Regret is a funny thing; it can cripple you if you let it. Regret can make you focus on what could have been rather than what could still be and keep you from appreciating the good things all around you. I do have certain regrets, but that’s another post for another day. Since Weird Wednesday is supposed to be kinda funny (whether it actually accomplishes that is up for debate), I won’t go into that right now. I want to talk about the ridiculous things I regret; the things that don’t matter AT ALL that I actually feel a sense of loss about, at least for a moment or two.
I’ll be listening to the radio or watching TV, flipping through the channels to find something I like, and I’ll hear half of a sentence. “In tonight’s top story, two dogs were found in a park with no identification. When officials looked more closely, they could see on the dogs tails were. . .” and then I flip the channel before I realize what I’ve done. I’ll try to find the station again so I can hear the end, but I won’t be able to find it. My channel-flipping fingers are too fast and I’m half-way around the dial before I can turn back, or if I do manage to find the station again they’ve moved on to a different story already. And now I’ll never know what were on those dogs’ tails. Ever. By the time I get home I’m not going to remember to look on the news station’s website for the story. I probably won’t even remember what station the story was on in the first place. This kind of thing happens to me all the time, and for a moment at least, I feel this sense of loss and regret.“I will never, ever know the end of that story. My whole life will go by and I will never know what happened.” Remember, this isn’t an unsolved crime or a failed science experiment. This is half a sentence I was half-listening to while I was surfing the radio stations for Suit & Tie. Or if I’m watching TV, boobs.
This feeling does pass eventually, and usually in the same minute it came on. My attention is too scattered to be held down by one particular thought or emotion for too terribly long, in most cases anyway. But in that moment I feel like I’ve really missed something. It’s not like there’s going to be a quiz at the end of the day on what happened on the news, or what the last phrase of that country song I hurried past was. I’m probably not really missing out on anything, but that feeling of regret that I didn’t just wait another 2 seconds to hear the end persists, if only for another 2 seconds afterwards.
However, this doesn’t make my channel-surfing finger any less itchy, so I’m the idiot no matter how you look at it.