A coupla times in recent memory, I have laid the verbal smack down on someone bein' an idiot, hit the relevant buttons, and leaned back, anticipating either a good fight or (more usually) dead silence. This is one of my hobbies, and forms a vital part of my work-avoidance.
And instead, every so often, people keep apologizing to me and saying "No, you're right, I'm sorry."
And I don't mean the little "No, sorry, overstated my case, apologize for any misunderstanding" kinda things that crop up in any forum, I mean the big unexpected ones like "You're right, it was wrong of me to go off on a pro-life rant out of the blue and call you a raging sinful asshole, and I apologize--that was out of line. I respect your right to your belief, please forgive me," and other such show-stoppers that leave you going "Whoa. Who kicked that foundation out from under the universe?"
I'm not complaining, mind you, and I hope that I, too, am usually able to apologize when I am (fairly frequently) out to lunch, but man. That just violates all my expectations of how the net works! I mean, usually it's idiocy-smackdown-flame-flame-flame-flame-g
Instead, people keep going idiocy-smackdown-apology and it's completely thrown me off. This is so rare an event in the webverse that I NOTICE things like this, and I've hit some kind of rash of them!
I attempt to be gracious when accepting apologies in cases like this--the ability to apologize earns you big bonus points, because I used to think it was a dying art, and I feel strongly it should be acknowledged, and then the matter dropped completely out of courtesy--but honestly, I'm so floored that people are apologizing at all that I dunno how successful I am, grace not being my strong suit in any case. I may just be gibbering like a scientist who goes to check his mousetraps and discovers he's caught a passenger pigeon.
Since I doubt highly that my smackdown skills are advanced enough to merit that sort of response, I must wonder--Is the net getting nicer? Did I just get a rash of luck, and soon reality will reassert normal function? Is it all a conspiracy to cripple my savage net survival skills and leave me floundering like an injured wildebeest at the virtual watering hole while the hyenas of debate move cackling in? Is it the alignment of the planets!?
Annnnyway, the person who accused me of stealing my own art, rightful embarrassed, apologized profusely if not grammatically. (And hell, it was worth it for the laugh, and hopefully they will check names before goin' off in the future, so it's all good. All's well that ends well...)