Dear Internet, I’m Sorry
Happy Memorial Day Recovery Week! I imagine most of us, like good Americans, are spending the day wondering exactly where the inevitable poison oak rash will show up, tending to damaged livers and patchy sunburns, and still uncomfortably digesting all those hot dogs.
I also imagine due to excessive relentless guilt (often a result of childhood religious trauma), or for some other reason–I believe it’s called a conscience?–there is a high chance you have done something this weekend and as a result of that action feel the need to apologize or confess, but never ever want anyone to know and/or remember that you did it. Because much like a full moon, three-day weekends seem to bring out the crazy. Maybe because nobody has a bedtime on Sunday and the collected excitement creates a frenzy that speeds to Troubletown? (Don’t the Santa Ana winds do that too? I remember a Beverly Hills 90210 episode about that, so it must be true.)
As luck would have it, the Internet is up to some pretty great stuff these days, especially for the lazy with no money. Just today, I ordered delivery and paid for it with money I couldn’t figure out how to get out of Paypal (Thanks, GrubHub!), ogled pellet guns (this is the one I want but will have to make do with a cardboard one until my ship comes in), watched a short film made by friends in Texas, and read the secrets and confessions of strangers from all over the world.
I had no idea how many websites there were with the specific intention of creating a space for anonymously confessing love for a best friend’s wife, regret for sleeping with a best friend’s wife, or apologizing for not really loving their own wives.
Here are a few of the standouts:
* PostSecret. The most famous of the sites, people mail in anonymous postcards, often elaborately decorated, with heartwrenching confessions and secrets, full of genuine depth and raw honesty. I once made the mistake of picking up the book in the middle of the bookstore, reading and crying for about an hour. I’m actually surprised I didn’t get kicked out. This is the place to turn to if you’ve got a giant albatross of a secret around your neck and a penchant for collage.
* I’m Sorry. This site’s apologies aren’t really worth reading. But it has a few points of interest. It’s not anonymous, you can go on the site to request someone apologize to you, the recipient of the “e-pology” (their word, not mine) can accept or reject it. The best part: you can buy a $6.00 rubber bracelet that says “I’m sorry” on one side and “I forgive you” on the other. From the website: “if it’s on your wrist;[sic] it’s a handy apology gift or even a ‘get out of jail free card.'” Hey, dude, sorry I slept with your sister. Here this will make it okay: take my ugly insincere glorified rubber band that I paid way too much for. I was going to give it to my roommate later tonight after I drank all her beer, but this apology is more important. I think you can use it as bail money too. PS. I was wearing it when we banged. PPS. Hope you wear it on the “I forgive you” side! <3!
* Confessions.net. After reading posts on this site, I felt like I needed to confess my sins for actually reading it. And scrub my brain with bleach. I won’t get into it all but there is some very complicated, most certainly fabricated drama submitted by a teenager named Tammy and involves consensual incest (explained in very graphic detail), blackmail, a faked rape, and subsequent suicide. Trashy soap opera of confession sites.
* Sorry I Got Wasted (also on Facebook). This was a refreshing change to all the “I hate myself,” “I’m sorry my best friend doesn’t love me,” “I’m all alone” confessions. The apologies are still often disturbing in their own way, but hilarious, i.e., “Dear children who play at that park: Sorry I got wasted and pooped on your slide.” Mostly harmless, regrettable hijinks, mostly involving some type of body fluid, and in a polite society shouldn’t go without some type of apology, especially if you can never look them in the eye again. I suggest you add the submission email (it anonymizes the sender’s email) to your contacts ASAP, because we’ve got a whole Summer full of Sorry waving Hello.