Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Rachael's Regret

I regret the things I didn't do. They're what spring to mind when I think of regret -- not my screw-ups. I get over those pretty quickly, probably because I'm pretty damn used to them.

But these things I regret:

1. I didn't go to the Hell's Angel party (on Sonny Barger's birthday) in Oakland when I was invited. Ron was my next door neighbor when I lived in the treehouse/shack in East Oakland. He was a Vietnam vet with pretty bad PTSD. He made throwing stars out of twelve inch saw blades, and in the wee hours, they'd thwack into the side of the garage to which my lean-to was attached. He was nice to me, though. And I knew, as I was saying "No, thank you," that I would regret it someday. I do.

2. I regret not feeding our dog Harriet more treats before she died. We were so careful because of her kidney disease. We wanted her to live forever (and she almost did -- she died every morning, we thought -- stiff, cold -- sometimes we'd find her lying there with eyes half-open. No signs of breath. We'd poke her for a while and she'd snorffle her way back to life). But there, when we knew it was the end, I regret not sneaking her some chicken bones. She loved nothing more.

3. I regret not finishing a book in time for my mother to read it.

4. I regret not telling a boy I loved that I truly loved him.

5. I do NOT regret thinking about Harriet while eating Ben'n'Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream today. Because I thought of her, I let my cat Digit lick my spoon when I was done. Okay, I might have let him stick his whole head in the empty tub. It made him happy. And that's the whole point, isn't it?


toni in florida said...

Yay for making Digit happy! That's one act of kitty-indulgence you'll never regret.

Mysti said...

One could do much worse than live life by that tenet.

The tricky thing about regret? It leaves us with the impression that we can predict all the consequences of any action (if I'd only bought that lottery ticket!)...but we can't.

Makes sense to regret being willing to go, but actually having gone might have left you with more regrets. You just never know. (Not a diss to bikers--when I was riding a motorbike, the real bikers were unfailingly nice to me, unlike the people in cars who felt compelled to yell obscenities, or the cops who LITERALLY felt compelled to escort me out of town.)

Now I'm not sure if regret is a learning tool or a total deception. Darn you Pens! Making me think before 8am!

L.G.C. Smith said...

Oh, Rachael, I let Magoo, our ten-year old cancer-survivor dog, lick every single plate last night, and we had a party so there were ten of them, for much the same reason. We lost our beloved Elsa and our crotchety cat, DC, since last Halloween, and Magoo's a big dog. They don't live forever. So I let him lick the plates, and I won't ever regret it.

Mysti, can regret be a learning tool at the same time that it's a deception? Or maybe it's fiction sometimes, and not full on deception. There's authenticity there even when it's a blatant story with spin. A means of dealing with conflicting thoughts and feelings. Good food for thought. Thanks!

Gigi Pandian said...

Yup, it's definitely those things we didn't do that are regrets. Mysti has a point that things might have turned out worse if you actually did them, but even with some crummy things that have happened, I can't say I regret where I've ended up!

Sophie Littlefield said...

i wasn't very nice to my dog today, rachael. :( the move was so stressful, and she was underfoot, and noisy, and a pain in the butt....but tomorrow, because i read this, I'm going to make sure she knows how much i appreciate having her pesky self around.