Menu Close


“I wish you could apologize for other people.”

~  Norman {Bates} to Marion {Crane}.

 While I will acknowledge that, in this film, Norm initially appeared not to be the sharpest blade in the drawer (heh heh). Following a confrontation with Mother (aka ‘Mum’ or…. ‘Mummy’ – as she was better known), Norman made the above statement to Marion as they chatted over a cuppa in the front parlor. Rhetorical as it was, it was Norm’s way of apologizing for the overheard diatribe between Mum and Son, where Mum made rude and vitriolic comments about the unmet Marion, and a purported sly agenda.

During this scene, there was obvious embarrassment Norman was experiencing:  that a loved one acted in such an unkind, uncouth manner. The additional fact it was overheard by Marion brought about another ‘cringe-factor.’ There was concern Marion’s feelings may have been hurt. Thus …. I wish you [one] could apologize for another’s behavior.

I’ll take a stab in the dark here, and even suggest that Norman was in a mind (or several as the case may be) to apologize for “another’s” behavior thinking that it was his responsibility. It wasn’t. Even though there may be internal cringes, and reactions of embarrassment, it actually stems from the fact that one person is truly internally embarrassed that someone they know or associate with would actually say or do a behavior that’s inappropriate – even grossly so. 

Sticky wicket here; apologizing in this manner can become a tar pit of codependency. Whether it’s apologizing for the weather forecaster’s oops in prognostication that messes up someone else’s picnic, or apologizing for the behaviors of a crowd, or a profession, or even a public figure, me apologizing to you – or you apologizing to another – for something not in our control is ludicrous at best, and self-defeating at the very least.

I’ll take a stab in the dark here; most everyone I know (myself included) has been “taken-aback” by the words and/or behaviors of someone else. (Even when the someone-else is acting under the auspices of an organization.) Most everyone I know has felt embarrassment, shock, and maybe even some shame-by-association, as a result of the words or actions of someone else. Ouch!

However … a point to remember:

 … it’s not my job – or your’s – to apologize for someone else’s ‘stuff.’  I make amends for me – my behaviors (be it words or actions). Period. Not someone else’s. That’s the point.

The rest is water under the bridge – or down a drain.

The End

(And, thank you Joseph Stefano and Alfred Hitchcock.

Roll credits.