A few days ago my mother told me that whenever I start a conversation on text with my father, I should start it with an apology, “Maaf.” for politeness’ sake, so I wouldn’t hurt my father’s delicate feeling. As provoked as I was, I argued my mother right away that starting every conversation on text with an apology is such a ridiculous thing to do. It’s not being polite. It’s being stupid. Why would you owe an apology when you have no mistake to feel sorry for? I was just going to text my father and suddenly I made a mistake for texting my father? Can you be sillier than that? He’s my father he has psychological responsibility to be emotionally available to his daughter why would I feel sorry to text him? Because I might disturb him? I was going to damn-text him not damn-call him how is that a disturbance.
(This is why most of the times the Javanese annoy me. No offense to all Javanese out there but if there was some taken I wouldn’t mind anyway. This might sound so superficial but here’s the thing: the Javanese tend to apologize a lot whenever they speak to someone they see higher than them you’d suspect they must’ve scored so low in self-esteem.)
To view very highly of your parents, way too highly to the point you have to apologize before starting a conversation with them, that is sick. It’s not that I’m opposing politeness (though I’d rather be formal than be polite), at least not in this post, but apology should only be used to express regret. And it’s not that oh I’m so arrogant I don’t want to apologize but the case is the context of apologizing. I’m not going to apologize whenever I start a conversation with anyone. No, I don’t think I’m disrupting anyone’s time. No, I don’t think it’s a mistake to start talking to anyone. No, I don’t think that starting a conversation with an apology is a sign of being polite, eventhough I live in such society. But I don’t think I’d adhere to such norms, as stubborn as I am.
Really, though. “Maaf.” is so exploited it has reached its point of diminishing returns.
I’d rather exploit “Terima kasih.” anyday and it’s still not going to lose any of its meaning.