8/26/09

Guilt: It's what for dinner!

Front cover of the dust jacket for the first e...Image via Wikipedia

Hello, my name is Margaret and I'm addicted to guilt. I feel guilty all the time, and when I'm not feeling guilty I'm probably doing something that will make me feel guilty.

Just so you know, I sweat the small stuff. The dinner you didn't like, the stuffed animal I wouldn't buy you, the wrong toothpaste that I somehow -- inconceivably -- brought in the house, the math test you forgot to study for, the annoying cowlick that sticks out of your head. My fault. You suffered because of me. I totally get that, and I'm sorry.

Also, because I'd hate you to think otherwise, I think I should mention that I sweat the large stuff. Global warming, Hurricane Bill, child labor, swine flu, and that big pothole on your street. Again: me. I feel really, really bad and I wish I could have paid better attention but, there you go, once again I let you down. I'm sorry, and I will stay sorry until my dying day. Forgive me all you want, I will never forget, and I will never come to peace with it. I will always regret the pain I caused.

According to the study discussed here, guilt is not always such a bad thing, and it's kind of you to try and comfort me, but I think this is just a place where my over-achieving tendencies (so wrong, I know) globbed onto something they could excel at and went totally overboard. So yes, I excel at guilt. You might even say I am gifted at guilt. And, yes, although I feel bad saying this, I am probably better at guilt than you. Sorry. I should have let you win.

(P.S.: I ate your cookie.)
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26 comments:

Desiree said...

If it's any comfort to you, you're feelings are right on target. You are indeed guilty of much.
I've been keeping track.

inkywasfat said...

Hilarious.

elizabeth said...

Damn you!!
(1-for being more guilty than me and 2-that was my last cookie!)

Petrea said...

Baby! You need a goddess. Which one would be yours?

kanmuri said...

Ahaha! Made me laugh. I have a friend like that. She feels guilty when she buys herself goodies...

PaperTurtle said...

~sigh~ Classic. As usual, you hit the nail right on the head!

pasadenaadjacent said...

Thats what I like about you. I see it as a concern for the way others feel and your effect on them. It's good Margaret. Your a generous soul

Jean Spitzer said...

So, you're taking responsibility for everything that goes wrong? Does that also mean you get credit for the stuff that goes right?

Cafe Pasadena said...

I think you're in need of a goddess as well. Maybe Altakarindenorwegian or Pasadepetrea. Yes, I think these two would be helpful with your guilt.

Geeez, why do these ancient goddess names have to be so difficult to spell or pronounce?

pasadenapio said...

I'd like seconds, please.

Shell Sherree said...

You say, "Sorry!" when other people bump into you too, don't you Margaret. So do I, but I have to say, I think you ARE better at guilt than me. {You've given me food for thought with your theory about being able to excel at guilt. I know, you're sorry...}

Bec said...

The curse of motherhood! Just this week I ate half of a cookie that my daughter handed me - I didn't know she wanted me to save it . . . and I felt guilty. You're in good company.

altadenahiker said...

About that pothole...

altadenahiker said...

About that pothole...

(Very funny, but very sad.)

Joanne walked barefoot on the milky way said...

I do also feel guilty often. I think guilt is sometimes healthy because it shows that the person feeling it is not calloused when it comes to other people. But sometimes when it's too much, like over thinking it, it can be unhealthy.

Margaret said...

Oh my. I feel awful. Now I've made you all so worried about me. Sorry. Really, I was hoping you'd click on the link and read a recent New York Times article about a research study on guilt and toddlers. It talks about the ways that guilt, in moderation, is a good evolutionary adaptation. But the way they did the study is really interesting and funny/slightly cruel. That being said, I do probably feel more guilt than is healthy, but Hurricane Bill? totally not my fault. The pothole on the other hand...

altadenahiker said...

Margaret, you realize you're feeling guilty because we feel bad that you feel guilty...

Margaret said...

AH: Yes. I realize that, and, yes, I do feel bad about that.

Cafe Pasadena said...

MF, I wouldn't take your feelings of guilt seriously as long as they are just an occassional occurance. Only if this were a regular thing would I think, "Hey, maybe I AM guilty!"

Therfore, I just want to reassure you so you can lay aside your guiltiness. So, go in peace & understanding.

Olga said...

It's the folks at the U of Iowa that should feel guilty. Yeesh.

Palm Axis said...

it's my personal opinion that it's always wise to drop in your most important link in first.

you can lead a horse to water but ypou can't make him link

wise woman friday: me

pasadenaadjacent said...

nooooo I'm wise woman Friday

gaelikaa said...

Guilt; it is such wasteful emotion is it not? Satiric, ironic whatever! Your writing's wonderful.

Lynne said...

1. Once the child is in middle school it's their job to remember tests, so that one you can let go.

2. The cowlick is your fault. (You know you've got them.)But Grandpa gave them to you.

3. At least the epigenetics aren't your fault until you have grandchildren. So relax about having eaten chicken mcnuggets as a child, for now.

PJ said...

Margaret, only a real guiltaholic could have written that. It's spot-on and the funniest thing I've read in a long time.

wv reinwooh
Sorry, it was just too weird to pass up.

Melissa Yuan-Innes said...

Wow. You are hilarious. I'm reading your blog instead of writing, which is BAD, but you are so good. Keep it up! (And maybe make a book of your posts? I bet it would sell.) I especially love your advice to teenage daughters, Cassandra myth, and reasons not to/to write.