Excuse Me

I was raised to say “Excuse me” if you got in someone’s way, or accidentally bumped into them, or any one of a number of minor situations where you’ve momentarily inconvenienced another person. I seem to be one of the few people who still does this, and no one ever acknowledges it with a word or a nod or smile or anything. It’s fine, I’m a throwback. Most of the time no acknowledgement is needed, really.

But yesterday when I walked through this shoot, trying to walk by quickly so as not to get in the way with whatever they were doing, I said excuse me and the guy in the hat said “Not at all.” Or something like that. It was nice.

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

4 thoughts on “Excuse Me

  1. Yes! “Excuse me” is nice! In Canada, “excuse me” is usually said as “sorry.” I’d like to say, “There’s nothing to be sorry about,” but if I did, I’d be saying that six times per 100 feet.

  2. You are not a “throwback”. Polite people still say excuse me. In the city, everyone is in a hurry and on a mission in their own world. People are not near as rude in a slower paced lifestyle. I love NYC but am glad I have got to experience living life in
    different places by joining the military.

  3. I can’t call it rudeness if people are not raised this way, it’s almost a cultural difference. There are a lot of what I would call common courtesies that are just not done anymore.

  4. Ha. That’s a good point. And yeah, a lot of people say “sorry,” and it’s the same as excuse me. Or the very formal “pardon me,” which I never hear anymore!

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