Regrets, We’ve Had a Few

 

Twitter is a toxic waste dump. Twitter ranks with socialism, genocide, mustard gas, and soy hot dogs among the worst things ever invented by humankind. We can all agree to that. But sometimes, with the rarity of a genuinely funny SNL sketch, there is a pony under that massive pile of horse manure. And this post and comments about missed opportunities is such a pony.

In high school I went to a sleepover and the girl I liked climbed into bed with me and she started tickling me and I was like ‘hahaha okay well time for bed’ and I think about that twice every 5 minutes.

Seems this is a near-universal condition among us.

Went to a wedding with a hot girl and we danced a lot even the slow songs. Afterwards we were walking to our cars (we had driven separately) and she said “want to see my new car?” And she specifically showed me how big the back seat was and I was like “cool well drive safe”

Also I should mention that she had suggested driving to my place to drive together to the wedding and I said “nah it makes more sense to meet there.” I think about this every day

And this.

In college I was bar backing and a really attractive bartender wanted me to walk her to her car for safety and then suggested I ride with her back to her place to make sure she got home safe, and I said, “then how am I going to get back to my car?” and then she left.

And this.

Crush invited me to the hot tub on a youth group resort trip to the Poconos. I told her I had Jesus paperwork to finish. She treated me like a close gay friend the rest of high school, which makes sense.

Also this.

In college this one girl I liked came to my dorm room to get some calculus tutoring. She brought wine coolers, drank half of one, and suddenly acted all drunk and giggled at everything. I said she can’t do calculus in this state and she should go home & take a nap. So she did.

This one rings so true.

Lol in high-school I was in the pit playing music for the drama production. Before hand they put flowers on our music stands and I was holding it talking to my homies. Cute girl on stage looks at me and says “is that for me?” And I go and say “no” and just went back to talking.

This one is my favorite though.

When I was a teenager, a cute girl who worked at McDonald’s wrote her number on the back of my receipt and I thought “I bet they do this in case there’s something wrong with my order”. Then tossed it in the trash.

If you’re like me, you’ll be thinking about missed romantic opportunities for the rest of the day now, and wondering, “What if…” I’ve definitely had my share of romantic opportunities that I squandered out of youth and stupidity.  But I have regrets larger than those. I have spent a non-trivial amount of time thinking over my life and things I would do differently if I were given a do-over.

The problem – as illustrated in the classic Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Tapestry” – is that our lives are a consequence of our mistakes as well as our good choices. (Even Wil Wheaton was able to parse that message out.) I am where I am today because of a lifetime of choices – many of which I regret making.  One particularly bad choice I made led directly (years later) to the adoption of my three sons; maybe the only thing I have ever done and will ever do in this life that ever mattered. As much as I wish I could pull out that one terrible thread from my life, it’s connected to the greatest thing in my life. I cannot reconcile that.

Published in General
Tags:
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 25 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Beautiful post.  Jumping to the end, not everything needs to be “reconciled”.  Closure with totality of knowledge only works in fiction, and even then it only pretends to.  We spend our lives seeking closure, and then when we’re about to get it, we find we would do anything not to actually know the end — just one more day.

    There are a bevy of awful country songs on the theme “unanswered pray-yurs”, but a long time ago I had my own formulation — I am most grateful for those things I desperately wanted at the time, and did not receive.  Doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to run that forward and decide not to be too put out by present disappointments either.

    JUST THE SAME, that’s a rich vein of regret, especially when as men we get to reflect upon our own obliviousness.  No doubt women have a similar mining operation going, but this must be an overwhelmingly male situation.  Dog chases car, car stops, dog keeps right on running.

    I do have a couple of these, with some longing and pining, but that’s also comparing imaginary green grass to the real stuff I actually value.

    • #1
  2. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    I can recall a number of these almost-events in my life. And I am SO GLAD I was clueless at the time. My social stupidity was a real blessing.

    Had I been even a smidgeon more aware of what was really going on, I would not now have my priceless marriage and family.

     

    • #2
  3. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Girls can have moments like this, too. I’m going to blame my oblivion on the complete lack of male attention for the first 18 years of my life, though.

    Although, some of my oblivion came from guys giving terrible mixed signals. When you wrap your arms around a girl and flirt with her all weekend, maybe don’t tell her she’s just practice and you really like the girl sitting two rows ahead (who EVERYONE likes).

    • #3
  4. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Your post brings back a lot of high school memories, and failures.

    • #4
  5. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    This shows that women should be more direct. 

    This weirdness goes in in marriage. Wives get made at husbands because they did not pick up on signals. 

    Ladies, we are dense, but we do follow directions well. Be specific and clear. 

    • #5
  6. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    This shows that women should be more direct.

    Women do not want to be rejected, and they do tend to want to be pursued. Not an easy line to walk.

    • #6
  7. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    This shows that women should be more direct.

    This weirdness goes in in marriage. Wives get made at husbands because they did not pick up on signals.

    Ladies, we are dense, but we do follow directions well. Be specific and clear.

    Advice I give to all the young women I know. My whole life I’ve watched women get mad at their men for not being adequate mind readers. When one of them complains I say: Did you tell him? It’s either important enough to tell him, or it’s not important enough to complain to me about it.

    JY calls me a dude with boobs.

    • #7
  8. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    This shows that women should be more direct.

    This weirdness goes in in marriage. Wives get made at husbands because they did not pick up on signals.

    Ladies, we are dense, but we do follow directions well. Be specific and clear.

    I’ve thought about this, but making feelings known is risky – and men are supposed to be the risk takers.

    Its fine if you missed a signal where you weren’t even looking, but if the lack of signal reading prevents a man from approaching a girl, then maybe he shouldn’t get her.

    Its not the girl’s job to make the way to her easy, but neither should she be building an obstacle course.

    • #8
  9. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Your post brings back a lot of high school memories, and failures.

    That was kinda the point. 

    • #9
  10. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Stina (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    This shows that women should be more direct.

    This weirdness goes in in marriage. Wives get made at husbands because they did not pick up on signals.

    Ladies, we are dense, but we do follow directions well. Be specific and clear.

    I’ve thought about this, but making feelings known is risky – and men are supposed to be the risk takers.

    Its fine if you missed a signal where you weren’t even looking, but if the lack of signal reading prevents a man from approaching a girl, then maybe he shouldn’t get her.

    Its not the girl’s job to make the way to her easy, but neither should she be building an obstacle course.

    And when he guesses wrong, and she is not interested and he thought she was? He is being creepy. #MeToo. Ruin his life because he “Came on to me”.

    Sorry, Men are in a very high risk situation. Let’s not even get into women saying “no” but wanting to be chased. 

    • #10
  11. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Victor Tango Kilo (View Comment):

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Your post brings back a lot of high school memories, and failures.

    That was kinda the point.

    My comment wasn’t intended as a compliment; it was a complaint.

    • #11
  12. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):
    My comment wasn’t intended as a compliment; it w

    Ah, I thought you were just being wistful.

    • #12
  13. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Ladies, ladies… if a man says he’ll do something, he’ll do it.  No need to keep nagging him every couple of years.

    • #13
  14. BastiatJunior Member
    BastiatJunior
    @BastiatJunior

    If I were able to travel back in time and fix my mistakes, I wouldn’t go to any time earlier than the conception of my youngest daughter.  I wouldn’t want to do anything to cause one or more of my children not to be born.

    I have made an ample number of mistakes since then, and wouldn’t mind correcting them.

    But that also has risks.

    Never mind.  I’ll just leave things as they are.

    UPDATE:  Just to clarify, I wasn’t talking about mistakes in my love life, but mistakes in general (career, etc.)  I don’t regret marrying my wife, who is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

    • #14
  15. Joker Member
    Joker
    @Joker

    Walk across the gym floor at the mixer to ask a girl to dance. She says no. Loooooooong walk back to your buddies. 

    • #15
  16. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    And when he guesses wrong, and she is not interested and he thought she was? He is being creepy. #MeToo. Ruin his life because he “Came on to me”.

     

    Did I say anything about that? No. I don’t think so.

    But from what I’ve seen of relationships, the most successful are the ones where the man is already convinced the girl is the one for him and he pursues.

    Women are fickle and our emotions are even difficult for US to decode and pursuing men who don’t really care for us leads to disaster more often than not, but happens ALOT.

    Solomon warns the bride not to awaken love until it is time. That doesn’t mean women should respond to a man’s risk taking in the nasty way feminism has promoted.

    But I’m not going to excuse cowardly men for failure to pursue decent girls because they are afraid of being turned down.

    • #16
  17. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    BDB (View Comment):

    Ladies, ladies… if a man says he’ll do something, he’ll do it. No need to keep nagging him every couple of years.

    Lol. I’m in the middle of this over a broken toilet flapper. At least he bought the part.

    • #17
  18. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Stina (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    And when he guesses wrong, and she is not interested and he thought she was? He is being creepy. #MeToo. Ruin his life because he “Came on to me”.

     

    Did I say anything about that? No. I don’t think so.

    But from what I’ve seen of relationships, the most successful are the ones where the man is already convinced the girl is the one for him and he pursues.

    Women are fickle and our emotions are even difficult for US to decode and pursuing men who don’t really care for us leads to disaster more often than not, but happens ALOT.

    Solomon warns the bride not to awaken love until it is time. That doesn’t mean women should respond to a man’s risk taking in the nasty way feminism has promoted.

    But I’m not going to excuse cowardly men for failure to pursue decent girls because they are afraid of being turned down.

    Wow.

    So men have to adapt to women, no matter the cost.

     This post is a somewhat whimsical reflection of the pain in anguish that men go through. You come across as completely dismissive about.  Believe me the pain and anguish that men go through and trying to relate to women is real and constant and pervasive and the majority of what men experience. Anytime it gets talked about in this culture it’s derided and we come up with making fun of incels or the men going their own way movement.

     I don’t think it’s your intention but I really believe leave this put man into a no win situation for most of them. But what do I know? I just see it in my office. 

    • #18
  19. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Stina (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):

    Ladies, ladies… if a man says he’ll do something, he’ll do it. No need to keep nagging him every couple of years.

    Lol. I’m in the middle of this over a broken toilet flapper. At least he bought the part.

    See?

    • #19
  20. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
     I don’t think it’s your intention but I really believe leave this put man into a no win situation for most of them. But what do I know? I just see it in my office. 

    I’ve spent a lot of time trying to consider how to raise my children to find helpmates and to help the next generation of Christian men and women navigate this world to find a helpmate.

    I am full aware of the traps for men. I’m also aware of the traps for women. I have both boys and girls and I want them both to be equipped with the appropriate tools.

    This conversation dredged up a lot of gunk from my youth from being one of these girls. Not quite so bold or with such questionable end goals, but holding myself out for someone to cherish. It left me battered and bruised for the man I did marry. The dating world I was raised in was made dangerous to both boys and girls by feminism and I want it to be better for the next generation.

    • #20
  21. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Stina (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    I don’t think it’s your intention but I really believe leave this put man into a no win situation for most of them. But what do I know? I just see it in my office.

    I’ve spent a lot of time trying to consider how to raise my children to find helpmates and to help the next generation of Christian men and women navigate this world to find a helpmate.

    I am full aware of the traps for men. I’m also aware of the traps for women. I have both boys and girls and I want them both to be equipped with the appropriate tools.

    This conversation dredged up a lot of gunk from my youth from being one of these girls. Not quite so bold or with such questionable end goals, but holding myself out for someone to cherish. It left me battered and bruised for the man I did marry. The dating world I was raised in was made dangerous to both boys and girls by feminism and I want it to be better for the next generation.

    I do agree that feminism has reached havoc is his recavic on both sexes. The sex that gets talked about  wholly and negative terms are men.  Men are not allowed to talk about their pain without being ridiculed. So I am sensitive to seeing any dismissal of men for not being bold enough.

    In every single metric men are doing worse than women. Boys do we’re some school last minute go to college. While mental illness is more prevalent in women men are far more likely to kill themselves. More men are criminals.

    Can we at least have a little bit of sympathy for the fact that men are expected to do the initiation of relationships and men are expected to pursue it’s a pursuit and it is as dangerous as trying to hunt a mammoth?

    • #21
  22. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    I’ve never experienced anything like the examples in the original post.  I’ve heard of women flirting with or coming on to men, but have never seen it with my own eyes.  I did have someone proposition me once, but it was a grizzled, old, homosexual carpet layer.  Probably an alcoholic, too.  And he had the third worst breath of anyone I’ve ever known.

    • #22
  23. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):
    I’ve never experienced anything like the examples in the original post.

    Yes you did.  You just didn’t notice!

    • #23
  24. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    I for one do not want a world in which everything must be spelled out, bluntly stated, made plain.  Evolution didn’t equip us for that, and that’s about the least “traditional” point of view from which to support.  We have already seen the horror of “designer” rules of conduct and discourse — it’s a nightmare, falls apart, and just reinforces the various traps.  It makes everybody more miserable *except* the least capable males and the least virtuous females, for whom we should not design our system.

    Not everybody will procreate – that is RIGHT and GOOD.  If a man cannot conquer his terror of trying to close the deal with a girl, and does not otherwise attract those who will ensure the deal gets made regardless, then he probably has little to offer.  Coddling this will only get more of it, whereas brick-walling it presents the obstacle that the male is supposed to either overcome or else fail to reproduce.  System working as designed, whether by God or by the molecule.

    • #24
  25. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    Can we at least have a little bit of sympathy for the fact that men are expected to do the initiation of relationships and men are expected to pursue it’s a pursuit and it is as dangerous as trying to hunt a mammoth?

    I can definitely sympathize with this and I intend on teaching any girl within my influence to be compassionate towards men who approach them while adequately communicating “yes” or “no.”

    • #25
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.