September 1, 2009

Regrets. I've had a few.

Listen to Sinatra sing My Way and he says, “Regrets I’ve had a few, but then again too few to mention. I did what I had to do….” Blah. Blah. Blah.

Like Mr. Sinatra, I have had a few, but mine are not too few to mention.

Baby You Can Drive My Car
I regret every new car I have ever purchased. After I secured my first full-time job, I traded in a perfectly wonderful Cutlass S for a 1980 Chevy Citation. What was I thinking?

Then I totaled the new car in less than a year. I learned the very difficult lesson that my insurance paid for “replacement value” a Chevette.

I am happy to be here to complain about that car. With its huge ugly front end, it took the brunt of the big truck from the accident.

I also have serious doubts about the first car we bought as a married couple. I wanted a four-door sedan. All we could afford was a Dodge K car. Again, what were we thinking? Had we not discovered the concept of a USED CAR?

At the car lot, the fast-talking sales clerk told us “I’m from Indiana,” and we were putty in his slimy hands.

On the way home from the car lot we ran over many roofing tacks and ruined all four tires. Insurance does not pay for that.

That takes a special talent and seems like a scene from an Acme cartoon.

Wile E. Coyote has a semi-truck load full of spiky roofing tacks the size of cucumbers and spreads them fiendishly all over Fletcher Avenue. We are not Road Runner. We are not cool and we are driving a K car. Road Runner would never drive a K car.

Soon after we purchased the new tires, I was driving the K car home from work past a golf course.

Prepare yourselves for another hi-lar-ious cartoon cell.

A golfer hits a huge slice and the ball smacks the side panel of my car, causing several hundred dollars in damage. The man from Indiana failed to tell us that a K car is made of Juicy Fruit wrappers.

Am I able to tell which golfer hit the ball? No.
Did he run over to my car and claim responsibility? Of course not.

Now when we get a new car, Husband buys it and I stay home. His record is much, much better than mine, with the possible exception of the 1973 VW Beetle that cost $500 (every six months).

The Perfect Purse
I regret that in a fit of madness in our first year of marriage, I bought a four hundred dollar eel skin purse. There is absolutely no explanation for this behavior. Husband was in graduate school making about four grand a year and paying half tuition. While I was working, our joint account did not justify a four hundred dollar purse.

I coveted this purse, which I spied in a kiosk in Tampa Bay Centre mall. One lunch I just lost my mind. In addition, I put the purse on a credit card! To give some comparison, our rent for a two-bedroom lakeside apartment near the University of South Florida was just twenty-five dollars more a month than this purse.

This is one of those times the pastor referred to in our wedding vows, for better and for what?

Would that be the for worse?

Why did I think I needed this purse? I worked at a small hospital and about once or twice a year, we attended black-tie medical staff functions that I planned.
In my opinion, nothing can justify spending that kind of money (and this was 1986) on something that expensive. To this day, I have not owned a four hundred dollar purse. Sorry Coach.

It was, however, a kick for us to arrive in the valet parking line at the Lincoln Hotel (then a posh Tampa address) for a gala in that red Volkswagen Beetle. The purse was a statement. And that statement is: I am an idiot.

Random Regrets
I regret that I ate all the frosting off a cake my mother made when I was ten and then said my brother did it.

We were leaving for an extended family vacation out west the next day. My father said, “We cannot go to California unless the Guilty Party ‘fesses up.”

This is a no-brainer. My brother did not eat the frosting. I am the Guilty Party. I went to my father in tears and confessed.

We went to California and had a wonderful time. Dad gave each of us fifty dollars. I regret I spent all of mine before we crossed the Mississippi River and Brother came home with most of his and a promissory note from me with interest.

I regret that I thought Doree, Jules, Sssss, and I could move my piano in a rented truck. There was almost an unfortunate incident involving my father, but all is forgiven.

I regret that in 1990 I was convinced from an “old wives” tale that my gray cat would smother The New Baby, and thus I forced him (The Cat not The Baby) to move into the garage from the house.

“Bubbula J. Kitty” who was known to his legions of fans (and I am not kidding about legions of fans) as “The Bub.” He was a very popular cat.

The Bub became extremely depressed and died. I regret that I am a cat killer. This makes me sad and I regret it.

Now I am an old wife who suffers the regret of a cat long gone. Quoth the raven.