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March 2, 2010 9:03 AM   Subscribe

Have you ever asked a question in AskMeFi that you now regret posting? Of course I'll provide an answer for myself.

At the end of each year many newspaper columnists write up a piece where they cite passages from their earlier work that they regret putting into print. It's a nice way to own up to one's mistakes, as columnists tend to have such a bully pulpit to work with.

I've been meaning to post this question since January to see if anyone here would like to own up to an AskMeFi question (or maybe comment) that they feel doesn't reflect their best selves.

I'll start off. I feel pretty stupid about this question I posted last year asking whether there were more sweeps these days in professional sports playoff series than in the past. Not only is the answer an emphatic "no", but I come off sounding like a crotchety old man sitting in his armchair, shaking his fist at the young'uns on the TV screen. Ugh. The nice thing is that other posters actually proved statistically that I was way off base.

So, anyone else want to give this a try?
posted by hiteleven to MetaFilter-Related at 9:03 AM (77 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

I also just noted that I made that post on my birthday. Somehow that makes it even sadder. Didn't I have anything better to do?
posted by hiteleven at 9:04 AM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I anticipate this post is going to result in the admins getting a lot of emails from people asking to anonymize old AskMe questions. At least, they may get such an email from me.
posted by bunnycup at 9:06 AM on March 2, 2010


Have you ever made a post on MetaTalk that you've regretted?
posted by nitsuj at 9:07 AM on March 2, 2010 [7 favorites]


And what about airline food? What's the deal with that?
posted by Babblesort at 9:08 AM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Have you ever made a post on MetaTalk that you've regretted?

Post? No. Comment? Only the next one.
posted by quin at 9:15 AM on March 2, 2010


Actually, I take it back this one is pretty great. It's that last one I sort of wish I hadn't done.
posted by quin at 9:17 AM on March 2, 2010 [8 favorites]


This sort of question is strictly forbidden here, hiteleven. Happy birthday and here is your present: you are permabanned.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:24 AM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I once spent more time asking about not having a plunger than I would have spent walking three blocks to the store to purchase one.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:26 AM on March 2, 2010 [6 favorites]


I regret asking "Which albums sequence their best song in the middle of a side?" - as it turned out that only old farts like me think of "album sides" any more.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:27 AM on March 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


The side is the part that you cover in magic marker to make the album sound quality improve, right?
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:28 AM on March 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Just to be on the safe side, I'll say everything. TIA for the Brand New Day!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:29 AM on March 2, 2010


I regret posting in this thread.
posted by fixedgear at 9:31 AM on March 2, 2010


I regret asking a number of questions that sprang from my anxiety. Once I got past the anxious moment I realized how silly they were.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:36 AM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I regret asking "Which albums sequence their best song in the middle of a side?" - as it turned out that only old farts like me think of "album sides" any more.

I have all of Public Enemy's old albums on CD (now on my iPod as well, of course), and they all have a big, long fadeout on the last track at the end of what would be side A, followed by a big build-up one the first track of side B. I was baffled as to why these tracks, which appear in the middle of a CD, were mixed this way until I realized what was going on.
posted by hiteleven at 9:38 AM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


There was one AnonyMe I asked, and oh lordy, am I glad I didn't ask it under my actual username. I was whiny, petulant, and completely not acting like a grown-up about a particular family relations issue.

Happily, the answers I got did not hesitate to point all of that out, so the wake-up call was harsh but very much needed.

Had I posted it under my name, I definitely would've regretted having that embarrassing tantrum on display forever and ever. I guess this is more along the lines of "I regret that I was acting like a turd in the situation that prompted the AskMe," rather than regretting the AskMe itself. I am 100% in favor of deturdification.


And, um, no. Not gonna link to it.
posted by shiu mai baby at 9:51 AM on March 2, 2010


I regret asking a number of questions that sprang from my anxiety. Once I got past the anxious moment I realized how silly they were.

I've been there, too. I have this gem from my darkest days at grad school, when I was thinking about transferring to a U.K. school. It's not the idea of making the transfer itself that was the issue, it's that I was thinking about 20 moves ahead in my planning and working myself into an anxious fit over everything.

Now I'm leaving grad school altogether and am much happier.
posted by hiteleven at 9:54 AM on March 2, 2010


Have you ever made a post on MetaTalk that you've regretted?

Is there any other kind?
posted by Nothing... and like it at 9:56 AM on March 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Omigod shiu mai baby that was YOU????
posted by 8dot3 at 9:58 AM on March 2, 2010 [6 favorites]


I regret asking about looking for a particular item of clothing for someone who ended up dumping me the very next day. Every time I look in my question history, and there are only 6 questions so far, I see that and it rankles me a tiny bit.
posted by 8dot3 at 10:00 AM on March 2, 2010


This was the dumbest question I've ever posted.
posted by desjardins at 10:16 AM on March 2, 2010


I regret asking this question, because in retrospect it's exactly the sort of question I hate to read - people asking for validation of a bad decision. But I guess in my case I took the advice and didn't make the bad decision, so it all worked out in the end.
posted by muddgirl at 10:19 AM on March 2, 2010


I wish I'd waited another month to post my last question to AskMe, which I posted too early. A quick search of AskMe saved me from posting something this week. It was already asked recently and I'm glad I didn't have to waste a question asking it all over again.
posted by immlass at 10:20 AM on March 2, 2010


I think my first AskMe question about fixing my sister's computer, which was a big fat "No", and ended up in a MeTalk thread. God that was so embarrassing.
posted by hellojed at 10:24 AM on March 2, 2010


My questions are all awesome and thought provoking. So I have no regrets.
posted by orville sash at 10:28 AM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've never asked an AskMe question. Going through life as an insufferable know-it-all has its compensations, plus I can't afford a lawyer and I'm too English to consider therapy.
posted by Abiezer at 10:35 AM on March 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


I've already had the mods anonymize and/or delete the questions I regret asking. Why would I want to bring them up again?
posted by jacquilynne at 10:40 AM on March 2, 2010


I REGRET NOTHING
posted by The Whelk at 10:44 AM on March 2, 2010


It was pre-AxeMe, but I've always cringed a bit remembering this one. Some helpful and nice person gave it a title later of "I need html help", but truth be told, I hadn't even heard of html when I posted it.

Although it was my first interaction with cC, and he's a hell of a nice guy, so it wasn't all bad.
posted by norm at 10:55 AM on March 2, 2010


Of the 52 questions I asked before I abandoned my old username and picked up this one, I regret asking:

- If I should wait it out for the newest technology or buy now, because I knew the answer was that if I waited forever I'd never get anything.
- How to change the views on the documents people send me, because the answer was "you can't."
- How to filter out MySpace messages, because it forced me to admit using MySpace.

That's less than 10%, so not bad. On the flip side, I still cherish a large portion of the questions I asked. I got a lot of great recommendations and ideas from AskMe. That's why I didn't mind shelling out five more dollars to get the account with the name I preferred.
posted by moviehawk at 11:01 AM on March 2, 2010


I just looked over all 80 of my AskMe questions, figuring I'd find one or two that I probably shouldn't have asked. There's a couple that I probably could have asked differently, a bunch that I probably didn't need to be so long-winded about asking, a few that didn't quite give the answers I was looking for, and one that filled me with a bit of rage over the completely incorrect guesses that were made by people more interested in criticizing me than answering the question.

Other than those few things, reading through all my questions filled me with a huge amount of joy over just how god damned helpful and smart the people on Metafilter are. Going through my questions was like looking through old family photographs. I got to see various stages of my life from the last few years. I got to re-live major decisions I've had to make, purchases I've made, gifts I've bought, problems I needed to solve, meals I've cooked, trips I've taken, and in one case, pickles that were Fed-Exed to me from a helpful AskMe user.

I regret nothing. Ask Metafilter is the greatest thing on the internet.
posted by bondcliff at 11:20 AM on March 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


I regret asking that question about how awesome I am and why are girls intimidated by how awesome I am and mentioning my fedora.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:21 AM on March 2, 2010 [8 favorites]


I regret that my questions don't make it clear how smart and interesting I am. Except the first one, about trucking. I wish I could think of more questions that gave as good answers as I got there. My other questions are all boring.
posted by frobozz at 11:38 AM on March 2, 2010


I don't regret asking this question; I regret that you people never answered it.
posted by headnsouth at 11:38 AM on March 2, 2010


Surprisingly, no regrets.

I would like to point out that this is coming from someone who has "poop" as a frequently used AskMe tag. I have, apparently, had a lot of questions about poop. None of it mine.

Maybe I regret a lifestyle that involves dealing with other mammals' poop.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:39 AM on March 2, 2010


I've only asked three questions, basically because I'm deathly afraid I will regret it later. I regret this.
posted by darksasami at 11:45 AM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Maybe I regret a lifestyle that involves dealing with other mammals' poop.

Yeah, reptile poop is really where it's at.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:46 AM on March 2, 2010


Yes. First, I was drunk. Second, I was angry. Third, the question did not belong on AskMeFi, and thus it was deleted.
posted by psylosyren at 11:47 AM on March 2, 2010


It's gotta be a parrot. I still cringe.
posted by Sassyfras at 11:55 AM on March 2, 2010 [21 favorites]


I regret asking "Which albums sequence their best song in the middle of a side?" - as it turned out that only old farts like me think of "album sides" any more.

That reminds me of LL Cool J's first album. For some reason I can still recite when he and El Shabazz are going back and forth, telling the listener to turn the record over:

Yo, turn that shit on the other side, cuz the other side is liver than this side. You like this side, but you'll like the other side cuz the other side is better. Yo Shabazz is it live? It's live. Is it live? It's live...etc.
posted by Pax at 12:09 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, as to the original question, no, but I regret not taking the advice in my one question. I never did go to yoga or get my nails done in Columbus, OH.
posted by Pax at 12:11 PM on March 2, 2010


Sassyfras I am literally in tears from laughing. OMG. the thought of you getting your "joke" answers deleted while you come back again and again to say NO, LISTEN - SERIOUSLY, IT'S GOTTA BE A PARROT is just beautiful.
posted by moxiedoll at 12:13 PM on March 2, 2010 [17 favorites]


Hell no, my questions rock. In fact, I think I'll ask them again.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:15 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I asked this question when I thought my dashboard light had gone out. Silly me, I didn't even think to check if I had accidentally dimmed the light completely. For some reason people favorite that question. I think they do it because they're delighted by my stupidity.
posted by brina at 12:16 PM on March 2, 2010


I once asked an anonymous relationship question and was apparently insufficiently clear in the asking, so that everyone and his ferret rode hard in the wrong direction. (It was if I had asked what I should do with a sudden windfall of money -- take a trip, invest, give to charity -- and the responses all mysteriously assumed I had robbed a bank and said I should turn myself in.)

Through the good graces of a mod I got an update into it clarifying things, but the herd was over the horizon by that point, still madly pursuing mistaken assumptions. Le sigh.

I am not sure I regret posting it, but I regret that the answers people clearly put some effort into were of no use, and I was disappointed at how cynical of people's motives so many mefites turned out to be.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:16 PM on March 2, 2010



I don't regret asking this question; I regret that you people never answered it.


I feel like I've read the short story in question. And now I want to know the answer too.

Can't you repost it in AskMe? Is there a protocol on that kind of thing?
posted by morganannie at 12:18 PM on March 2, 2010


This was a waste of a question. Asked for a friend and didn't realize he hadn't googled very well before asking.
posted by peacheater at 12:23 PM on March 2, 2010


Yes.
posted by iconomy at 12:39 PM on March 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


aw, norm, that question's so cute!

Most of my tech questions appear dumb in retrospect (no duh, I cannot run a database without serverside access). Many of my other questions are just an effort to get the stupid roundabout thoughts out of my head. I never seem to be able to figure out exactly what I'm asking, or communicate it in a way that gets me the answer I want. And when I have no idea what is going to happen, I want to make the possibilities as concrete as possible, hence the Sydney question about a move that never happened.

On the other hand, I am always glad I asked about how to stop screwing around with my thesis and reread those answers pretty often, even though the same stuff has been said in other questions a million times. (I ended up getting an A on the thesis, too).
posted by jacalata at 12:42 PM on March 2, 2010


I regret posting several questions because I didn't get satisfactory answers that often. This is probably because many of my questions are technical and/or highly specific. We have a large-ish userbase with divers interests and abilities, but some questions just aren't answerable in this forum.

Looking back on it, some of the questions I asked could not be satisfactorily answered short of having some specialist tend to the matter in the flesh. So chalk some of it up to operator error, for sure. Honestly though, most things that (for me) don't fall into the category of "I really have to come out there and see what's going on," are things that I can find answers to without AskMe, which is why I'm seldom there these days. That's not to say that I haven't received some great advice though, and I am grateful for it.
posted by Mister_A at 1:06 PM on March 2, 2010


I asked a question about remodeling that was fairly incoherent and stupid
posted by Scientifik at 1:14 PM on March 2, 2010


Sassyfras I am literally in tears from laughing. OMG. the thought of you getting your "joke" answers deleted while you come back again and again to say NO, LISTEN - SERIOUSLY, IT'S GOTTA BE A PARROT is just beautiful.

Holy gods, yes, I am seriously crying because I'm laughing too hard. That's possibly the greatest answer I've ever seen; it is unmistakeably the opinion of a person who is DEAD SURE that we are dealing with a parrot here.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:16 PM on March 2, 2010 [6 favorites]


I actually regret asking my last question, which was about how to get google chrome to stop trying to google things for me and to just remember the pages I've been to. The people who answered were all LET ME GOOGLE THAT FOR YOU so I looked like a maroon, and then I thought that the answer worked but it actually didn't and so I lost every which way.

(BUT I'm so glad for this thread because otherwise I wouldn't still be laughing at that Sassyfras Parrot thing, which is my favorite thing ever in AskMe. It's this totally grim question about dementia and phone companies and Sassyfras comes in all ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN talking about parrot accents! I love it so much).
posted by moxiedoll at 1:20 PM on March 2, 2010 [6 favorites]


She's not demented, she's just pining for the fjords.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:23 PM on March 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Shadows around every corner- artifacts of our personal history." "The past isn't past. It isn't even pasta."
posted by filthy light thief at 1:42 PM on March 2, 2010


Actually regret? Nah. I realize when I hit 'post comment' it's on the internet and the whole damn world gets to see. That being said - wish I'd investigated this a little more before publicly announcing that I fail at google.
posted by Space Kitty at 2:01 PM on March 2, 2010


This could be a lot more fun if we were instead calling out other people's stupid questions.
posted by norm at 2:03 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


My third Ask post makes me sound like a petulant child and a coward. Yeah, wish I'd anonymized or not posted it at all.

I did anonymize my other cowardly post and you all helped me out greatly there.
posted by MuChao at 2:05 PM on March 2, 2010


Have you ever made a post on MetaTalk that you've regretted?

Yes. I posted a follow-up to a (botanical) AskMe that I found out the answer to. Only problem was, nobody else cared about the answer. The mods were nice enough to close/delete it for me after a few people gave me some well-deserved shit over it. I'm still a bit embarrassed about it, to tell you the truth.
posted by lleachie at 2:23 PM on March 2, 2010


This question of mine about homosexuality and twin studies caused me to get called out (in thread and in MeTa) for two reasons: for failing to sufficiently research the topic beforehand and for spoiling the plot of an episode of The Simpsons. Jesus, I still can't believe people cared about that.
posted by painquale at 3:03 PM on March 2, 2010


Yeah, that's sort of ridiculous painquale because (a) it's the Simpsons, which is de facto non-serialized, and (b) the network and writers had been dropping huge hints for, like, months beforehand. Like, "A major character is going to get gay married! No, not a character that you already know is gay! No, not Carl or Lenny - they're not big enough characters! This character has had her own episode! NO IT'S NOT LISA SHE CAN'T GET MARRIED YOU DOLT!"
posted by muddgirl at 3:11 PM on March 2, 2010


> That's possibly the greatest answer I've ever seen; it is unmistakeably the opinion of a person who is DEAD SURE that we are dealing with a parrot here.

Another vote for Sassyfras's parrot manifesto. This thread was worth it just for directing us to that classic.
posted by languagehat at 3:20 PM on March 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


I regret being too specific with some questions. I've realized people really dislike it when you narrow down their answer options.
posted by CwgrlUp at 3:36 PM on March 2, 2010


I regretted posting this one about how Channel 4 had censored the word 'breasts' on Countdown.

However, I did not regret posting as much as I regretted the ranting email I sent to Channel 4 just before realising that the word wasn't 'breasts'.
posted by knapah at 3:48 PM on March 2, 2010



There's probably a few questions should have asked but didn't.
posted by philip-random at 3:51 PM on March 2, 2010


i regret asking how to fix the hole in my couch cuz now everytime i look at the fucking hole i think GODDAMMIT I KNOW HOW TO FIX THAT AND YET HERE I SIT

then i watch more 'house'
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:21 PM on March 2, 2010 [7 favorites]


I've come to regret some comments, cause they where made in haste or in drunkeness or in the middle of a huge angry steam, but my respect for the community and the expectation of the community on me (Don't be a dick, don't act in bad faith) keeps those in check. I honestly think Metafilter has made me a better person by by invovlement in a social gathering that expects a certain level of reason and thoughtfulness from it's users. I've actually held back and considered real life situations as a "well, what would I do on AskMe?" and thought about by reactions and responses to things.

THAT BEING SAID, I feel silly for using a question on this.

Also apolizes again to anyone who's actually had to meet me at a meetup.

A WWJCWD braclet would be such a bad idea for a number of reasons but I'd buy it


posted by The Whelk at 4:25 PM on March 2, 2010


Oh, Jesus, I regret reading this thread because I'm not going to be able to relax until I found out what became of one_bean's mystery caller.
posted by lore at 5:06 PM on March 2, 2010


She's not demented, she's just pining for the fjords.

That reminds me, I was in Petco on Saturday and there was a guy actually returning a dead bird in a box. It wasn't a parrot, but still, I had to bite my lip to not laugh.
posted by drjimmy11 at 5:07 PM on March 2, 2010


Seriously I just had to read that parrot thing out loud, to my husband. It is like, the most amazing troubleshooting process ever. I am dying to know about a million things, most of all, how in the fuck did you get to parrot??? It is so great, so creative, and so bananas. I love it. I hope you are in IT. We could use more parrot hypothesis people, for reals.
posted by mckenney at 5:36 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow I am tempted to start a ska band called Parrot Hypothesis People. Are there any interested tromboners?
posted by Mister_A at 6:50 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


No, not really. I remember there being a question I asked where I had little time to decide between X, Y, and Z, and out of sheer circumstance options X and Y ended up being closed off to me two days later... well that was a waste of a question, lol, but I can't remember most of my questions off the top of my head!
posted by biochemist at 8:34 PM on March 2, 2010


I have asked 7 questions and am ok with them all. I really liked the discussion and information that the answers in this one generated. Thanks.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:58 PM on March 2, 2010


The one that resulted from me, coming home from a fair night of drinks to find my Japanese test results telling me I failed? Where I admitted that I hadn't really studied, and asked why I'm so stupid?

I sort of regret that one.
posted by Ghidorah at 11:13 PM on March 2, 2010


The one that resulted from me, coming home from a fair night of drinks to find my Japanese test results telling me I failed? Where I admitted that I hadn't really studied, and asked why I'm so stupid?

I sort of regret that one.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:13 AM on March 3 [+] [!]


well, I'm grateful, because nikkorizz posted an awesome flashcard link that I'm currently using to study for my FTCE spanish exam. so thanks, Ghidora.
posted by toodleydoodley at 7:59 AM on March 3, 2010


I regret asking about green eggs and ham. As if I'd send my kid to school with stinky eggs! Nice eggs, yes. Stinky eggs, no. As it happens, I was missing an ingredient that would have made them fantastic so he went to school empty handed and enjoyed all the the things that the other competent parents sent along and I ate the eggs.
posted by h00py at 2:22 AM on March 4, 2010


That's possibly the greatest answer I've ever seen; it is unmistakeably the opinion of a person who is DEAD SURE that we are dealing with a parrot here.

Man, I was honestly surprised when I scrolled further down and it wasn't a parrot. Because, I mean, everything actually did indicate that it might be a parrot! Parrots do repeat what you say, they do ask you to teach them English, they do sound like old ladies with accents. If it had really been a parrot, it would have been the most brilliant leap of insight in AskMe history.
posted by decagon at 1:42 PM on March 4, 2010


Oh man. I too laughed until I cried at Sassyfras's parrot response. I read it over and over and cried more and more.
Still pretty new here, but who knew there was such gold on the gray?!
(I, too, was surprised and disappointed that it wasn't actually a parrot).
posted by inkytea at 8:37 PM on March 4, 2010


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