“Tell your brother you’re sorry.” “Tell your sister you’re sorry.” “Tell your friend you’re sorry.” “Apologize to your mother.” “Apologize to your father.” “Go to your room until you can apologize.” These sentences echoed throughout my childhood. Remorse for actual infractions was pretty slim in most cases. The four of us learned to say, as so many children do, “I’m sorry” whenever we were told to. It rarely correlated to our true feelings. So we would mumble “sorry” only to be told “say it like you mean it.” So we would try to approximate what it would sound like if we meant it.
But thank goodness we had the board game “Sorry” to vent our true feelings on the matter. Because the game was pretty simple, only requiring the ability to count to 12 and to read or have a sibling read the print on the cards, any number from 2 to 4 of us played it. The goal was to move one’s four pieces around the board and into the “safety zone” on the way to “home.” Not too exciting except for the “sorry” card. Here was our chance for revenge. A “sorry” card allowed the holder to swap places with a piece of another player’s and send that player back to “start.” And of course to yell “SORRY.”
Finally we were able to utilize the depth of our sarcasm as we gleefully moved an opponent back to start. We were no more sorry than all those times we had said we were on demand. But this time we were merely following the rules of the game!