Monday Dare: Practicing the five-letter word

Every Monday, I’m picking from the List of Things to Do, Places to Go, Possible Acts that Help, and Possible Fun to Have. It’s a list I made before The Projectstarted, and I’m still adding to it. If you have suggestions, please feel free to throw them my way. I’m calling the list my Monday Dares, as I get overwhelmed just looking at the words “challenge” or “goal.”

This week: My Name is Earl Elizabeth (a.k.a. fixin’ the wrong I done to people).

I was going to start this off with an introduction about four-letter words. Words like “damn” and “shit” and “sorry.” Then I realized that “sorry” is actually a five-letter word. I hate it when words trick me.

Do you remember the TV show, “My Name is Earl”? The one where the main character, Earl, believes a series of unfortunate events happens to him because he’s piled up a lot of bad karma by not making amends for all the wrong he’s done in his life? Each episode, he tracks down a person he’s wronged and offers to make it up any way the victim sees fit.

Since my only two talents are swearing and making mistakes, if I fully commit to the “My Name is Earl Elizabeth” challenge, it could take years. So, I’m making a short list. #1: My mom.

My parents didn’t have a matching set of bedroom furniture until I was in my teens. The nightstand came from this person, and the headboard came from that person, and the ugly-as-sin dresser came from another person. My mom finally took the plunge and bought a five-piece bedroom set from our local Levitz. The mahogany-like veneer promised “the look of elegance without the expensive price tag.” It was pretty pimpin’.

Shortly after the furniture was delivered, I laid out all the essentials for a home spa manicure on my mom’s new dresser. Before I even started, my elbow knocked over the uncapped bottle of nail polish remover and spilled its contents everywhere. When I tried to wipe it off, the acetone spread and removed even more varnish from the dresser.

I did what I thought was best. I ran.

When my mom questioned me about the damage, I played dumb. She never asked me again or accused me. My mom kept that dresser for ten years. Maybe she figured I would confess when I was ready. I’m just sorry that she gave me so much credit. My name is Earl Elizabeth, and I’m calling my mom today. Even if it doesn’t make a difference, I feel like I should own my mistake…finally.
Would you apologize for something you’ve done in your past, even years later? Anything in particular?
Or, has anyone ever tracked you down to say “I’m sorry”? Did it make a difference?

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