How many times have we attempted to craft the perfect apology?
long, heartfelt, handwritten letters
lavish luxuries, oozing affluence
painstakingly preserved memoirs
favourite framed photographs
cautiously crafted presents
meaningful, precious gifts
tiny trinkets, lost keepsakes
dazzlingly dynamic surprise vacations
invaluable time, smiles galore
sincere, soulful speeches.
Everyone has their distinct apology style, a pattern, a handbook they follow, say Ananya’s How-To’s on Apologizing 101.
Or if they’re smarter, they observe what kind of apology is required in what kind of scenario, as per the person they’re dealing with, and act accordingly.
This isn't actually a picture of malefic manipulation I'm painting here - just a thoughtful person who cares enough to find out the most sincere way to make amends.
Curious as to how simply the choice of words in a sentence can alter the entire meaning.
Which is what brings me to what we could call deceptively heartfelt apologies, also known as ways in which people trick you into thinking they’re worth forgiving.
Seen in movies, books, or even your best-friend’s obviously toxic relationship.
grand, convenient declarations of love
passionate outpourings of dark regret
helpful, guilt-driven favours
crying, tears and tragic tantrums
cruel, caustic accusations
goading, guileful games
gleeful, clever gaslighting
self-victimization, tales of woe
devious denial, banal backtracking
perfect, convincing pictures of innocence.
- Signing Off for the day, it's your favorite Agony Aunt Ananya, here with bountiful information yet again.
Remember to save this for the next time you want to emotionally manipulate someone with ease, or you royally mess up and need last-minute ideas to save your sorry ass!
“Ananya!” my editor hisses, turning almost red, an event caused either by some recent impertinence of mine or the 40 degree temperature outside.
I swivel around in my chair and give her the most innocent smile I can muster.
“Care to explain what this is?” she waves around the document I’d submitted an hour ago.
I open my mouth, but she cuts me off. “Save whatever witty quip you had prepared. We are not posting this crafty column that encourages scheming. The old ladies down the block will ban our paper from seeing the light of day. Something about morals and all.” she fumes.
“Teenagers will buy it in bulk, and we need to change our target audience anyway” I mutter, lazily leaning back and finishing the last of her favourite bubblegum.
“When I said I need you to write positive, I did not mean positively evil!” she snaps.
“If you wanted ‘how to apply the perfect eyeliner’ and ‘ways to talk to your cheating boyfriend’, I’m the wrong person to ask. How about you rehire Betty, I remember her being a real succes.” I say, rolling my eyes.
She glares at me. “Fine.” she grimaces, leaving me after one final glare.
“How do you do that?” asks my deskmate in wonder, her foolish brown eyes widening. “How do you come up with those ideas and twists?” I assume she’s referring to my less than revolutionary Apology article, but I suppose if your usual is 10 ways to know if you're a good girlfriend, my piece does sound scintillating.
“Brilliance”, I smirk. “Some of us happen to possess it.”
She looks so sad for a second, I'm tempted to apologize. But her big, innocent eyes remind me of another’s, and I catch myself before it's too late.
I sigh and lean back, thinking about how I'm nothing but a fraud, considering absolutely none of my ‘brilliant’ techniques had worked when it mattered most.
A reflection stares back at me from the glass panel.
Hollow eyes, prominent dark circles. No trace of a smile.
I smirk, reapplying my lipstick.
Apologies are overrated anyway.
Author: Ananya Chaure
Editor: Khushi Luniya