My daughter has created in my life the need for an unusual talent: Apologizing. She regularly says things that are insulting and/or potentially emotionally injurious to friends, family, vague acquaintances and complete strangers. Examples? You got it.
We were sitting next to a lady at church whom I have known pretty much my entire life. This is a woman I admire and look up to and feel like she has been influential in shaping me as a person. So, of course, I had the poor judgment to allow my daughter - yes the insult producing machine - to sit next to her. Things started out nicely.
Then I noticed she was looking rather too closely at the woman's hands. I braced myself.
"What are all these lines?" my daughter asked.
"They are veins," was the answer.
"I don't have veins," my daughter pointed out.
"Because you aren't old," was the explanation.
I breathed a sigh of relief. That wasn't too bad. It also wasn't the end of it all.
"What are all these spots?" my daughter asked, pointing to a cluster of "age spots" on the arm of her victim.
"Those are just spots you get when you're old," she answered.
"I don't have any."
"Because you aren't old."
"I'm five," my daughter objected to the logic.
"That's not old enough to have spots."
I smiled apologetically. She didn't look offended. But my daughter wasn't done.
"Why do you wear those funny glasses when you read?"
"Because my eyes are old."
"My mom wears those, too," my daughter nodded with understanding. Apparently she understands that I am old.
A few minutes later...
Touching the poor, patient woman on her face (I couldn't tell what, precisely, she was looking at). "What is this?"
"I'm sure it's some kind of defect."
We were at the store the other day
"Hi," she said to the checker. "This is my mom." She pointed to me. "She's almost a-hundred."
So I apologized to myself.
Yep. I'm a good apologizer.