And Anyone Else Who Pulls this Gaffe
When you arrive much, much later than your parents or spouse expected you and you didn’t phone, either, to say you’d be late and when you were coming, there is only one correct thing to say, and that is, “I’m sorry. I won’t do it again.”
That may not get you very far because of course it begs the question: “If you know enough to be sorry now, why didn’t you know enough just to call earlier and skip the being sorry? If you know you shouldn’t do it again, why did you do it this time?” If you receive this kind of response, admit right away that you have no excuse. And you really haven’t, face it, because how are you going to describe, plausibly, how you couldn’t manage to get your phone out of your purse or pocket and take a few moments to make that call and you couldn’t use any of your friends’ cell phones, either? No, any excuse you give will backfire. (“I forgot,” for example, only invites a parent to respond, “Well, let’s make sure you don’t forget again. You’re grounded!”)
Simply say, “I’m sorry,” and be sure to add, “It won’t happen again.” This may not get you off the hook, but it may help a little. It’s also the one and only thing that at least will not get you in deeper.
P.S.) Above all, do not remind the other party that since you did have your cell phone, he/she/they could also have called you.