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2008-07-16 - 11:44 a.m.

Regret is an interesting emotion. What is it exactly? It seems to be a heady cocktail of sadness and guilt, or sadness and shame, and it seems to have something to do with the passage of time, so it billows out and takes up a lot of space.

The idea of future regret has never played a big part in motivating me to either do or not do things, because my brain isn't wired that way. I figure that if I am slated to regret some action later, I can deal with it as it comes up. It's just another burst of anxious razzle-dazzle in the nervous system.

And I'm not talking about transgressions, like killing, stealing, hogging the pole on the subway--I mean the classic things about which people say, "Someday you will look back and regret [that facial scarification, quitting that job, not quitting that job, etc]."

Some things I don't regret:

  • Not saving mementos: high school yearbooks, photo albums, cards and letters.

  • Any of my relationships, romantic or otherwise

  • Any of my breakups, romantic or otherwise

  • Getting rid of my wedding dress (plus it's an interesting anecdote, which transforms regret...into comedy gold!)

  • Not buying that boxed set--any of 'em.

  • Not going to Summerstage for the past several years

  • Renting an apartment vs. owning

  • Etc etc--there are tons of these.

    The only things I regret--the losses that feel irreparable to me--are as follows:

  • I started out at a really good, appropriate, and challenging college and, caught up in a stupid drama, I left, and finished at a crappy school that I hated. I have never truly gotten over this, and I would like to.

  • I haven't traveled enough. I know I still can in the future, but I wish I had done it when I was young and impressionable.

  • There was a third one but I forgot it! So that's good.

    Anyway, I realize this is a little more personal than we usually get here at IHoP, but if anyone wants to weigh in, I always love to hear what you have to say.

    Also: one of the best album titles of all time: Instant Party--Just Add Mel Torme

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