Where friends and lovers are concerned, appearance is everything. What's in your head doesn't matter. What you intend counts for little when your actions club the knee of a loved one. If you've hurt them, apologize. Full stop. No qualifications. No (there's a word I want to say here, but can't remember it. If I remember what it is, I'll go back and fix it, but if not, well...).

And in most instances I am an unflinching advocate of being right, the two people who matter most in your life are beyond right and wrong. Don't go handing out this designation like a flyer to a shitty punk show. Be judicious. And that's precisely the point. Imagine everyone in the world is staying together in a hotel. You have to burn down all but two rooms. Who watches pay-per-view and pounds line-cook fries, and the rest watch the skin melt off their arm like a popsicle in August? This designation is for childhood best friends and spouses only. Maybe the occasional father. Rules do not apply to them.

If they perceive wrongdoing, they do in spite of the bond you already share. Here there can be no--I just remembered the word I wanted to say-- equivocating. While this is not to say they should be put on pedestals and worshiped indiscriminately, it should offer a pause before you decide to vehemently defend your actions. Regardless of your righteousness, a dear friend or loved one has been hurt and you have the power to remedy it. Too often we are impotent to help those we value. You are in a unique position to let love shout down your pride.

Shut your mouth. Look them in the eye. And apologize. If you're lucky enough to already have these two people in your life, you don't need my advice. Chances are you've probably mastered this.

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