It was really my fault, but I got my back up and I couldn't make myself say those two little words.
This weekend we've been painting two huge signs on the side of an old building downtown as part of a downtown renewal project. My husband, ever the anal perfectionist, thought we should prep things a certain way. I, ever the "oh, it will all work out" optimist, insisted that we did not need to prep. It wasn't a long discussion, but in the end I got my way.
I was wrong.
When we started pulling tape I could immediately see that it was going to take hours to fix. In the hot sun. 10 feet up on ladders and a scissor lift.
That would have been a good time to admit my error and beg forgiveness.
I faked a cheerful "don't worry, it will be easy to fix. It's not that bad." I realized then that it was going to be a long afternoon, even though we had help coming. I wasn't all that concerned.
Oh, I knew my man was mad at me. To make his silent point that we should have done it his way, he spent "6" (his calculation) hours meticulously fixing the problem.
Lotta overkill, there. Yeah. I. Get. It.
Being in the dog house made me angry. I started thinking of all the mistakes HE made along the way that have cost us time. Yeah, and not only on THIS job, but the last one as well. In fact, if it hadn't been for how long the LAST job took, we'd never be in this rush in the first place. And no apology ever came MY way. You know, come to think of it, I never hear "I'm sorry," and I'm just tired of going through this. Well, you can just stew all you want because you could have done it your way if you wanted to. Don't blame me for this!
We could have gone round and round over who was right or wrong. Day became night and we continued to inch our way across the massive sign. We were exhausted. The sun was brutal yesterday on that west-facing wall. An impending week of rain made every hour important--too important to have to be spent fixing my error.
It was late by the time we got home and we were giving each other the silent treatment. Hey, it's that time of the month for me and I had really bad cramps and I just didn't have the energy to deal with this. And I worked hard all day and.....
There was still time to say "I'm sorry," but I didn't.
I waited until this morning, and even then it was through clenched teeth, and only because Tom told me that the real reason he was so mad was because I didn't show any remorse.
Remorse? Ha! Just as I was about to launch into all my reasons and all my accusations I realized the futility of trying to defend myself. I really WAS wrong, end of story.
I swallowed hard.
"I'm sorry." I put the period at the end of the sentence and didn't add the " (comma) but....." like I really wanted to.
No angels swooped in with harps, and the air didn't immediately clear. Our conversation that followed was a series of awkward phrases.
"You wake up G.T?"
"Not yet, but I will."
"Looks like the rain is coming."
"Better hurry and get to the jobsite."
At least we were talking. Those two little words aren't magic, but they are powerful. I felt my pride start melting as soon as they left my lips. I saw his shoulders relax as he heard them. It's funny, but I even started feeling sorry after I said it. My point of view didn't seem quite so perfect.
What took me so long? Maybe next time I'll be quicker to apologize and save both of us the trouble of hauling around an afternoon of anger. It is so much harder to get up and down ladders with all that extra weight. It's harder to sleep at night, and harder to see the good things that happened during the day.
This morning my man is off to the project site to clean things up before the rain sets in. While he's gone I'm going to spend a little time on my knees. I think there's Someone Else I need to say "I'm sorry" to.