Have you ever wished you had an undo button that could make your mistakes just disappear? Or for it to bring you back to that moment when a better choice could have been made, or a different road to take perhaps?

On the whole my life has been pretty good but it could have been better and I sometimes wish I could live it all over again knowing what I know now. At least until I recall things like childhood angst and — you know — labor pains. That’s when I think I need a new hobby beyond ruefulness.

When it comes to regret, it is mostly wound around things I’ve purchased. Items that I thought were a good thing at the time but have proved to be a big waste of my husband’s money.

One of my first oopsies was a big bag of pink, plush carpeting I found in a department store. It would be perfect in our then bathroom. However, I am a bit of a germ-a-phobe and didn’t know how to lay it close enough to the toilet to be useful but far enough away to believe the germs couldn’t walk that far. It sat in a closet for four years and ended up in a yard sale, finally selling for $2. I wonder how long it sat in their closet?

Then there was the hamper situation. My sister had three and lined them up in an upstairs hallway where everyone sorted their own clothes. I wanted that! I already had one for whites, but darks and mediums had to share. I knew it was time for a load when I couldn’t close that hamper anymore.

So I picked up a navy blue collapsible one at a yard sale and called that the “darks” hamper. In truth I resented it taking up valuable space but if it saved me sorting time I was willing to put up with a little traffic jam in the bathroom. Yet week after week I was pulling mediums out of the dark hamper and darks out of the medium hamper. I said “How hard can this be … darks in the dark.” I might as well have said “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain” for all the good it did. I got rid of the aggravation by getting rid of the newest hamper.

And then there is Horace, that sewing machine I rescued from a yard sale a few summers ago — the one that is heavy enough to be a boat anchor. I cleaned it up nice but it’s more like a too heavy decoration in my living room. I rarely use it which is a shame, and I can’t lend it out because it didn’t come with wheels or a hunky guy from the gym.

Last month I was flipping through a magazine and saw that black and white checked wrapping paper was in. They had paired it with brown paper bag wrapping which I thought was odd. Still, I went on a mad hunt for that black and white checked paper. Weeks later I finally found it in Hobby Lobby. I wrapped my first box. It was so lovely! I wrapped another and another. Two hours later I looked at the huge pile of checkered boxes and realized why they had paired it with the brown paper bag wrapping. My stack of gifts greatly resembled op art — of the optical illusion type.

You can’t stare at it too long without your eyes crossing — and I think they do that out of self-preservation. It’s too late to pair the paper with anything other than a glass of wine. Each time I walk past the pile I am hit with regret.  I’m thinking I will have to scatter them about the family room so my family can handle the view.

Because the sight of them is so unbelievably obnoxious I even dreamed about it last night. I was looking in a mirror while placing a black and white checked headband on my head and saw that it perfectly matched the black and white checked shirt I was wearing. The sad part was – the dream me actually thought I looked good.

I’m presently regretting haven ordered the Hubby’s gift on line in November. It isn’t much — as we don’t need much — but it looked like something he could use. Once again I did not read the fine print telling me I was ordering from China. As of Dec. 22 it had finally made it to the “customer’s country” and has cleared customs, but I think he’ll be opening it on New Year’s Eve. Well, with any luck he will.

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