. I can only claim complete and utter immaturity. Believe me, I wish I would have made better choices back then.”

And I say OF COURSE it matters now. Of course it does.

Apologies always matter.

Facebook is so weird. A friend once said that Facebook was evil. That there are some people who are just supposed to disappear out of our lives forever. I think she is probably right. Some skeletons should just stay in closets. Some memories are too painful. Some people affect us in crazy ways.

When I was 23 I dated a guy that was all wrong for me. We were both really busy and when I went to the movies one night and he was there with another girl that was the end of that. We did have that conversation afterward just for closure and also because I had a book that he wanted back, but what I remember most about that whole relationship was telling him that when I was with him I didn’t like myself. And it was true. He made me that crazy, raving girlfriend who guys have in buddy movies. He turned me into that yelly thing that everyone hates.

I am not friending that guy on Facebook.

The thing is that apologies do matter.  The guy who apologized to me yesterday is a good guy that made bad decisions when he was 18, or at least one bad decision.

I was way hotter than the other girl.

We all make poor choices and I forgive him. I was stupid when I was a teenager too.  I am not that great at forgiveness, but his apology seemed genuine and maybe even like something he had been thinking about for a while. Either way, it seems like a weight off of my shoulders that I hadn’t even realized I was still carrying around.

Now I can let go of that grudge that was old enough to legally drink and it feels good. We all do stupid things sometimes and saying sorry goes a long way.

Even 22 years later.



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  1. Wow.

    That’s… awesome. And to think he had that sense of guilt lingering inside of him for that long… above and beyond the strange feeling of recognition and gratitude you experienced with his apology (which you rendered wonderfully here), I can’t imagine the sense of deep relief he must have felt at your response.

    Great story.

  2. first – doing the math you present here, you were 18 in 10th grade?

    second – this is part of the reason why I turned my back on all of high school. It was a mistake for me to go to my 10 year reunion, and I haven’t looked back since (despite being in the same city still). Then again, I didn’t have a good school life. I’m not typical.

    Third – I hope you’re going to use this as a lesson for your kids, in that it is never to late to own up to your mistakes and apologize.

  3. I was 16 and 17 in 10th grade. So it was 23 years ago?

  4. I failed math in high school. Literally. Maybe let’s just ignore that section of my comment.

  5. smart aleck says:

    Nice to get those words, no matter when. I stay off of facebook because of the addiction risk and because some people just belong in my past. Particularly my first boyfriend, who broke up with me at almost the same second he started dating another girl. I was in classes and activities with both, which made it kind of hellish..especially when he would go on to someone about how smart she was.
    Pretty is in the eye of the beholder, but smart is right there in cold hard numbers…and several years later, in the form of the valedictorian who is addressing your class (and yes, they were still dating then).

    Wow…I just realized who gave me my I am smart but not brilliant complex.

    On the other hand, I have strong suspicions she was also anorexic, a hell I would not wish on anyone, plus he had mommy issues. So I won that one in the long run.

    How much do I owe you for the therapy session?

  6. smart aleck says:

    Makes you wonder if there is anyone out there whose feelings were hurt by an action or inaction of your own doing…

  7. MauraLessa says:

    In 2010 I reconnected on FB with an ex I broke up with in 2002. I apologized for the way I left it. I was 22, we had dated 3 years, and the relationship had been over in my mind for a while, but I still just… left. I felt bad about it. His parents were really good to me and had a very positive influence on my life.

    Anyway, I apologized in 2010. He was married with a baby and probably hadn’t thought about that breakup in years, but I needed to apologize. He was kind. I felt so much better after. Your ex beau probably felt the same.

    You’re right. It is never too late for an apology.

  8. Facebook IS weird. It’s not normal for people from our Geeky and Awkward years to suddenly show up and intrude on our lives.
    But this does feel like an exception. That’s pretty cool that he wrote you that message. Stuff like this makes us realize how much we carry around from the teenager chapters of our lives.

  9. I waffle back and fourth on the whole facebook is evil things. One of my best friends I reconnected with via facebook and of course their is tons of drama and seeing things/people that do stir of memories better left forgotten. I know I have made a few apologize through facebook. Not for a cheating. I am and have been a lot of things, but never a cheater.

  10. I love this. Also, can you contact the guy who dumped me just before Junior Prom? I’d like an apology from him, please.

  11. I’m friended with a couple exes on FB. My first college boyfriend cheated on me – I’m friends with him . It’s water under the bridge. My second college boyfriend also cheated on me – WITH THE SAME GIRL as 1st boyfriend. I’m not friends with him on FB, but hold no ill will. We hadn’t been dating long when it happened, and I wasn’t really into the relationship as it was. My pride was stung, but not my heart. One of my best male friends MARRIED THE GIRL that 1st and 2nd cheated on me with – I’m friends with him on FB, too. Again, no ill will whatsoever. It was over 20 years ago. I’m married with kids. There’s no sense in holding 20 year old grudges against former boyfriends.

    My concern is more for old crushes that people friend on FB. I’m friended with a couple guys I had crushes on but never dated. Do I still crush on them? Nah – I’m different, they are different. We wouldn’t have worked then and we certainly wouldn’t work now. We’re better off as friends. But I can’t help but think about the many MANY relationships on FB that shouldn’t be reignited – and this scenario is the one that bothers me more than any ex re-entering the picture would.

  12. I love this story! I doubt I’ll ever get my due apologies, but I can imagine your satisfaction.

  13. It’s amazing what we carry around with us 20+ years after the fact. There are a few people I wouldn’t mind having an adult (non-fraught) friendship with.

    And then there’s my HS nemesis who keeps popping up in the “people you might know” on FB, because she’s FB friends with ALL my firends from HS.

    I’m certain there will be no apology issued from those quarters.

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