The Many Faces of “Excuse Me”

Last weekend, I went on a vacation that involved a resort, a lake, and a lot of amazing food.

My dad and I rode 26 miles on our bikes to get there, and it occurred to me that the best memories I have with him are on two wheels. We race each other, check that the other is hydrated, joke and tell stories, and argue much less than when we’re on the ground. And when it got to be 100 degrees (at least) with that heat radiating back from the blacktop into our faces, we both plunged our faces into a rest stop drinking fountain and ended up with sweat in our eyes. I laughed. I can’t remember if he did. He might’ve smiled, but as I said…I was basically blind.

We went on the vacation for a convention for my dad’s work. A bunch of awesome, smart, hardworking lawyers gathering to continue to learn about their profession…we go every year, and every year I leave that place wanting to be a lawyer. For about 3 days, that is, until I remember how difficult and stressful their jobs are (albeit rewarding). Anyway, there are a lot of dinner receptions every year, and we eat really nice food and dance like nerds and I explain that my name isn’t Cathy or Pappy (yeah, that happened this year).

But what I ended up marveling at is what I would like to call “The Many Faces of Excuse Me.” People are really passive, especially on the west side of the country where I live, and we can get really angry but apparently don’t want anyone else to know it (?) so we say excuse me. A snooty woman practically flattened me in a restroom and I asked for her forgiveness. A bellman (bellboy, for he was nothing but an ignorant teenage boy) practically broke my body in half by thundering into an elevator with a large cart before my sister and I could even think about getting out. Excuse me. Rude.

So here they are. There are probably more, so feel free to list them in the comments section. Excuse me for not thinking of them all.

1. Excuse me is the normal way to ask for forgiveness when you have accidentally trodden on someone’s foot or elbowed their baby or thrown their food on the ground.

2. EXCUSE ME! is the semi passive way of saying “I am in the right spot but you, you bumbling oaf, have stepped into my personal bubble and should know better. However, since you seem to lack every social grace ever, I will instead blame this whole incident on myself.”

3. Excuuuuuuuse meeee! is the sassy way of saying “I am smarter than you, and I just laid a truth bomb out for you, but you can’t take it, so I’m gonna pretend I feel bad for hurting your feelings. Spoiler: I don’t feel bad.” Basically, this one is what sorority girls would call “sorry-not-sorry.”

4. Excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse meeeeeeeeeeeeeee… Steve Martin being ridiculous.

5.  Excuse you! “B#*#&@&*##(@*!**#(&#*@(*# you #*$*I@#**#$I@ my toe #*$**@# blood everywhere ###$U(*(@*@*@*@@@ OH HELL NO.”

And that, my friends, is how to survive at a resort in the Pacific Northwest. Cheers, best of luck, and…wait, you didn’t like this post?

Well, excuse me.


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