Thursday, August 7, 2008

Bad Choices

by Jo Robertson

Nowadays we speak to our children about making choices. You can make a good choice or a bad choice. We don’t tell them they are bad. Or did something bad. We’ve grown psychologically beyond the use of that esteem-deflating language.


"You made a bad choice, didn't you," we tell our children. Annie (above) makes a lot of bad choices. She's two.

But let's face it. As adults we make a lot of stupid, dumb, or just plain bad choices.

I for one have done my share of foolish things.

Made a lot of bad choices.

Oh, nothing I could be sent to jail for. Nothing really outrageous like the gross tattoo in The Red Dragon (below). Nothing illegal or even terribly dishonest, or even very dangerous or risky.


Stacked up beside the lives of some people, I’ve probably led a fairly tame existence.

But still.

Some of my choices were really stupid. Decisions I regretted almost the moment the act was completed.

Here’s a list of five foolish things I’ve done, in no particular order, and not even the most foolish, but stuff I would undo in a New-York minute if given the chance.

1. I made out with Ronnie H. after a first date one night my sophomore year in college. I didn’t particularly like him, but I wanted to see what it would be like to go hot and heavy with someone who was little more than a stranger. Yucky, that’s how it felt, and I didn’t learn anything I couldn’t have figured out on my own. Ewwwww.

2. I regret making fun of the two young girls who went to Scotland with us. I called them Barbie #1 and Barbie #2 and threatened to kill them off in my next book. They took the kidding in good-natured fun and I regret thinking how shallow they were talking about their clothes, jewelry, and boob jobs. Okay, they were pretty shallow, but they were really nice too and I should've been a kinder person. I know better. (The image to the right is blurred to protect the not-so-innocent.)


3. I truly, truly regret my separate surgeries of a c-section and hysterectomy. What was I thinking??? Those double incisions are just about the ugliest things I’ve ever seen and no amount of topical applications or sit-ups will fix them. Ugh.

4. I lied to a young teacher I was mentoring. I knew within the first week of school that she wasn’t going to make it as a teacher; she didn’t have that special kick. At best she’d be a pedestrian teacher. But I couldn’t bear to burst her bubble of dreams, so I kept encouraging her even though I KNEW she’d drop out sooner or later. She did. I felt bad. I could’ve saved her several years of her life.

5. I really regret getting permanent eyebrows. I convinced myself they weren’t tattoos. What a crock! Yuck!


What are some of the dumb things you’ve done? Come on, fess up and share. What’s said in the Lair, stays in the Lair!





105 comments:

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I might really regret letting the GR in my house again!

jo robertson said...

Hehehehe, AC! I think you're the only Bandita up and about. Everyone must be exhausted from all the fun at National.

Congrats on the chook. Make him bring you ice and drinks with little umbrellas in them.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Oh he's gonna bring me ice all right, for my still swollen foot! I definitely regret doing whatever it was I did to the stupid thing in San Francisco!

I also thought I'd made a real blunder the night of the Bandita Bash when I met My Publisher for the very first time, and I had my riding crop in my hand trying to keep the other Banditas in line (a losing attempt). However, after getting to know the founder and CEO of Sourcebooks, the FABULOUS Dominique Raccah who has a marvelous sense of humor, I do NOT regret that she saw me wielding my crop. She was going to find out the truth about Aunty sooner or later...

AC

jo robertson said...

Oh yes, AC and her crop-wielding propensities cannot long be hidden especially with so many witnesses both in the Lair and at the Bandita Bash at National.

Well, if THAT'S the most foolish thing you've ever done, Aunty Cindy, I think you're pretty safe.

Tawny said...

I'm still giggling over the crop outing, AC! You handled it so well :-D Congrats on the rooster visit- make him baby you!

JoMama, great post. I'm not about to share my really bad choices *g* but I'll share my oopses...

I really really regret not double checking with Beth before conference to confirm that her flight was coming in to SF instead of Oakland. I will always and forever regret this (mostly because she'll never let me forget it) and feel horrible about leaving her stranded there while I rushed back across the bridge to get her.

Amy Andrews said...

Regrets...I've had a few. Hmm, I feel a song coming on. Frank anyone?
Great topic Jo. In fact the longer I live the more I think that regret is one of the more powerful things a person can feel.

Personally, I regret that I led a rather boring life in my teens and early twenties. No tattoos or drunken orgy's. No inhaling of illegal substances, terrible one night stands or bad men in my closet. And I regret that now. I mean, isn't that what those years are for? Making mistakes and getting burned and hurt but living your life to the hilt and full-on in a giddy, giddy whirlwind so that you can look back later and say, man, that was a insane, dumb time in my life and I really regret A B and C.
So I regret not doing that. I regret not having things to regret.

Okay, that sounds kind of lame. Let me see, more recent regrets.
I regret thinking I was fat 20 years ago and wasting all that fine-hot-chicky mojo that I must have had going on.
I regret missing how much my son patently adored me when he was a baby because I was so caught up in being the perfect mother. It took some candid film on a cam corder to show me that years later.
I regret that I played around with writing as a hobby for too many years letting life get in the way instead of taking it more seriously.
I may well regret being this open this time tomorrow when I read this again and realise that I must still be terribly jet-lagged. I went to bed at 8 o'clock last night and slept without moving - there was drool on my pillow - until 7am!!
Not to self - maybe leave the more thought provoking posts alone after crossing a time zone of two.

jo robertson said...

Yikes, Tawny, big boo-boo, hehehe. At least Beth wasn't stranded in Oakland Airport, much better to be stuck in SF in my opinion. Did YOU get mired in the traffic on the bridge?

jo robertson said...

ROTF laughing at your regretting not regretting, Amy. What a tame life you've lead!

I agree it's kind of fun to look back at the wild things you did in your youth. I'm okay with it as long as it's not one of MY daughters doing those crazy things. Then my mama-bear protectiveness comes out.

jo robertson said...

Amy, you gave me my first belly-laugh of the day. It's one-thirty a.m. and I must get to bed!

I love your honesty. I've felt those same emotions and ridiculous pressures we put on ourselves -- weighing 125 pounds and thinking I was FAT. What the heck??

And remember, this is like Vegas -- what's said/done/told in the Lair stays in the Lair.

Helen said...

Well done Aunty Cindy and make sure he pampers you really well and look after your foot you will need it to dance around in about 50odd days !!!

Great post Jo

I regret not being more thrifty with money earlier on so as I don't have to work such long hours now.

I too have encouraged people I have trained at work because I don't like to hurt people knowing full well that they are not going to make it in the job.

I regret not sticking to a diet and losing the excess weight I should be losing so as I can keep up with my grandchildren

So many things that I have regretted but there are so many things that I haven't I enjoy myself as much as I can.

Have Fun
Helen

Donna MacMeans said...

Well I regret that you had to leave SF early - but that's not the kind of regrets you're looking for.

I sometimes regret majoring in Accounting in school, which meant launching a career in Accounting when I graduated. I was good at it, but my heart wasn't in it. I wonder if I had stuck to English - which I loved - if I would have turned to writing earlier. Too many ifs. I think we follow the path we were meant to follow because the things we learn then, we use later in life. For example - I can balance my own checkbook and do my own taxes (grin - yeah, should have turned to writing sooner).

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

I am SO LOL about the "choices" conversation with kids. Having two, we have this convo a LOT. That and the "consequences" convo. Ha!

As to my own bad choices, they are legion. SNORK! I try not to regret them too much because they've shaped who I am now. But OH, if I could undo that decision to...

Marry the college sweetheart, even as I knew it wasnt the right time/thing to do. I loved him and my family was keen on it, but...

Go out with the guy my gut told me wasn't being totally honest...he wasn't, BTW, he was married! Grrr.

The same thing Amy said - thinking I was heavy 15 years ago when I was in really good shape! Ha! What a waste of that sexy-girl-mojo, as Amy also said! Ha!

Not trusting my gut every single time...

There are so many more! Ha! But to paraphrase the Bard says, regrets are in vain, since we can't go back, only forward. So I teach my kids "NEXT TIME I'm going to..." Grins.

Keira Soleore said...

AC, you're "it" now that the GR's with you. He's known to adore grapes, just ask Kate and Cassondra.

I regret all the time I've spent these last five years bemoaning my lot in life, instead of focusing my energies on writing very seriously.

Louisa Cornell said...

Use that crop on the GR, Aunty Cindy! He deserves a good beating after all of his escapades in San Francisco!

I am laughing at your intro to your publisher. Nothing like letting her see the REAL you up front!!

Like many of you I regret not pursuing my writing earlier. I was working on my music, true, but I wasted a lot of time outside of music doing things that were not, on hindsight, all that important. I TRULY regret not putting more money aside when I was singing and actually MAKING money. It would have come in handy now and might well have kept me out of Wal-Mart!!

However, I don't regret the money my DH and I spent on travel and adventure. We had a genuinely good time during our college years and the years I sang in Europe. I thank God every day for the memories we made now that he is gone.

I really regret not taking more pictures of myself with the Banditas because I miss you all already!!

Joan said...

Add me to the list of those who regret not getting serious about my writing (which I've been doing my whole life) earlier.

As to other regrets, my philosopy has always been to LEARN from my mistakes, missteps. You never grow if don't. (Like eating a SECOND Crunchie Bar that Anna S. brought me from England! I grew from that....literally!

terrio said...

I too regret not taking more pics in San Fran. The whole event is already starting to blur in my mind.

Part of me regrets marrying the wrong person, but it gave me my beautiful daughter I wouldn't trade for anything so I can't really regret it.

I regret not doing the four-year college thing right after HS. The experiences I did have formed who I am, but I think I might have a very different life if I'd done college back then instead of doing it now. Then again, I'd be someone different as well.

I wish I'd gone to see my grandmother in the days before she died. I never got to say goodbye and that will always be my biggest regret.

jo robertson said...

I'm so LOL about the "consequences" aspect of choices, Jeanne. There was a great child-rearing book in the eighties, I think, about letting children suffer the "natural" consequences of their actions, how that's the best way for them to learn.

I took that advice to heart with my middle son Tyler. He kept "losing" his coat at school and I kept buying him new ones. Finally, I said, "No more coats. You lose this one, you go without." Sure enough, he "lost" that jacket. (BTW, never did find all those coats. They must've gone the way of lost socks in the dryer.)

I sent him to school coatless and it was winter. I was determined he'd learn his lesson. After about three days, I got a note from the teacher. Apparently, the children in his class had all chipped in and gotten Tyler a new coat. Mortifying! They'd all assumed that since he was one of seven children, his parents couldn't afford to replace his coat.

Very big sigh. He's an adult and he still loses things.

jo robertson said...

Helen, that's the thing you realize with grandkids, isn't it? You just want to be able to keep up with them and have fun with them.

I wish I'd eaten healthier and exercised more when I was younger. But I was thin and energetic so I thought all the junk food wouldn't hurt me. Ha!

jo robertson said...

Your right about choices that lead us down a certain path, Donna. Your accounting degree certainly gave you a stable, comfortable life. I sometimes wonder if I'd be published now if I'd quit teaching school after ten years, but the reality is raising kids, sending them to college, and marrying them off takes $$$$. With writing we're never sure about income.

jo robertson said...

Keira, I think one of the biggest obstacles to overcome in writing is to acknowledge that we're writers. It's so hard telling people, "Yeah, I'm a serious writer, but I don't have anything published yet."

Most lay people don't understand the publishing business, so your claiming to be a writer seems like a pipe dream. I remember the point at which I could actually look people in the eye and say, "I'm a professional writer."

It was liberating.

jo robertson said...

Louisa, it was soooo great to meet you in SF at the breakfast place (but wasn't the service terrible?). Whenever you talk about your music career, I get chills. I'd have loved to sing more professionally. And now your writing career is taking off! We expect good things from you Bandita Buddy!

Cassondra said...

Hmmm.

I have wasted a lot of time on regret. A few years ago I decided to not do that any more. I do wish I'd had an upbringing that included my "choices" being bad instead of ME being bad. Because a lot of that stuck to me--stuck to my heart where it did a helluva lot of damage. But I can't regret that because it wasn't my choice to make, and it takes some maturity to know how to let stuff like that go.

Unlike you, JoMamma, I reget NOT doing some of those things--like Amy said, I was way too much of a good girl. Now perhaps I'd have MORE to regret if I hadn't been, but I don't think so.

I think without making bad choices, we never learn to make good ones. People who have been shielded from the consequences of their choices--or not allowed to MAKE bad choices--those are the people, I think, who end up shallow. They've never been forced to think about much except what makes them feel good RIGHT NOW.

I would bet, for instance, that that teacher you tried to help and encourage--she learned something from those years. She learned who she was NOT in a way no counselor could teach her, and perhaps she gained the maturity to choose REALLY WELL the next time, rather than meander to another place that wasn't right for her. And really, if you'd told her she wasn't going to make it, I don't think that would have stopped her. It would simply have left her with an ugly view of you. And you're not like that. You're an encourager.

I think there's a purpose for where we end up--and we get to learn and grow, even if it seems like a bad choice at the time.

There is much I wish I had done, and known, and a few things I wish I'd avoided because I still live with the pain from them. And yet...if I hadn't done those things I wouldn't know what I know now. I would be "less," I think.

Or then again, I would have had different experiences, and maybe I would just be different, not less.

Either way, we are the sum total of what we have done and how we've responded to it.

The one REAL regret I have is not knowing how to believe in myself and my work--whatever it was at the time--if it was creative work I was not taught to believe in it. If I 'd known how, I would have been making money writing many years ago. Because of my lack of belief in self, I let some major opportunities pass and did not make anything of them.

That, I regret.

The rest of it, I think you have to live, and to live without mistakes is impossible, and if it were possible it would make a person shallow. So I don't regret those.

MsHellion said...

I don't know if I'd regret encouraging the teacher-drop-out. If you had, she'd probably regret it anyway. Now at least she knows. That reminds me of Debbie Macomer's story that another author asked her (at a conference) if Debbie ever felt bad for encouraging the fledging writers who went because so few of them would ever be published, succeed at it...and Debbie asked her, "Which one would I discourage?"

However, I do have plenty of regrets. *LOL* Most of them for things I didn't do when I had the chance.

jo robertson said...

WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? You had a Crunchie Bar at SF, Joan, and didn't share!!!

Bad choice, Joanie, very bad choice.

jo robertson said...

Terrio, my son says the same thing. You can't regret anything that gives you those beautiful children, now can you?

I know what you mean about saying goodbye to your grandmother. One of my good choices was spending Thanksgiving with my father who died shortly afterward. Just the other day I was looking at the video we took during that Thanksgiving -- the dinner, the whole family together, Dad playing his guitar and all of us singing.

I had to leave my husband and seven chidren to eat Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant (they've never quite forgiven me for that!), but I got to "dance with my father again."

jo robertson said...

You're right, I think, Cassondra, about us being the sum total of our experiences. Even the bad choices contribute to the people we become. They're like our battle scars, you know? And there's something infinitely appealing and maturing about wearing those scars.

But YOU, de Ho, you are the mistress of soooo many skills, talents, and abilities. Your experiences are more wide-ranged than any person I've ever known. I think the delectable success of the Bandita Bash proved just one tiny aspect of that!

jo robertson said...

Ms. Hellion, that Debbie Macomber quote sent chills running up my spine. That's so true! Who would dare discourage a person from following her dreams no matter how unrealistic? I think of Don Quixote tilting at windmills. If we never tilted at windmills, we'd never . . . what? have wind-powered energy? That metaphor totally ran away from me (VBG).

p226 said...

Hahah. My life could probably serve as a film reel of bad choices. I mean, I can turn around, look at my past, and go "dumb... dumb.... dumb... oh that one was REALLY dumb... dumb... dumb... dumb..."

Ad Nauseum. Ad infinitum.

But!

I've made some damned good decisions too. Dwelling on the stupid ones doesn't really do me much good.

Picture the scene. Me and my buddy Matt, age 11. Bottom of a creek bed, exploring. Come upon a 15 foot tall rock overlooking the rocky creek. Matt says "Hey man, think we can jump offa that?"

I think one should dwell on their dumb choices just exactly long enough to either:

A: Learn from the mistake
B: Decide you don't care and would do it again, stupid or not.

So which did I choose on the rock-jumping thing?

I'm too damned spontaneous to care all that much about my dumb choices in life. I'm a very "in the moment" person. I don't think much about tomorrow, and I certainly don't think much about yesterday.

p226 said...

That metaphor totally ran away from me (VBG).

Hahahah. That got me a good laugh, for I am P226! Destroyer of windmills!

Cassondra said...

P226 said:

I'm too damned spontaneous to care all that much about my dumb choices in life. I'm a very "in the moment" person. I don't think much about tomorrow, and I certainly don't think much about yesterday.

I think this is a very good way to live, save a few moments when we can pause to learn from mistakes, and make plans for where we would like to go.

I think "in the moment" ---it's the way we're MEANT to live. Not missing the moment because we're worried about tomorrow or worried about what we "should have done" yesterday. I don't know anybody who does that very well, but it's what I want to be able to do.

I think you jumped off the rock. Are you kidding? Even I would want to jump off that rock.

flchen1 said...

Hi, Jo! This is probably going to sound a bit cheesy, but I think the one thing I still regret from time to time is not waiting--I was young and dumb and equated the physical act of love with love itself and I think even then I knew deep down that he didn't really feel the same way about me... Live and learn, right? And I'm praying my kids won't someday make the same mistake, but only they can make their own choices.

Congrats on the GR, AC--are there photos of you wielding your crop?

Cassondra said...

flchen1 said:

This is probably going to sound a bit cheesy, but I think the one thing I still regret from time to time is not waiting--I was young and dumb and equated the physical act of love with love itself and I think even then I knew deep down that he didn't really feel the same way about me.

That doesn't sound cheesy flchen. A lot of us do that for that reason. I wanted intimacy. I couldn't have told you that THEN. I just knew something was missing in my life and that's the only way I knew to try to get it. I was not taught the difference between sex and intimacy, and they are NOT the same. I wanted intimacy, so I tried to find it. It was a bad experience. Made me a little hurt, emotionally and a lot jaded about men and their selfishness.

And while I regret WHO I chose to be with, and in some ways I regret the entire experience because of what it did to the inside of me, I see a lot of women who have WORSE experiences, and have them way younger than I did, so in some ways I guess I had it pretty easy.

So I guess I sort of regret it and sort of don't. If that makes any sense....:0/

jo robertson said...

I agree with Cassondra, flchen, not cheesy at all. It's such an individual choice, but I see many young girls rushing out to have "the ultimate experience" and seriously regretting that choice, or at least the choice of partner.

jo robertson said...

LOL, P226, I can see you taking DOWN those windmills with your Uzi or AK-47 or . . . I'm sooo not into guns. Hmmm, maybe a hacksaw?

jo robertson said...

Excellent comments, P226. I meant this blog to be -- not so much the regrets of our lives -- but the choices we made that we look back on and say "hilarious, stupid, crazy, but yeah, I'd do it again in a heartbeat! Or maybe not because I came a hair's width of
being killed or maimed for life."

And how lucky is that?

jo robertson said...

Oh, and I'm soooo sure, P226, that you jumped off the rock.

You did, didn't you? Don't make me lose faith in you.

jo robertson said...

Hey, come on, you guys, didn't anybody pull an Angelina Jolie and get your butt tattooed with an old lover's name and regret it every time you caught a glimpse of your rear in the mirror?

I can't believe SOMEBODY didn't do this!

Cassondra said...

Jo said:

but I see many young girls rushing out to have "the ultimate experience" and seriously regretting that choice,

And the thing they DON'T know, is that it's not the ultimate experience unless he cares more about you than he cares about himself. And usually, that's not the first guy we choose to be with because we don't have the life experience to be able to tell the difference. I mean, I KNEW the guys I was with didn't really care about me--somewhere in my gut, I knew, but I hadn't seen anything better yet, ya know? That's a tough place to be. I think some people never find that person who cares more for them than for themselves. And THAT I would regret for certain.

And at the same time, I'm not sure I'd still know the difference if I hadn't gone the wrong direction. Hmmm. This is WAAAAAY too deep to touch before noon and at least one shot of espresso.

Cassondra said...

Jo said:

I can't believe SOMEBODY didn't do this!

Hmmmm. Nope. Sorry!

I have always said, my body gets drunk but my mind does not get drunk. I'm weird that way. I couldn't drive intoxicated, but I can still think--it's a bit more slowly, but I've never made an assinine decision because of alcohol, and I think for a lot of people-- with the lover's name on the butt thing--there is alcohol involved.

But you know, from what I understand, a good tattoo artist can cover up almost anything with something pretty. ;0)

Cassondra said...

I once went four-wheeling in a four-door Escort.

Buried it up to the bottom of the doors in mud in a cornfield. It took a really big tractor to pull that car out.

I know, not nearly in the realm of a bad tattoo on your butt, but it's all I've got. :0/

p226 said...

LOL, P226, I can see you taking DOWN those windmills with your Uzi or AK-47 or . . . I'm sooo not into guns. Hmmm, maybe a hacksaw?

Listen... windmill tilting in the modern age is very serious business. Back when ole Don was doing it, a man just needed a horse, a good lance, and a faithful squire. Have you seen modern windmills? These are not the mild mannered wooden dragons of old, surrounded by pleasantly arranged tulips. No. These are fearsome creatures, standing several hundred feet high, and surrounded by high tech, high strength modern material. Yes, these modern dragons are well armored. They fear not the minuscule pinprick of the lance.

No. Modern windmill tilting requires modern equipment, planning and tactics. Windmills are no longer solitary dragons. They huddle together in giant farms. Veritable ARMIES of dragons arranged in ranks and fiercely defending their vast fields.

Planning. Tactics. Modern weapons. Air support.

Keira Soleore said...

Aha! So I did have an effect on Cassondra. She's considering tattoo as art. Who knows? By this time next year, in DC, she'll be combining conferencing with inking.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Jo! Great post! And my regrets are shut away behind steel doors and shall never be expressed ;-)

Just popping in to say a big hi to everyone in the lair. I'm ferociously jetlagged and awfully tired (not a good combination) and drowning in stuff I need to do after being away nearly two weeks, but I had a fantastic time at the conference. And huge congratulations to Smoov who came back clutching a Golden Heart in her hot, little hand. WOWEEEEEE!

Great to see so many Banditas and Buddies in San Francisco! Can't wait till Washington!

Keira Soleore said...

Er, sorry to disappoint, Jo. No tattoos on butts and certainly not any boyfriends' names.

Beth said...

I regret that Tawny left me stranded at the airport *g*

No, seriously, I regret not reminding her that I was coming in to Oakland's airport. And yes, Jo, I was stranded in Oakland until she arrived :-) But I survived and even got to spend an extra two days with Tawny so it was all worth it! Except for her kitty who she made stay outside since I'm allergice. Poor cat hates me now.

Cassondra said...

Keira said:

Aha! So I did have an effect on Cassondra. She's considering tattoo as art. Who knows? By this time next year, in DC, she'll be combining conferencing with inking.

Hey girlfriend, what you DON'T know is that my husband has some body art. And some of my friends--good friends--have no skin left that is not inked. Yes, I consider it art, but no, despite careful consideration, and even knowing which art I would get, I have not decided to ink my body.

I wish I could have seen yours though.

If I got ink, I would get it from somebody local--somebody I knew and had a lot of references for,and whose work I had admired. You're braver than I am, going to a different city to get ink. Plus, I'm scared of the pain. Ew.

People, our Keira is NO wuss!

Cassondra said...

P226 said:

Planning. Tactics. Modern weapons. Air support.

C4

terrio said...

Anybody else think p226's description of windmills was dang near poetic?

I have ink and it's even a name. But I was smart, it's my daughter's name. LOL! And she got to draw the heart that is at the end. Yeah, she thinks I'm the coolest mom. For now anyway. LOL!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Jo-Mama said:
Well, if THAT'S the most foolish thing you've ever done, Aunty Cindy, I think you're pretty safe.


OMG, no! That was the most foolish thing I did THAT DAY! HA! I can't even say at conference coz I did a few others... some didn't even involve the crop.

I hear ya, Amy! I regret not taking more chances when I was younger. I was a big fraidy cat and goody-two-shoes combined when I was young.

And Terrio, I often regret marrying the wrong man, but have to stop myself because one thing I NEVER regretted was having my son. So, bottom line here is Cassondra is right, we can't truly regret all those choices that made us the person we are today, coz ladies-- WE ROCK!

I do WISH I'd taken my writing seriously a lot sooner, and started traveling a lot earlier. But I'm doing both now so I can't honestly say I regret much.

Oh, and Jo-Mama's tatooed eyebrows look FINE! How many of you who met her even noticed them?!?!

AC

p226 said...

Cassondra said:

C4

My favorite substance in the whole world!

We used to mush it into baseball sized soapy globs. Then we'd wander over into the grunts (infantry guys) area and pass it back and forth like a baseball.

You shoulda seen 'em diving into their holes. You would've thought we were under a naval bombardment.

I used to love the look on grunt faces when you lobbed a stick of that stuff at them. "Here, hold this!" *toss*

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

BIG P.S.
When I said, "Ladies--WE ROCK!" It was already a foregone conclusion that p226 ROCKS! He wouldn't be able to "take the heat" in the Lair if he didn't. Oh, and his poetic descriptions of windmill tilting, murder, and mayhem are really KEWL too!

Cassondra said...

P226 said:

I used to love the look on grunt faces when you lobbed a stick of that stuff at them. "Here, hold this!" *toss*

*sigh*

I really want to play with some C4 but it's not lying around just any old where and you can't get it at walmart. (Probably a good thing) I love that you can play with it, mold it, start fires with it (safely) to cook your camp food, and then--use it to blow a hole in a windmill! There is no more versatile substance in the universe! If we had the equivalent makeup product on the market, all other products would disappear! It would be mascara, base, and lipstick all at the same time!

I love explosives. I've considered going back to school to be an explosives person for quarries and road work--they wouldn't let me do EOD in the military cuz I was a girl. :0/

I'm not entirely sure WHY I love explosives, but I always have. It's a disease. I was born with it.

p226 said...

Oh, and his poetic descriptions of windmill tilting, murder, and mayhem are really KEWL too!

Awwww... shucks.... *looking at one toe while sliding it around in the dirt*

And yes folks. We both jumped off the rock. We both got hurt. We both looked back at our jump with regret. Then we did it again.

p226 said...

I love that you can play with it, mold it, start fires with it (safely) to cook your camp food, and then--use it to blow a hole in a windmill!

ahahahah

No less than three co-workers popped their head around my office door. You know that expression. That eyebrow-arching one that says, "has he finally lost it?"

I couldn't stop laughing.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hello, my evil twins P226 and Cassondra. I too love things that blow up, and C4. Sigh. Goody two-shoes that I am, I didn't go for it and learn about demoltion when I was younger, nor sow those wild oats in any wild ways.

Did some jumping off rocks though. I can look back on those times, Jo, and say as P226 did: Dumb...dumb...REALLY effin stupid...dumb...fun and not so bad...etc. All of it, though dumb in retrospect, was furiously fun at the time.

P226 I agree that you have a poetic soul, even describing blowing up wind farms. Grins. So, when should I pencil in the air support? Snork!

p226 said...

So, when should I pencil in the air support? Snork!

I'll call it in flash priority over the tac-net. :P

jo robertson said...

Cassondra, I think young girls haven't learned to trust their gut instincts yet, something that comes with maturity and experience. And I hate to say it, having four sons, but honestly the first time for most guys is likely wham-bam and anyone will do, so there's probably not a lot of genuine caring and concern involved.

jo robertson said...

Hey, I think your four-wheeling in an Escort trumphs Angelina's Billy Bob tattoos, Cassondra!

p226 said...

...but honestly the first time for most guys is likely wham-bam and anyone will do, so there's probably not a lot of genuine caring and concern involved.

Heheh. I both fit, and don't fit this stereotype. My first time was absolutely with the first girl that would let me. It just turned out, either by sheer luck or dogged determination, that I happened to care for her deeply.

jo robertson said...

Hehehehehe, Beth, we will NEVER let Tawny Depp forget abandoning you at the airport!

jo robertson said...

Ah, isn't it great to have P226 waxing poetic in the Lair again, albeit with the militaristic metaphors.

Suzanne Welsh said...

What a thought provoking post Jo.

Regrets...not starting my writing career sooner. I dabbled with scenes when my night job was slow, but never got serious until about 12 years ago. Wish I'd started in my twenties.

jo robertson said...

And the explosives experts are in the Lair -- the Pyrotechnic Trinity of Jeanne, Cassondra, and P226!!!

jo robertson said...

Suz, you make me feel like a baby in this business! Twelve years, girl, your ship is ready to come in!

Sometimes I regret not having begun my writing career when I was younger, but I quickly realize that I didn't have NEARLY as much to say back then. As a writer I needed that marinating time!

terrio said...

I forgot to say that I have a pic with AC holding that crop. It's in the Bandita group shot (which AC has so if she's holding out, y'all can get her now).

And I didn't notice anything different about Jo's eye brows. My ex-MIL had her lips done with permanent lipstick. I always thought that was odd just because I can't imagine how much that had to hurt!

Christine Wells said...

Hey, JoMama, your list of regrets doesn't look too serious. I think you must have led a pretty blameless life! I tend to regret the things I didn't do more than those I've done. I met the man I married when I was 19 and sometimes I regret my lack of...er... broader experience, but as I wouldn't trade my husband for the world, I have to believe it all was for the best. Your bad choices and mistakes make you the person you are, even more so than the things you do right, IMO.

And sorry, but I snorked at the Barbies. Hey, they might well have been flattered by the comparison!

Congrats on the GR, Aunty Cindy!

flchen1 said...

Thanks, Cassondra and Jo--that does make a lot of sense, the mixed feelings, even about the regret :)

And hmm... I think I've got some serious holes in my explosives education... ;)

limecello said...

Great post - and I have to say I regret being so tame in college etc - much like Amy. Of course at the same time, I regret not trying harder in classes/on standardized tests, and not getting into say, Harvard. Or having some paid federal internship. But... eh :X.

Cassondra said...

JO said:

the Pyrotechnic Trinity of Jeanne, Cassondra, and P226!!!


Oooooo. I've never been part of a "pyrotechnic Trinity" before.

Amy Andrews said...

I think that we need to let our kids experience the good and bad of intimacy - and I'm speaking both as the mother of a girl and someone who married the man they met at 16 and also from time to time regret my lack of "broader" experience - nicely put Ms Wells.

As long as they're safe. Yes, they're gonna get hurt, yes, they're gonna have a lot of bad sex, yes some creeps are going to do numbers on their heads but I really believe this experience helps them to become people who know what they really want and need out of life and from their life partners and teaches them not to settle for less. I hope my daughter has many intimacy experiences before she finds her ONE. Hopefully they'll all be good but even if they're not I hope she'll look back with no regrets. I hope she'll have learned enough from her experiences to be able to to say "a bit to the left for gods sake".

Cassondra said...

You know, that's awfully nice of you Jo, to say my little Escort meets mud adventure was up there with Angelina's tattoos, but honestly, when you consider Billy Bob Thornton's issues....no matter how talented the man is....I don't think there's ANYTHING that would trump the major mistake of having his name tattooed on your butt.

Ew.

Joan said...

WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? You had a Crunchie Bar at SF, Joan, and didn't share!!!

Yup, I had a FIVE pack! Now down to a 1 pack VBG....

jo robertson said...

All I can say on the permanent lip makeup, Terrio, is OUCH!!!

And I'm glad you captured AC wielding her crop because that's a sight that MUST be preserved for history.

jo robertson said...

That is soooo not fair, Joanie. You final in the Maggie AND get not one, not two, but FIVE fabulous Crunchie bars! Very big whine. I didn't even get a taste.

People have killed for less than a Crunchie bar, you know. I'm just saying.

jo robertson said...

So true, Cassondra. I loved Billy Bob in SLING BLADE, but to marry him is a whole 'nuther ball game.

Double ewwww.

jo robertson said...

ROTFLOL and spewing soda on my laptop screen at the same time, Amy.

A little to the left, indeed!

Helen said...

I don't have any ink either and as I met my hubby when I was 15 there have been times when I thought it might have been nice to have had a bit more experience so to speak but I am not sorry I am sure I get lots of "experience " from the books I read LOL

Have Fun
Helen

jo robertson said...

Well said, Christine. And thanks for stepping out of the Cave to comment.

Isn't that what romance novels are for? To give us the "broader experience"? Tee hee.

jo robertson said...

Ha, Helen, you and I were thinking along the same lines. Wow, you met the love of your life when you were fifteen? That's so romantic!

My mom met my dad when she was fourteen (the only time, I'm sure, he ever went to church), eloped with him at 17 and were married 50 years before he passed away.

I've never heard the expression "having any ink." I assume that's another expression for getting a tattoo?

Kim Howe said...

Fabulous post, Jo! Regrets...I've definitely done many things I wish I could take back, but when I really think about it, each mistake taught me something. Only one caveat: If I hurt someone's feelings, I definitely regret that because I know how it is to be hurt. As for the rest of the mistakes, I look at them as part of my journey. The bad times made the good times better!

Helen said...

Yes Jo having ink means tattoos there is a girl that I work with that has just another big one put on her arm she is a good drawer and often designs some of the "ink" that she has all over not my cuppa tea I am afraid.

Have Fun
Helen

Joan said...

I may have shared this story before, but I consider it a bit of a cautionary tale of getting "inked" without a lot of thought when your young.

Worked with a beautiful 20 year old girl. Gorgeous. Well, she had it in her mind that she wanted one of those spotted lizards tattoed on the small of her back...you know, kind of like crawling down it.

I told her "Sweetie, it's all well and good now, but as you get older you run the risk of that cute little lizard sagging into a komodo dragon!"

jo robertson said...

Hilarious story, Joan. Did you talk her out of the tat?

Helen, I like that phrase so much more than getting a tattoo, which makes me think of prison tats.

Helen said...

Just a bit of topic I am really happy at the moment I have just got back from the shops and I finally found a copy of Beth's book Not Without Her Family YAY it was the last one on the shelf as well

Have Fun
Helen

p226 said...

.... pyrotechnic trinity ....

If we had one more pyro we'd have a fire team.

Joan said...

If we had one more pyro we'd have a fire team.

I can set fires with my charge nurse laser glare. Does that count?

Caren Crane said...

Oh, Lordy, Jo. I regret not pursuing my degree in international business and German. I think I would have LOVED to travel for work, especially in Europe. I really regret not going ANYWHERE cool until I was in my thirties. Though I had a GREAT time for a couple of those late teen years, I really didn't have any clue what life had to offer.

If only we had had the internet. Life would have been so different!

Caren Crane said...

Jo, your story about Tyler and his coat made me LOL! Somehow, those "lose everything" kids always land on their feet. I have one of those - my youngest! Always lands on her feet somehow. I'm not sure she'll ever change...

Caren Crane said...

Jo, as AC pointed out, most of us DID NOT notice your inked eyebrows. I simply assumed that, like many women, you simply were an expert at drawing them on.

I knew a girl who had her eyebrows permanently lasered to a fine, fine line. Of course, a couple of years later Brooke Shields came on the scene and thick eyebrows were fashionable. She was stuck with the ultra-thin ones forever. And she was quite blonde. Disaster!

jo robertson said...

Caren, I think I've secretly always wanted a tattoo, some small flower or heart on my ankle or hip. Wow, what a Freudian slip!

Am I the only one who wanted a tat and was too chicken to get one? Did I mention I don't like pain?

jo robertson said...

You gotta love the kids who always land on their feet, Caren; they're such half-full kinds of people. In spite of all the trouble he's gotten into over the years, he still an upbeat kid!

jo robertson said...

Kewl that you found Beth's book, Helen. You're gonna love it!

All right, all you pyromaniacs who shall not be mentioned, calm down! We don't want the FDNY after us. And yes, Joan, the nurse's glare is WORSE than a laser. I think you qualify.

Joan said...

Nope, I harbor a secret desire for some small, symbolic Celtic ink strategically placed on my left hip.

Cassondra said...

KJ Howe said:

If I hurt someone's feelings, I definitely regret that because I know how it is to be hurt.

Amen. That's all there is to say to that. Amen.

Cassondra said...

Joanie said:

as you get older you run the risk of that cute little lizard sagging into a komodo dragon!"

Yeah, this is one of the difficulties.

I think it's really important to a) get a quality job from a good artist who knows what he/she is doing, and b) pay attention to what you're getting where, so it can be touched up and hopefully won't sag so much. Shoulder blades aren't so bad. I guess a hip bone isn't so bad unless you gain lots of weight. Tummies? No. Breasts? Uh..NO.

Ankles might work okay but gosh, I think they'd HURT.

Cassondra said...

Joanie said:

Nope, I harbor a secret desire for some small, symbolic Celtic ink strategically placed on my left hip

Yeah, mine would be Celtic. Or a dragon. Or both. A dragon holding a Celtic symbol maybe.

Louisa Cornell said...

Uhm, is this a really bad time and place to mention that I had an entire bag of Cadbury Dairy Milk miniatures from England (courtesy of Anna Sugden) AND have three (make that two now) obscenely large Cadbury bars from Australia (courtesy of Anna Campbell) all as a result of our little visit to San Francisco? Running away now. Very quickly!! And Jo, we DID have a great breakfast together. The company was far superior to the service! LOL

jo robertson said...

Louisa, you are so, so wicked simply for mentioning the Cadburys. Those things are sinfully delicious!

jo robertson said...

Right, Joan and Cassondra, a celtic cross or other symbol would be nice. I bought a Celtic cross necklace in Scotland and I love it!

Joan said...

Aw, I just had to be the 100th comment.

I'd favor a Celtic knot of some design for my "ink". Purple and green...kind of like the dragon I imagine having

;0

Pat Cochran said...

My word, Ladies and Lads! You've
truly and seriously covered some
mighty weighty topics! It took me
quite a while to get through all the comments because I didn't want to miss a word! I have only one thing to add: we are what we are
and what we were meant to be!

P226: Haven't known, or known of you for very long, but I must join the Ladies in acknowledging that
you have quite a way with words.
Militaristic or not. As for the
C4, you are making me glad I'm in
Houston awaiting the next tropical
storm or hurricane, not literally
in the Lair with the Pyrotechnic
Three or Four!!

Pat Cochran

Carol said...

Aunty Cindy...the Gr should be waiting on you hand and FOOT.

Dumb Choices!
1. Ever smoking.
2. Not learning my times tables
parrot fashion.
3. Not looking up my father before
he died in 1979 (not seen after
after age 3)
They're probably the biggies!

My 2o cents worth ! When having a Hysterectomy...always get a skilled Gynocologist...who can do a do a vaginal Hyster, Heaps better !! very clever !

Cheers Carol

jo robertson said...

Carol, thanks for the hysterectomy advice. I'm not sure they did that prcedure 20 years ago, did they?

Ah, yes, smoking is a biggie. I never started it, thank goodness, but I hear it's the devil to quit.

So sorry about your Dad. That must be very painful.

jo robertson said...

Yay, Joanie, on being the 100th commenter. You should win some kind of prize!

Pat, that's a good comment to end the day on: We are who we're meant to be. Otherwise, we might drive ourselves crazy with "what might've have beens."

Wasn't it Longfellow who said, "Of all sad words of tongue or pen/the saddest are these, 'It might have been'"?

Happy days, everyone!

Robb L. Robertson said...

I'm always a few days behind on my comments...if I make one at all.

Re: Bad Choices
My top 5 bad choices, in no particular order:

1. Quitting piano lessons.
2. Trying illegal drugs
3. Losing my virginity before I was married (at least it was to my wife-to-be).
4. Not getting my Eagle Scout when I had the chance.
5. Buying a Mustang GT in my 30's (I wrecked it 3 times, and got 5 tickets)