I am not one of those people who say, "I wish I would have worked less and had more fun." That's for effing sure. Can't look back on high school and say that. Or college, all seven years of it. Or during my "career." Nope.
Oh, but my second-biggest regret in life does have to do with college, and the one time I was responsible. See what that will do to you? (And just so I don't get 7,000 comments asking, my biggest regret in life is that I lost my senior yearbook. Because I know the signatures in there are hilarious. I know my friend David filled out a whole page, and I remember peeing my leg at the time, and I'm pretty sure I left it in this punk rock apartment in which I lived circa 1984 and heaven knows where it is now. If anyone sees an Arthur Hill High School 1983 yearbook with one whole really funny page written by someone named Dave, please leave me a comment. Thanks.)
My second-biggest regret was one night in college, right around this time of year. I lived in a big beautiful house with several women, a house we did not appreciate or clean or remotely even notice except for its ability to store lots of beer, and it had a fireplace both in the living room AND the den, a formal dining room and a breakfast nook, a balcony and a really cool bedroom (that was mine) that had a sitting room along with the bedroom. Again, hey, where should we put the extra 30-pack of Stroh's? No appreciation.
Anyway, we're sitting around, enjoying our cans of Stroh's, when Edie, my roommate who had a plastic nose (I will tell you on a different day, I promise) said, "Hey! Let's all get in D's 20-year-old rickety car and drive to Mardi Gras! If we leave now we can totally get there on time!"
"I'll do it!" said D, who was up for anything, at any time, and that is why I heart D to this day, because she is STILL exactly the same way despite being a grownup now.
"I have a quiz on Tuesday," I said.
That's what I said.
So everyone else piled into the car for an unforgettable (Well. I mean, there are big chunks they kind of CAN'T remember, but they have beads so they know it happened) week at Mardi Gras, and I know I must have told you guys this before, because now I am remembering people commenting saying, "Oh, you don't want to go there, it's loud and people barf" and yeah, I don't want to go there as a 44-year-old woman who no longer drinks, which I don't. I WANT TO GO THERE AS A 22-YEAR-OLD WHO DOES!
Here's the next thing I'd have done differently. I'd have found a way to maintain my marathon-training body. Would it have been so hard to go run 15 or 20 miles each weekend? Okay, perhaps. But I looked so cute all the time. Believe it or not I was going to a funeral in this photo, which strikes me as a tad cheeky. Hi! Mary Englebright is sorry for your loss!
And I would have kept this job. This was in Los Angeles. I proofread depositions. "But I thought depositions had to be verbatim" you may be saying, which is what everybody said to me every time I said that's what I did for a living. Yes, that's true. But if the court reporter writes the wrong "there," which is easy to do because she's typing like 600 words a minute, that ain't good.
This place paid me a crapload of money, including paying me for my commute, because I lived on the opposite side of town. I set my own hours, and got to leave when there was no work, and also too there was often cocktail hour at the end of the day, which included really good wines, and until that time I had no idea where was a difference between $2 wine from Trader Joe's and, you know, good wine.
The getting-to-leave-if-there-was-no-work thing but working-till-the-work-was-done rocked. One time I left at 10:30 a.m. and shopped all day. See those shoes? I know you can barely see them. Prada. Or maybe Kate Spade. I know there's a big difference. But for me right now there is no difference because all my shoes now are Target.
I quit that job in a huff over something relatively minor. Sound familiar? I guess not, because I didn't tell you why I quit THIS last job. Anyway, this job up here was a cool job, and the part where I got to work as much or as little as I wanted often resulted in me staying until 8 or 9 at night. Turns out when it's up to me I get kind of responsible. Hmph.
I would have worn a better support garment when I was bridesmaid at Paula's wedding. When I was bridesmaid and I HAD TO GIVE THE SPEECH, not divine water. And that's Paula's bridey head at the bottom of the photo, not an ovarian cyst.
Finally, I'd halve all the time I spent mourning over the loss of my 39495830305.5 relationships. I wasted way too many hours being sad that I broke up with people. Way too much time calling their houses and hanging up when they answered. (How do you people break up now that there's caller ID?) Way too much time listening to Sinead O'Connor. Way too much time lying in bed with tears falling in my ears. Because eventually I got over everyone, so why couldn't I have gotten over everyone, I don't know, sooner?
Do you have any regrets? I mean, other than reading this blog?