Apologies are powerful. I don’t mean the sad sack sorries women give when someone bumps into them, or when they ask for something at a restaurant (“Sorry, can I have a menu?”).

I once apologized to a shelf for bumping into him/it. We need less of these kinds of apologies.
We need more genuine apologies when you actually have something to be sorry for.

So here’s a start:

1. I’m sorry, Scotty, that Marco and I would shake up the 2-liter bottle of Coke before you came to babysit us and then be all, “Scotty! Scotty! We want Coke!” and then laugh like a-holes when you got Coke spilled all over you. If our behavior had anything to do with you being featured in the Acton Police Beat for drug dealing in later years, I’m doubly sorry.

2. I’m sorry, gymnastics coach, that I didn’t make it clear that I really couldn’t wait five more minutes to go to the bathroom. Also sorry that it was #2. In my leotard. Also sorry, girl who was standing in line behind me. That couldn’t have smelled good.

3. I’m sorry, Mom and Dad, that I used to be embarrassed that we had Mongolian Hot Pot for Thanksgiving dinner.
Now I realize that it’s a bajillion times cooler than turkey, but I just wanted to be like the other kids.

4. I’m sorry, C., that I didn’t give you the break up you deserved after our sweet high school relationship. I know from your overzealous best friend that it felt like I “dicked you over” and you deserved better than that.

5. I’m sorry, college me, that you thought your self-worth hinged on the attention of frat boys.

6. I’m sorry, frat boy “John Doe”, that I wrote, “John Doe likes little boys” on all the Baker Library tables. Actually, not sorry at all. You deserved it. I deserve an apology.

7. I’m sorry, girl who stole an NYC cab from me, that I told you to “take your bad dye job back to Kansas” and then shut the door on your legs. And thank you, for teaching me how to win all future girl arguments. I never wore that skirt again after your sarcastic, “That skirt’s really slimming,” and I asked my friends if I looked fat the whole rest of the night.

8. I’m sorry, Staci, for that time I left you in a bar at 2 am and lost your fedora and then your purse got stolen and you had to rely on the kindness of strangers to make it back into your apartment. The only way I could’ve been a worse friend is if I built a time machine and dropped you as a baby.

9. I’m sorry, Matty, that you seem to be under the impression that I lost your glasses when we both know that you were the last one who had them. That was a trick apology. Beware of those, guys.

10. I’m sorry, guy I witnessed being bullied on the subway. I didn’t know how to stand up for you without risking harm to myself. (And thank you/hats off to the strong woman with five older brothers who told the subway bully, “That man will make it home safely” and “You will not touch him,” like a boss. Now I know what to do next time.)

11. I’m sorry, Hazy and George, that Mommy turns into the Hulk twice a week when it takes you 17 minutes to brush your teeth and put on your shoes. I just can’t comprehend why it’s this hard for anyone past the age of 2 to be able to do this in a more timely manner.

12. I’m sorry to all the people to whom I genuinely owe an apology.
This is a poor excuse, but my memory is flighty. So flighty, in fact, that I need to set phone alarms to do simple tasks like buying cream cheese. Believe me, if I remember how I wronged you, I will apologize. Feel free to add an apology (not to me, unless you owe me one, cough-cough-Matty) in the comments section. It feels good!