Missed (and regretted) opportunities

A basic rule of my life: I don’t regret anything I’ve done, only the things I HAVEN’T done.

One of the biggest regrets of my life happened- or rather, didn’t happen- when I was 17.

My art class at high school had a banquet at the end of the year, at one of the local hotels.

Waiting outside, afterwards, I overheard a woman talking on a payphone. She was a few years older than I was, and fairly attractive- of course, I’d never seen her before. She was in tears, though- her date had basically abandoned her there after dinner, and she was calling her parents to have them come to pick her up at the hotel. I couldn’t help overhearing her- heck, none of us could; she was obviously trying to be quiet on the phone, but was in tears and sobbing to her parents.

After she hung up, I went back into the banquet room and grabbed one of the flowers the staff had set out fof decoration… and handed it to her, saying, “You look like you could really use this.”

I still remember her smile.

I never got her phone number, or her name, or saw her again. In some ways that’s for the best, I suppose- she’ll always be a perfect memory, unspoiled by reality. :slight_smile:

Still, I wonder what happened to her…

OK, I’ve got a recent one. I went out dancing Friday night to this awesome swing band, and while there were two women who I already knew (and danced with), I pretty much indiscriminately asked women to dance, even though I didn’t know them. A couple of hours into this, a woman came up to me and said, “Will you tutor me?” I said that I’d be happy to, and we danced to the next song, me helping her along when necessary, and when the song ended…

I thanked her and went to go sit down.

It occurred to me a day or two later that she asked me to dance. Ergo, she must have been at least somewhat attracted to me. And not only didn’t I get her number, I didn’t even dance with her the rest of the evening.

I’m a cad. :frowning:

I don’t even remember her name. :(:frowning:


Well, I don’t know if I’d say regrets (hey, this color thing is fun)…

I do have curiosity about what might have happened if I’d done certain little things differently in my life, however what also occurs to me is that there are quite a few things I love about my life right now (or at any given moment), which I wouldn’t have if I’d veered even slightly from the path I’ve taken thus far (I can get all twirly thinking about how Fate works, so I’ll spare you any examples). Overall, then, I just have to figure that things have happened as they were “supposed to” in my life.

However, since this seems to be a thread about Star-Crossed Strangers Passing in the Night, I have one of those stories…

A couple of years ago, I went to visit friends in Malibu, CA. We were out to breakfast at a cute little cafe, and a cute fella and his party were seated at the table next to ours. After a few moments, they were moved to another table. A few moments after THAT, they returned to the table next to ours.

Feeling my caffeine buzz, I turned to them and said flirtily, “We missed you,” as the cute fella re-seated himself in the chair closest to mine.

“No,” he quipped back, “WE missed YOU.”

Giggles ensued, and then everyone got back down to the breakfast business at hand.

Almost everyone, that is.

The cute boy would NOT. STOP. STARING AT ME.

I mean would NOT. After awhile, one of my friends looked at me, wide-eyed, and mouthed, “THAT GUY LOVES YOU!” from behind her menu. After we ordered, we stepped into the restroom for a private girlie conference about the Staring Stranger.

I confessed that it was making me a little nervous, because suddenly I felt like everything I said or did (including the horrid possibility of accidentally, say, shoving my bacon up my nose) was part of a live performance. She noted (being able to actually watch this guy, whereas I couldn’t) that other people in his party had made attempts to talk to him, but that he was blatantly ignoring them and that his eyes had never left me.

He did take his eyes from me in order to eat when his food arrived, but continued to steal occasional glances in my direction. Finally we finished our food, paid our bill and walked out, leaving Staring Stud behind.

That night, we had dinner at my friend’s mother’s house, and told her the story. She was convinced it was Fate At Work, and insisted that I go back to the restaurant to find him.

“If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to BE,” she declared, as she warned me against trying to thwart Fate.

I don’t know about all of THAT, but if I had it to do all over again, I would have said SOMETHING to him, if only to find out what his DEAL was!

Was he thinking, “Dear God, she is exquisite… I have never seen a more beautiful woman in all my life”?

Or was he thinking, “Hey, isn’t she the girl from that one show…?” (I mean, it was Malibu, after all…)

For all I know he’s on the SDMB right now, posting this exact same narrative as a “celebrity sighting” (I just hope he didn’t mistake me for Maya Angelou)…:smiley:

Man, I wouldn’t know where to begin.

There is a boy who is ------------>this<------------ close to getting engaged. He is a wonderful boy. My dream boy. A boy I could have had a few years ago. Who knows, had I gone for him I could still have him now. But, nope. I was with someone else and turned him down. That’s my major regret.

On the bright side–Colored smilies! :slight_smile: :frowning: :o :smiley: :wink: :stuck_out_tongue: :cool: :rolleyes: :mad: :eek: :confused: ;j :wally

Always look on the bright side, *Little Bird:wink:

See, the way I would probably think of that is that who knows…? Say you didn’t turn him down. Say you two started dating and, aside from visits to his aunt Linda (who seems to have an aversion to soap), the time you spent with him was amazing.

Then one day, when you were sick with the flu, he hopped on his bike in the rain to get you some chicken broth and a Wonder Woman comic book, and along came an 18-wheeler with faulty breaks…

Hmmm. That’s not the bright side, is it? :rolleyes:

OK, well, then, suppose that one of you, by marrying someone else, ends up helping to conceive the person who, as an adult, invents the cure for AIDS, Cancer, TMJ and Bad Dancer Syndrome!

Now see, if you two had wound up together, that child would never have gotten made.

Anyway, that said… any possibility that telling him how you feel will change things? I mean, MY scenarios are just speculation, after all…

That I didn’t kill the lying, cheating bastard when I had a chance!

kidding, just kidding! Yeah, that’s it. I’m kidding. :wink:

Been there.

Done that.

Bought the T-shirt that says, “Kicking Myself Right Now.”

Geez…WAY too many to post all of them…

1)…Mary Ellen Martindale…

2)…not shooting my ex-wife…

3)…Hi, Opal!!

4)…dropping out of college to support said ex-wife…

5)…not taking typing in high school…

6)…I swear Deanna Trowbridge winked at me…

7)…not going sky-diving with Fred (hi, aunti em!)

8)…not taking that trip to California

9)…not getting the eye surgery

10)…not punching out my ex-boss

too many times to count…

“i wish i could say, that i have no regrets today…”
from “say anything” by the bouncing souls

Hey! I got half a space on Toaster’s list (and I am honored to be sharing that space with Fred :slight_smile: )

But I say it’s time to figure out how many of these tragically missed opportunities can be redeemed. Nobody wants to sit through a typing class NOW, and I don’t recommend shooting your ex-wife, even if she IS still alive…

…but you could go sky diving in California, maybe with Deanna Trowbridge (unless, of course, that was just a little eye problem she had going on, in which case maybe you should get the surgery together)… :wink:

shooting ex-wife? Naaah…although I DID walk in on her screwing another guy in my bed, that was 20 years ago…I’m well past that now…twitch
Skydiving still seems to be a possibility, although that will be after my scuba-diving trip to the Great Barrier Reef.

Deanna Trowbridge…Mary Ellen Martindale…whereabouts unknown…darn

I might even still get the eye surgery. I’m kind of wondering if it would simply be a case of vanity, though. I certainly don’t NEED it. Guess I’ll restrict myself to a new goatee for now.

You’re welcome, auntie em!! You deserve a special place!!

Missed and regretted opportunities: Kaye Baker.

**auntie em **: Yout post to ** Little Bird ** rocks ! :smiley:

I thought so too. :slight_smile:

Missed opportunities? I had quite a few of them. Do I regret any of them. Only a couple. I was really clueless back then, but fortunately it has made it so I have the life I now enjoy.


It would have been nice had I asked my first and foremost crush out on a date. She was really nice and drop dead gorgeous, but I never ever got the courage to ask her out. Ever. Now she’s married and has a kid.

I didn’t take my dad’s offer to send me to private school for high school.

Because of parental visitation due to divorce:
I didn’t attend an invitation-only art camp.
I never marched with a drum & bugle corps.
I didn’t go to Interlochen Arts Camp.

I regret blowing off high school.
I regret dropping out of college.

I regret blowing off Gregg Newsom.

Ew, I’m going to stop now. I love my family too much to ponder of all of the things I didn’t do which led me to have them. :smiley:

Thanks to John Carter and Little Bird (hopefully I got the coding right that time) for the validation.

Most people (including me, sometimes) think I’m a freak for thinking about things in this manner. But it keeps me happy, it makes me trust life a little more, and it is certainly a more fulfilling occupation of time than playing with a string… :smiley: