What spiteful thing have you done and then regretted months later.

It’s confession time.

Last December, I’m cruising around the parking lot and finally find a space that in addition to being unoccupied, is rather close to the building I wish to enter.

The problem is that the car to the left is not just hugging the white line but is over by a good eight inches or so.

No prob for me. I squeeze my little green car in, scooching my car a little to the right, turn the car off and then discover that I can’t get out. Now I’m a relatively thin person but there was no way I could exit my automobile.

I start the car up again, try to re-position but then realize that if I park any further to the right, the person to the right of me won’t be able to get into to her/his car at all.

Thus, I back up, find another parking space -further away of course and then figure I have to do SOME thing.

I take out some paper and write “Nice parking job, asshole. Merry Fucking Christmas” and place the note under the windshield wiper of the person who started this whole mess, and went about my business.

Days later, I got to thinking, did I really have to write the note? There are enough random acts of spite to last us to the next millennium, why add to it? Granted I didn’t lose any sleep or anything but… ah well, what are you going to do?

I hate flicking people off in traffic. I hate it when other people in my car do it when I’m driving as well. You know, fear of road rage. But I always regret doing it afterwards. Not months afterwards, but it does gnaw on me a bit.

I think the worst thing that I’ve regretted was some of the things said to some of my family members. My sister in law always gets us crap for holidays for gifts. She must have overheard us saying it, because this Christmas she made a huge deal about going to a name brand store to buy our gifts. That made me feel guilty.

Not really spiteful, but something I wish I hadn’t said.

Grocery shopping yesterday, there’s a huge display of Dannon Yogurt in a bin at the Kroger. So I go over to check it out. It’s all Dannon Light’N Fit Non-Fat Yogurt, 6 for $3.00, and I’ve never heard of “light n fit” yogurt, so naturally I pick one up to look at the label. Well, it turns out the reason it’s “1/3 less calories than other non-fat yogurts” is because it’s 1/3 less yogurt–they’re padding it with cornstarch for thickening. So while I’m standing there reading the label, this really nice grandma comes to stand at the other side of the bin, and she picks one up to look at it, with every evidence of interest, and I blurt out to her, “The reason it’s 1/3 less calories is because it’s got cornstarch in it,” and she says, “Oh”, and drops it like a hot potato and walks off.

So then I felt bad because maybe she had wanted to buy some (6 for $3.00 is a good price for brand-name yogurt) but she was embarrassed to, after this other shopper (me) had publicly expressed a negative opinion.

We ignored a co-worker’s birthday. A co-worker who’s been giving us fits, but still, a co-worker in a small department, where everyone’s birthday is remembered.

We didn’t really ignore it on purpose. We forgot, then remembered around noon. There was time to do something, pick up a card, call for pizza. But we didn’t. We didn’t even say happy birthday to her.

The next day, she made a comment about being a year older, and we acted surprised, gushed and said sorry, she said no problem.

About two weeks later, another co-worker had a birthday. One who’s not a pain in the ass. She got cards and gifts and Krispy Kremes. But we felt bad.

Once, during a particularly nasty verbal exchange with my wife, I blurted out,
“…oh yeah?! Well why don’t you ask me how many times I’ve fucked your sister!”
As you may imagine, that didn’t go over too well! The answer, by the way, was none, but due to other family circumstances concerning her sister, I regretted that one for about a year.
(That was about 10 yrs ago. 03-08-01 will be our 15th annv.)

A friend hooked up with a woman that had real issues about his female friends and would pout and make his life unpleasant if he more than waved at any of us at our local dance club. He didn’t ask us to dance anymore and eventually stopped sitting at our table, where a big group of us have been sitting for years, every Thursday night. One Thursday,she went off to the ladies and three of us went over to his table and told him how much we missed him and how were the kids and all. I insisted on seeing pictures and we all walked out to his car to see some new ones he was dying to share. I made sure we were outside and out of sight for as long as possible. I knew she would come looking and she did, to find us all laughing and hanging all over him. The look on her face when we all stopped talking as she walked up! My friends and I just walked away without a word to her, and it was pretty funny, but months later I can’t forget that angry, frightened look. I hurt another person for no good reason. I did it on purpose, I wanted to upset her and I did. And that’s nothing to be proud of and I regret it.

A couple of years ago, my older brother’s girlfriend was manic-depressive. She had a tape she had filled with all different songs that she loved, and she gave it to my brother. One day, he pissed me off badly, and I grabbed the tape and disintegrated it with my bare hands. It made him cry, and he must have been 17 years old at the time. I really regret doing that.

This was more like 20 years ago, but I am still trying to get this out of my brain.

My friend Brooke and I were playing on the playground at our elementary school, and the year younger class was let out for recess (my sister was in that class). My sister comes running up to me to show me a popsicle and yarn “gods eye” that Sara had made for her, well, Brooke and I had a friend named Sara that we were on the outs with (it was the typical 2 against 1 in the ring of girlfriends at the ripe old age of 9) and we ripped to pieces my sister’s “gods eye” yarn thing…and only after the fact realized it was a different Sara. My sister was bawling her eyes out…to this day I have apologized so many times…she says that she doesn’t even remember the incident…but I still feel guilty! Back to the therapist…again.

I have a couple that I’m still trying to get out of my brain too.

My freshman year in high school, a few of us 9th graders were in 10th grade math with a new teacher who was really nice to us, who took us to math meets, etc. (I know, demented and sad, but social.) He was kind of geeky but I liked him and he was a good teacher. Anyway, the majority of the kids, and certainly the “cool” kids, didn’t like him and made it really hard for him. As the year went on I got influenced by this popular opinion and turned my back on him too. We knew he wouldn’t be back the next year because we had made him so unhappy. As I turned in my final, he says, “Have a good summer” and I didn’t say anything, just turned my back and walked out. If I could take that back, and just have said something nice I would. It makes me feel sad and ashamed even now.

The other one was on the subway in NYC. I had developed the look out for yourself and screw everyone else attitude, as well as adopted one of my friend’s stances that unless a woman is giving birth you don’t give up your seat. Well, I’m standing one day and a man got up from the seat just to the left of me, well before the stop. I took no prisoners so I quickly swung and sank into the seat. To look up and see a pregnant woman in front of me. Although the man hadn’t been explicit, it was clear he had gotten up early to let her sit down. I wish to this day that as soon as I saw she was pregnant that I had sprung back up, “oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t see you.” That attitude problem I was getting is what got me to leave the City.

When I was in the 9th and 10th grades, I had this math teacher for this remidial math type thing. Well, the frst year it was basic geometry, the next it was remidial algebra because i switched out of algebra 2 too late, and all the other classes were full. She was the sweetest little lady, about mid 40’s or so. But she treated us like we were 5. She’d remind us every day to write our names on our papers. People laughed at her. A lot. They threw things, they drew pictures, I remember one kid even asking her what it felt like to come to work every day knowing that everyone hates you. She left the room in tears after that. I never joined in, but I never said anything to stop them either. And I’m sure I probably laughed with everyone else once or twice. She adored me. She sent letters praising me to my mom, and one day, as I was walking out, she stopped me. “You don’t belong in here. You’re so much better than everyone else…go to guidance, you deserve a better education than this.” I never switched out, and I passed with a 107 average for the year. But to the this day, I regret not sticking up for Ms. Roberts

There are a million things I wish I’d never said, or that I could take back. One that springs to mind immediately happened a year or so ago. My husband and I had been kind of on the outs all day, for no particular reason. We both just woke up grouchy. Sometime in the evening, the argument escalates and the mother-in-law calls, interrupting. Hubby tells his mother he’ll call back later and hangs up the phone. He says something (can’t remember what it was, fairly innocuous)- and I, poised to strike, literally against my will…heard the words “Oh yeah? Your mother’s a f—ing bitch!” shoot from my very own mouth with considerable venom. Ouch.

I have an ongoing underhanded kind of spite thing right now as well. Our friend Tara is a bit of an “embellisher”. I don’t think she’d lie about anything important, but she adds details here and there to make herself appear, for lack of a better word, better, than she is. She claims to make far more money than she does, pretends men are interested in her when they obviously are not, etc. If I’m feeling particularly nasty, I will “out” her in front of friends. I realize this is not nice. I always feel bad about it later because I love her dearly, but sometimes I just can’t help myself.