411 Focus

Now ... when your relative ... or friend ... or mate says, "I forgot" ... about your birthday ...

Contributed By:Dorothy Nevils maslivend@sbcglobal.net

Thumbs up... or down? Excuses: Justified or not

Remember Monty Hall’s “Let’s Make a Deal”? He’d call out an object, like an envelope, or a safety pin, a Q-Tip … and the audience members would go clawing through their purses to be the first to produce it! Then some woman in row seven would wave it excitedly and get $100 – (I think. That was a while ago, and I don’t remember …)

Well, now. I’ve used that unholy phrase, “I don’t remember,” … unholier still, almost blasphemous in past tense: I forgot. If you look in the list of unpardonable sins, you will find it listed. It’s there: EXCUSE! Not to be confused with the verb, “ek-skewz,” from last week, this one’s a noun. However, it’s as “hurlable” as a rock in a bully’s hand – and you know bullies. They’re everywhere! Their sole purpose is to bring you down!

What is the innocent, colorless definition of excuse, which rhymes with Dr. Seuss?

The first definition lists these four words – justification, defense, reason, explanation. All are rather harmless words, neither causing any furrowed brows. We could say that they hold no malice, no evil intent, no prejudice … They’re just plain words that you wouldn’t mind your child saying. In fact, if your child used any of the four words, you’d pop a button with pride. “Kid’s got a vocabulary!” you’d crow, taking a mere 90% of the credit.

Now, let me ask, why is it an utter damnation when your relative … or friend … or mate says, “I forgot” … about your birthday … to take the clothes out of the dryer … or worse still … “I forgot about the meeting”? Why do you climb up half-way to heaven on your righteous ladder and shriek, “Forgot? I told you last month …” and other such nonsense, including the unholiest of all indictments, “You ALWAYS got an excuse!

For the life of me, I cannot figure out what is so unholy, unrighteous, damnable … so inexcusable … as an excuse! The word itself means “to free from a charge.” Yet we ball that word up like three-week-old garbage and hurl it into someone’s face! Asserting ourselves as superior beings, our intent is to belittle, to degrade another.

I know of few things as unforgivable as forgetfulness. It’s treated as nonconcern, as if it’s intentional. How much sense does that make? How can one plan … to forget?

Often people indict, or are indicted, because of legitimate responsibilities. They are asked, or expected, to participate in or do something they cannot. Immediately, hot coals are heaped on their heads, either aloud, or with derisive looks and whispered accusation: “You find time to do (fill in the blank), but you don’t have time to (fill in the blank).

What people are “lashing” the busy, engaged person about is being busy and engaged! How unfair is that? If the person spent the time doing nothing, wouldn’t he or she much more deserve to be rebuked, chastened, lashed? Doesn’t that person’s energetic engagement qualify as a reason, a justification, an explanation, a defense – rather than something to be tossed into his/her face as an indictment?

“Heavens to Murgatroyd,” clearly something is awry here! I do not know who woke up one morning and turned everything upside down. I cannot tell who screwed up the whole shebang!

I do know this: If you have an excuse, that’s acceptable. If not, as Shark Tank’s Mr. Wonderful would say, “You’re dead to me!

Story Posted:03/08/2018

» 411 Focus

Add Comment

Name (Requierd)  
Comment (Required)  

View Comments