Regrets

We all have them.

At what point, however, do we look into ourselves to realize that it isn’t the end of the world? We’ve all done things that are better off buried and I’m sure we all have missed opportunities that we wish we could relive. Unfortunately that’s not life and we only get one chance. Somehow we have to find a way to live with our mistakes and keep on going.

Let’s take my colossal fuck-up as a pure example of how to live with regret.

The Setting

I went to dinner with my best friend, his girlfriend, and his grandmother. It was quite a motley crew if I do say so myself. Anyway, we went to a Norwegian dinner lodge so I felt quite at home (I’m part Norwegian and have quite a bit of the Viking culture in my blood). Being the dick that he is, my best friend thought he could catch me off-guard with lutefisk until I reminded him that I’m Norwegian and it’s the food of my people. I would feast on his now-downtrodden nature until we arrived at our location.

Upon arriving I had absolutely zero problem with the setting and felt quite comfortable among the other folks that graced our presence. I was wearing my “Haunted Mansion” shirt since I had just come from work so I felt a bit out of place as almost everyone else was in formal wear; I’m an engineer and a teacher so I’m allowed to wear whatever I please each day, luckily. I managed to find some kind of brotherhood (sisterhood?) in another patron as she had on Halloween garb and we discussed both Halloween and the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. I heckled her roundly to the joy of her mother who was also in attendance; she was quite cute and had a great sense of humor but that’s beyond the focus of this post.

The dinner was for the most part uneventful. I made fun of Halloween Girl quite a bit and we enjoyed each other’s company. When thinking about it as this point I really should have gotten her number. I finished up dinner with my buddy and his folks and we went outside.

While walking around outside I found all kinds of interesting tables filled with either Norwegian history or culture. The ones that didn’t have some kind of Viking collectibles had trinkets from places of interest. Behind each table was a knowledgeable person with some kind of story to tell.

The Screw-Up

At one point during my journey I happened across one unassuming table. As I was leaving the person who was manning the table noticed my “Haunted Mansion” shirt. She and I struck up a conversation and she told me she was in attendance during Disneyland’s opening day in 1955.

Anyone who knows me can confirm that I’m a huge Disneyland fan and pride myself on knowing all kinds of things about it. Could I really luck out more than meeting someone who was there during opening day and getting the low-down from a first-hand account? She and I talked for about a half-hour and it was one of the best conversations I’d ever had about the park.

I’m sure you can see what’s coming here. As my friend had to take off I unwittingly left my source. I was already in the car and pulling away before I realized just how badly I had screwed myself.

I still kick myself when I think just what kind of information I could have pulled from her. I easily could have spent another three or four hours talking to her as well as regaling my own stories from the park to her. That is easily one of my biggest regrets and I unfortunately didn’t realize it until it was too late.

Conclusion

Some regrets are preventable and yet others are contextual to the point where you don’t realize you’re leaving a good thing until it’s already too late. The trick is to realize when it’s salvageable or when you have to put in extra work to prevent yourself from leaving a good thing. Sometimes, though, you can’t prevent yourself from leaving a great source or a great conversation and you’ll regret it for quite some time.

One for the Road

#BlackLivesMatter

I think it’s adorable that you think that. You may even be out in the street marching with the rest of the idiots that champion the cause. There’s only one problem: it’s an empty cause and the only reason you march is to make you feel better about yourself. The people whose lives matter aren’t the ones marching blindly in support of a vapid cause; they’re in the labs searching for cures to contagious diseases. They’re in the shelters making lost children feel better about themselves and keeping them from falling into the influences of the street gangs. They’re preventing the domestic violence victims from living in fear and giving them a place to feel safe. Those who rally around the people serving their community will see the lives of those who truly matter.

The Uncomfortable Truth

Do you believe that a police officer has the right to defend himself? How about when he’s facing down an idiot wielding a gun? Would you rather that officer allow himself to be shot? I personally don’t want to live in that world and I’m more than happy to see a piece of trash get sent to meet his maker than a good man be filled with lead. As far as I’m considered if you are wielding a firearm in the presence of a police officer without trying to defend other good men then you deserve everything you get; if you’re killed that’s just the way it goes. You shouldn’t have done something stupid.

Putting It In Perspective

Do I care? No. Do I really care about anyone? No. Human life is practically worthless to me since it’s wasted on the majority of people that have the privilege of wielding it. If I were to disappear from this Earth tomorrow I can guarantee there would only be a small gathering of people who would mourn my loss. The rest of you would go on about your lives as if nothing had transpired and I can’t really blame you; that is the nature of the human. We go through life without thinking of consequences and we pursue that which will result in the quickest sense of self-preservation, joy, or satisfaction. We are biologically incapable of caring about our fellow man. In my case, that feeling has been ingrained and I’m frankly happy because of it; I don’t ever have to deal with idiocy because I drop the person as soon as his deepest thoughts rear their ugly head.

Am I callous? Certainly though the reasons I feel this way have come to roost in the last twenty years. Are here other ways I can handle the situation? Of course. Am I fulfilled? Certainly. When the sun sets and all I have left are my thoughts I can only ask myself one question: am I happy? If I can’t say “I am” at the end of the night then I’m doing something wrong. It sounds selfish but at the end of the day the only person that matters to me is ME; if I’m not happy then I’m going to have a horrible next day and possibly a terrible next week. I’ve learned that you always have to look out for yourself and I no longer have any shame for doing so; I focus on my own happiness and I couldn’t care less about how anyone else feels.

Here’s Where It Hurts

We can see the reasons for our perseverance in the mechanical. When was the last time a One-Armed Bandit offered its condolences for taking your money and not offering any funds in return? When was the last time a Blackjack dealer, the slave to his four or six-deck shoe, offered a genuine and heartfelt apology for the state in which you found yourself? The long and short is that nobody will look out for you but you! You must take responsibility for your own human condition and you must own the fact that only you are in control of your destiny.

Where are the people championing for the white man unfairly gunned-down by his LEO brethren? Nobody cares because his skin color is the same as the person who cut him down. Why should his death be worth any less than someone who happened to be a different race than the person who shot him?

The police have gotten quite a bad reputation these days. Far be it from me to say that some of it isn’t well-deserved; however there are bad apples in every bunch and the actions of the many (in this case) shouldn’t be qualified by the actions of the few. The majority of the police are willing to protect and serve in accordance with the oath they took when they were sworn in as peace officers.

The Resolution Cometh

How do such problems be resolved? The primary solution is that groups of people should stop demonstrating in locations where nobody cares about their cause. You Ferguson people? Stop demonstrating in California; the Californians can’t help you and all you’re doing is wasting your breath campaigning on the West Coast. Better yet, stop doing it on college campuses; if you really want to affect change then you should be marching through the streets of your town. The fact you’re marching through cities that have nothing to do with your current plight lends credence to the fact that you’re just trying to be a big bunch of troublemakers and want nothing more than attention. If you truly wanted a solution to your problem then you’d focus all your efforts to your location and let the national media take notice instead of spreading like a virus throughout the country where we will do nothing more than laugh at your cause. Either get with the program or kill your movement where it stands; it’s your choice.

Conclusion

When it really comes down to it you have to ask yourself: which side will you stand with? Will you allow the idiocy to permeate your thoughts or will you accept the logical argument?