the forgiveness hypothesis


Forgiveness is tricky business. Saucy readily admits it is not a commodity she deals in often. When someone crosses her, she prefers to hold onto the hurt until it festers into a quiet mental illness. Later, she doesn't hold the grudge. She just sort of lets go of the entire situation, and the person who dealt the blow becomes a distant memory. Is that forgiveness? She doesn't know. It's not like she's still hurt or anything, she just doesn't think about it anymore. 

Over the holidays Saucy went to the mailbox and found a handwritten note from someone who had wronged her. The event took place about six years ago and it was the catalyst for being the only time in the history of ever that Saucy was fired from a job. Fired from a mediocre job at a crappy place, natch.

The note writer crafted a carefully worded apology to Saucy, accepting one hundred percent of the responsibility for what happened. She also indicated that she missed Saucy very much and sorely hoped that Saucy would forgive her.

You may find this cold, but Saucy has only fleetingly thought of this note since it arrived and in doing so she has more so contemplated why the apology finally came, not really what she should do about it. 

Being a visual person and someone who fancies herself a scientific reasoner, Saucy pie graphed the situation in an attempt to ascertain whether or not she could issue the implored forgiveness.



Perhaps, Saucy considered, this person reads the blog and would like some sort of public acknowledgement of forgiveness.
No, Saucy is rather sure this person does not read her blog. There must be some other reason this request has come so many years after the fact.

Saucy admits, sometimes she has thought about the note writer over the years.


Mostly, Saucy thinks about you when she watches the movie Mean Girls.






 At the end of the movie, even Regina George was forgiven. Regina Freaking George.


This weekend Saucy had that drink and pondered the situation. What would it mean, to forgive you? What, if anything, would be the outcome? Would Saucy welcome you back into her life or would she simply pay lip service to the act of forgiveness and then continue to avoid every single shop in town that she knows you frequent?

Friends, Saucy does not know if forgiveness has a price. She knows that although Oprah and Ms. Norbury are proponents of it, she doesn't know if it's for her. Saucy thinks forgiveness is a gift. What justifies the gift of forgiveness? Carefully chosen words written in a six dollar greeting card? 

Saucy does not know. This may make her a small person, and she's not afraid to admit it. She is flawed like that. She does not know if she will readily forgive, if at all. 

Part of her wishes she could be all Taylor Swift about it and write a catchy ditty about the situation. She only knows one thing for sure:


Reader, are we obliged to forgive? If we forgive, do we need to present it to our wrongdoer or can we silently forgive and move on? Please advise.

36 comments:

Mrs. G. said...

Your pie charts made me laugh (genuinely). My instinct would be to write her a note letting her know you appreciate her apology, hold no ill will (I'm big on releasing negativity) and wish her well ("Best of luck to you."), giving no indication you have any interest in getting together with her ever again.

Leica Forrest said...

lol, I laughed so hard with you on this pst but mostly because I was nodding in agreeance the whole time. One of my favourite posts.

karen said...

thought-provoking and the most interesting use of pie charts ever

Limefreckle said...

I too have a hard time with forgiveness. Not that I can't forgive, I think I'm good at that...but when I've been "wronged" I pretty much move on from that person, never to look back. Although I actually have reached out to a couple of people that I have "wronged" in the past, to apologize.....not so much to reconnect, but to say "hey, I was wrong, and you should know that I know that..."

I see no reason that you can't privately forgive (if that is what you choose to do)....if you have no real wish to reconnect, I wouldn't reach out in any way.....hopefully the sentiment she sends is real, if it is, the act of just writing to you should be enough for her....

that's my 2 cents...and great job on the pie charts!

Gail said...

Highly entertaining post :D. I think my curiousity would get the best of me to see if those requests for favours came through and when. Perhaps if you choose to forgive we cynics could have a little wager as to how soon that request comes in for an awesome Saucy prize. I say within 2 weeks.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, what Mrs. G said. Also, I love a good Meatloaf reference.

Lisa Russell said...

I agree with Mrs. G. Be honest and wish her well!

(sayonara!)

The Miller Five said...

Hilarious! I absolutely love your use of pie charts. Genius. I second Mrs. G. It's the perfect response.

Cary B said...

I see no reason why you need to acknowledge this apology at all. She waited 6 years to offer it. Perhaps, in 6 years if you can still remember her name, you can then consider offering forgiveness :) You might have hit the nail on the head with the 12 steps theory ;)

Kerrie said...

This is genuinely one of your best posts, in the history of ever! I would not forgive Regina George (or Gretchen Wieners) either. Why does everyone think forgiveness is so important? It's better just to move on... and write an amazingly funny blog post about it for the rest of us!

Anonymous said...

At this point I think forgiving her would do nothing......it's been a long time, and if this was something you were thinking about every single day since it happened then you would benefit from forgiving her.....but......I think this is just a way for her to feel better, and by the sounds of what she did, she doesn't deserve it...especially if it took her this long to figure it out!!!!! Let her suck it up for the rest of her life!
Jennifer Fast

Sarah said...

After 6 years there really is no point in holding a grudge is there? But you should probably just tell her you have moved on with life and it's fine if that is indeed the case. Surely she IS motivated by something...

Runaway Farm said...

I don't know what the answer is. I am actually going through this with my own sisters, who are being the "mean girls" and we are in our 30's and 40's. Your post made me laugh. I know for me it's impossible to forget, I don't know if I am forgiving but I was trying to "move on" only to be ambushed by them both again. Good luck with your situation.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I've "forgiven" in Mrs. G's terms, let stuff go but not re-connected with poisonous, vile people. I think that's a good route to take. And I LOVE your pie charts. Because FUNNY and PIE and CHARTS!

Kate said...

I enjoy your posts SO much. True talent. 6 years too late is an apology to make HER feel better. Not you. I think if she pursued apology over and over again in a sincere manner right after the wrong, you may be obliged to acknowledge it in some way (even if you have no wish to have a friendship and that is entirely your choice) But 6 years later? Really? In a random card in the mail? I don't really know what to say about that.

Jenn @ Youknow...that Blog? said...

So... how come no one suggested sending the note to the person who fired you? Does that just mean that I'm evil for even coming up with the idea?

I hold grudges, but only for the most nasty, evil people who have wronged me. It's a short list, fortunately... there are only 3 people on it - one from 18 years ago, and 2 from last year.

While it may not be the healthiest thing, sometimes the heat from the simmering in my brain keeps me warm :)

You have no reason to believe she has anything but her own benefit in mind here... loved the pie charts!

LisaInCT said...

Oh dear. I have one of these "friends" from the past too. Though I have never received, nor do I ever expect to receive an apology from her.

Although the hurt has certainly lessened. I did learn a lesson and I have moved on. (Not quite to the point of forgiveness, but I am not at hate and hurt and holding onto to it either.) That said, I say you can either:

1) Thank her via a note for her apology but at the same time NICELY get across you are not intested in resuming your friendship.

2) Do nothing and if you run into her, thank her in person, but also getting across the friendship is over.

3) Do nothing and continue to avoid her should you end up in the same store. (Which might be what I would choose.) :)

Either way, it was nice (I hope) to finally get an apology, albeit a very long time coming.

Remember you are not obligated to respond to this.

I loved this post and the pie charts! Sometimes I think you need your own segment to a comedy show! Or, maybe your own comedy show where you sell cupcakes at intermission!

Hugs!

Anonymous said...

Holy MOLY this made me laugh until my coffee spilled and I think I may have wet my pants. I too would do anything for love, but I would not forgive THAT.

Snoopy said...

Love the pie charts, they're hysterical and I'm totally with you, I have to say, even without knowing the situation. I hold on to grudges too. I might forget but I don't forgive when someone reminds me. (*unless someone has REALLY begged and it behooves me to forgive publicly so they finally leave me alone but privately they're still not forgiven - ahem, my husband)


So I don't have any advice beyond this: don't forgive because you think it's expected of you or because of peer pressure. I think that if you look at the pie chart illustrating the benefits to you, it tells you what you need to know :)

Clandestine Road said...

The pie charts made my day.

I'm not sure what to do with her apology or if doing anything is necessary if you don't want her to be in your life anymore. I do know that holding a grudge is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die.

Angela

Niki said...

What a hilarious post on a serious topic.
Here's what i believe about forgiveness:
-it is absolutely necessary to have a peaceful heart
-but you don't OWE it to anyone
-forgivenes can only come in its own time, not forced
-forgive definately does NOT mean forget
-just because you forgive someone does NOT mean you have to have them back in your life
-no one should ask for public forgiveness and it certainly doesn't have to be given
-follow your heart, but always be honest

DIANE said...

You had me at "The limit does not exist!" (Naturally...we speak in movie lines around here.)

I read this right after you posted it and wanted to comment right away (coulda been the first...woohoo!!) but I honestly had to mull it over. I believe you are right in that your forgiveness will only make HER feel better (especially if it truly isn't in your heart.) Why give her that gift when she got you fired and now SIX years later she apologizes?? Seems fishy. Perhaps the fair thing to do is wait six years to reply to her request?! Heh heh...

I WANT MY SHIRT BACK!!!! (Sorry...couldn't resist!)

the treat girl said...

What a total HOOOOOT! ...and no, I truly don't think she reads your blog either :)

Jill said...

I almost peed my pants reading this. You have a gift for use of pir charts!

Anonymous said...

Take the 'high road' and know that you did!

Crista said...

Oh you made me laugh with this one. Its a tough one for sure and so many have offered great ideas... here is what I think. First of all you must feel some vindication to see it written on paper that it was her fault, I would take a little pleasure in that. I don't believe in holding a grudge - I heard a quote that its like letting someone live 'rent free' in your brain. You are better (mental illness wise) to just let it go. To me, it sounds like you have done just that and 'let it go'. I also think that you can acknowledge her apology without forgiving her. Just a simple thank you for the apology is enough. To me that would say I'm happy you admitted you were wrong but doesn't mean it was 'okay' what you did to me. I read your post over and don't see that you were really friends. In fact, if I were to read into your pie-chart fun, you were more of a 'professional favour do-er' to her and in return she got you fired. My favourite part is that she missed you! Missed having you to do favours for? So from that I gather there isn't a friendship to even save. Even if you were to extend an apology (or you were to formally forgive her) I don't see you sharing cupcakes with her anytime soon! Now if it were me? I am kinda nosy so I would be VERY anxious to find out the WHY behind the apology and if in fact we should just call it 'step 8' or whatever step it is... lol that is where I would be going with it.
PS - did she ever ask you to make her a pie chart? Because that would be almost TOO ironic.

Maija said...

Fuck her....I LOVED YOU!! And you make me laugh all the time!!

Maija said...

But seriously, I will forgive anything- that's me. I can't stand the burden of carrying a grudge! Too much work/too much thinking!!
I take the easy way.

Jerri-Lea said...

Love all the graphs but especially laughed at the last one! I'm not a huge one in the way of forgiveness (in cases of extreme wrong-doing as it would sound is the case with he/she-who-shall-not-be-named)... I hold quite a grudge... ask me about my life up to...age 35, we'll say.

Stef said...

It's no fun avoiding people in stores, or avoiding stores. What can you do to be free of that?

Amy Lapinsky said...

"The limit does not exist..." pure genius! Only a true Mean Girls fan would appreciate that : )

Oh and the Meatloaf chart was hilarious too!

Kay said...

Oh goodness....I'd give her the benefit of the doubt and accept her apology although I probably wouldn't jumb back into her life.

faye said...

Bahahahahahahahahahahahah... thanks you made my night...that is all

karen said...

okay I came back to read this again - you have a "Saucy classic" here!

J.G. said...

As someone who has contemplated one of those Please Forgive Me Ten Years Too Late apology notes, I can truthfully say it's more about her feelings of guilt than about you. Do what you darn well please. But bear in mind, if you accept her apology a la Mrs. G, you will probably never have to hear from her again.

Miss Quoted said...

Saucy,

Currently I'm working through a similar situation, this person was my trusted good friend that I loved dearly - and turned on me in a heartbeat - and then did his/her level best to humilate me in a truly horrible fashion. It's been a year, and I don't think about it so much - but occasionally I wonder what would happen if he/she asked for forgiveness. It seems to me, the hurt and the damage was done in the past - and there is nothing this person can do to take that back or change it. The events can't be undone. You've gotten over it, so this issue is hers, not yours. I'd let her deal with it. Although, I would love to hear why she waited 6 years.