Why does one’s most recent faux-pas so often feel the worst? And by the way, what kinds are these? To be honest, many wouldn’t resonate at all on other peoples’ charts!
Which means that we frequently make proverbial mountains out of molehills? And get flipped by things that wouldn’t faze more John Wayne-like or Helen Reddyesque types? Perhaps.
But what ABOUT that recent slip-up so often feeling … the worst? Rationally speaking, this shouldn’t be true. Most of us already have a catalogue of previous errors behind us, many of which might also seem trivial to others. As they often become even in our own memories.
This piece may sound to some degree autobiographical, but I’ll bet more than a few of you go through similar feelings when you make a wrong move, or what feels like one to you. Such as selling a stock or home at an unpropitious time, etc., etc.
I know this: despite consoling sayings, such as Oscar Wilde’s re experience being the name we give to our mistakes, or how they putatively build character, I don’t think any of us really likes ‘em!
I certainly don’t. You see, I’ll do something quite impulsively, then wish I hadn’t. (By the way, this doesn’t involve, say, initiating a bar fight worthy of a Chuck Norris or Seagal!) It’s more like saying or offering something before thinking it through and considering all the repercussions. Has that ever happened to you? I’m sure it has.
About this recent or last mistake often feeling the most onerous, I’ll joke about it, too, including over the phone to my daughter. “The worst thing happened!” I’ll begin portentously, and she’ll start snickering, but thankfully not in a mean way. “You see I...” And she just gives me some “there, there” decency back.
As do friends with good hearts and less propensity themselves to bellyache about picayune matters like stubbed toes or slow service. And who probably have a psychiatric menagerie in their Rolodex! Such types seem to have loads of patience as they ingest what again, must often sound paltry to most. They obviously realize that everyone’s shoes pinch differently, and that they were somehow meant to care about every suffering insect, and yes, person, too.
Here’s a good book title that recently came to me: “The Care and Feeding of Neurotics.” Written preferably by some nurse extraordinaire, some curator and carer of (often tormented) souls.
Yes, by the type always on call to console people who blow up their latest slip, and as one from which they cannot, will not recover! Till of course the next inevitably occurs, pulling rank. And this is what gnaws at me, and I’m sure some of you, too: that we NEVER seem to stop making these darned blunders.
Well even great ball players don’t hit safely between six and seven of every 10 at bats, right? And still live with themselves, because of all the good things they did in other trips to the plate, ones that worked out well for them and their teams.
Nonetheless, I think someone in power should simply abolish such mistakes made by a more general populace (like me and you)! You know, take them to the Supreme Court or some such body, and get ‘em cancelled.
Or maybe enact an age limit there? Say for anyone over 50, no more slip-ups allowed. Period. Maybe up to that age, everyone should be required to take compulsory courses like Look Before you Leap 101, Eliminating Bad Choices 102, and so forth.
OK: you’d be well within your rights calling this a neurotic article aimed perhaps at other neurotics. If so, at least such personality types are far from the worst of the lot. In fact, they can be rather likeable cusses! Way more than phony narcissists and borderlines, not to mention sociopaths. The latter wouldn’t even bother reading an article like this one. They’re too busy planning who they can louse up next.
But in fact, we mistake-makers seem on the whole to make ‘em quite on our own. I want that putt or serve back sort of thing! Shoulda woulda coulda...
For you to sprout your own addenda on this all-too-human subject.
B.B. Singer has taught at several area colleges including Niagara University.