MetaRegret August 24, 2018 11:00 AM   Subscribe

End of another long week filled with awful politics/news. Let's talk about something else instead. Tell me about a time you did a thing and were filled with immediate regret, some decision or action where you realized, “I regret this decision immediately.” It can be serious or silly, but should you feel so inclined, share with the community some of your instant regrets. :)
posted by Fizz to MetaFilter-Related at 11:00 AM (147 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

As a young child in grade school I was outside during recess on a fine spring day when I discovered a honey bee going from flower to flower in a field of clover. I thought to myself—for reasons that were as unclear at the time as they are now—"I'm going to catch that bee."

After a few unsuccessful attempts to catch the bee midair I had a moment of brilliance: I would wait for the bee to busy itself on a flower, cup my hands underneath the flower, then pull up, taking the flower and the unsuspecting bee with it. My plan worked perfectly! I enjoyed a moment of profound, stupid satisfaction immediately followed by deep regret.
posted by jedicus at 11:26 AM on August 24, 2018 [14 favorites]

One specific thing and one more general.

Specific (tw: emotional abuse): This is the event that led me to finally seek help for my anxiety and depression. My son was little, maybe 7-ish. I was very unstable during this time. My moods were all over the place but mostly I yelled. A lot. He had done something, I don't even remember what anymore, but it was the Last Straw for me that day and I started yelling and ranting and then I screamed at him, "What is WRONG with you???" He was such a sweet boy, so good and kind and loving, and I broke his heart. His face crumpled and he started crying and I knew that I was a terrible parent and I knew I needed to get help. So I did, and things got better fast. I've asked him about this incident (he's 21 now) and he swears he doesn't remember it. He does remember me being "mad" a lot but he promises me that he never thought it was because of him. I hope he's right. My kids are everything to me and that incident will haunt me for the rest of my life.

General: Not traveling when the opportunity arose.
posted by cooker girl at 11:45 AM on August 24, 2018 [45 favorites]

About two years ago I was upgrading my gaming PC with a more powerful fan and I needed some help. So I drove to my buddies place but I had to park a few blocks away from his apartment and I start walking towards his place carrying my tower, only I realize, it's starting to drizzle and now it's starting to rain and it's not covered and holy shit about I'm about to ruin my PC and I'm panicking. So I finally find some little awning/covering from a store front and I call my buddy and tell him to grab a garbage bag b/c I made this dumb decision and almost ruined my PC.

The best part is that before I had finally stepped to the side to wait for my buddy to come with a garbage bag, a person had passed me and I had heard them say, “That doesn't look good, he's going to ruin that.” Only making me regret that decision even more. Thankfully it didn't get wet and the fan was replaced without much fuss but yeah, I almost ruined a fairly expensive gaming PC b/c I didn't think to cover my computer.
posted by Fizz at 11:50 AM on August 24, 2018 [3 favorites]

Oh, man. There have been so many projects I started thinking "this won't take long at all" only to find that they were way bigger than I anticipated. The most recent was all of yesterday. I got a dump truck full of topsoil delivered to fill in a depression behind my house. They were able to dump the soil very near to where I needed it, so I thought "I don't need any help. I can just shovel it in there."

Someday we will laugh about that but right now my back hurts too much.
posted by maurice at 11:54 AM on August 24, 2018 [9 favorites]

That time I cut up a bunch of chilis without gloves and then put my contacts in. Instant regret.
posted by arcticseal at 12:19 PM on August 24, 2018 [27 favorites]

The time I ended up with big, dirt-filled gashes all over my hands after a bad fall, and I unthinkingly slathered hand sanitizer all over my hands. First came the pain. Then came the extreme sickness, fatigue, and vomiting.
posted by duffell at 12:24 PM on August 24, 2018 [7 favorites]

There’s a TAL episode (Devil on My Shoulder) where Ira Glass recounts causing his neighbor to take a spill on his bike and, even as he was doing it, not understanding why he was doing it. I knew instantly what he meant. When I was 7 and my sister was 5, she was standing on a beanbag cushion in our basement and I pulled it out from under her causing her to smack her head. Same thing as Glass, even as my hands reached out to pull on the bag, I thought “why am I doing this?”
posted by CMcG at 12:27 PM on August 24, 2018 [4 favorites]

Middle school. Me and Janie, two insecure gals in the throes of puberty, hanging out one on one. We do not trust each other, as we are all catty bitches, but we long to, deep down. We are both currently dark-haired, hairy women, for context.

Janie: "Wouldn't it be super weird to have like hairs by your nipples?" (she asks because I'm sure she just developed a few nipple hairs and is tentatively reaching out)
Me: (who has just developed a few hairs by her nipples) "YEAH SUPER WEIRD AND GROSS EW"

I don't know why but that exchange is branded into my brain: every time I'm tempted to be ashamed of anything my body does, especially when talking with someone who IS ashamed of things their body does I remember it. I didn't have the capacity at the time, but I regret not bonding right then and there, instead of supporting each other we increased our mutual shame and insecurity.
posted by Grandysaur at 12:40 PM on August 24, 2018 [13 favorites]

In 5th grade during recess I found a large metal screw in the grass and for some reason decided to see how high I could throw it. It came down and landed smackdab on the face of a classmate who was playing on the far side of the playground, cutting his cheek and causing him to burst out in tears. Nobody saw what had happened and I never fessed up about it and the damage was thankfully minor, but I still feel terribly guilty* about it and if I ever remember that kid's name, I will definitely try reaching out to him on social media to finally set the record straight.

*Occasionally I have a dream in which I'm standing atop a high hill and I push a large tractor tire down the hill and watch it roll and bounce, gradually picking up speed, until it reaches the bottom and causes some horrible kind of catastrophic destruction. I never made the connection, but I'm now wondering if those dreams are a manifestation of long-simmering guilt from this very incident.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:42 PM on August 24, 2018 [8 favorites]

That time I cut up a bunch of chilis without gloves and then put my contacts in. Instant regret.
Once I changed a tampon after cutting habaneros.
posted by Grandysaur at 12:42 PM on August 24, 2018 [51 favorites]

so many! just in my first few years of life!

- biting directly into a lemon

- biting directly into an onion

- knowing that the white play sand in the daycare sandbox definitely couldn't be granulated sugar, but deciding to eat some anyhow, because what if i was wrong? what IF? (i was not wrong, it was not sugar)

- taking my tricycle off the older neighbour kids' skate ramp when they dared me to and pancaking myself on the pavement (luckily i had no permanent teeth yet)

- distinguishing myself on the very first day, nay, the very first hour of kindergarten, by deciding that the best way to figure out how the electric stapler on the teacher's desk worked was to stick my finger under it
posted by halation at 12:50 PM on August 24, 2018 [14 favorites]

Every morning when I get out of bed.
posted by briank at 12:53 PM on August 24, 2018 [7 favorites]

Oh, I too have a chili mishap!

I had a habit as a child of rubbing my nose with my hands when I got excited. I once decided to prank my older brother by taking some hot peppers from my parents' garden and chopping them up to put in his salad. In my glee over my brother's soon to be comeuppance, I rubbed my nose per this weird excited habit. My sobbing as I frantically washed my face kind of gave away my prank. I think this was probably one of the highlights of my brother's childhood, tbh, but definitely an immediate regret for me.
posted by the primroses were over at 12:54 PM on August 24, 2018 [17 favorites]

I have a nice middle-school story that is super embarrassing and also taught me a valuable lesson with regards to who to trust.

It's the 7th grade and I've been writing notes to my crush and signing them anonymously from a secret admirer. I made the mistake of telling a friend I thought was trust-worthy about what I had been doing. Instant regret.

He decides to tell the school gossip who tells the entire class and the girl I was crushing on during our lunch period. I was at lunch when I heard her scream out loud when she discovered who her crush was. She did not like knowing it was me and the crush was not reciprocal. The notes stopped and I turned red any time we had a class or walked by each other in the hallway.
posted by Fizz at 1:01 PM on August 24, 2018 [7 favorites]

Once many years ago when I was working as a beach lifeguard my coworker and I encountered a pelican that had a fishing hook in its wing with a weight dangling off it and we obviously had to help it so I ran over to catch the beast and instead of grabbing its beak as my coworker advised I opted to grab it around the body because I figured that would better protect the wings from further injury and I shit you not less than one second after tackling the bird it had managed to rotate its head a full 180 degree and COMPLETELY enclose my own head in its disgusting maw and boy did I feel a sense of shock mixed with regret in that moment.
posted by saladin at 1:05 PM on August 24, 2018 [94 favorites]

I’m in kindergarten. I’m next in line to sharpen my pencil at the classroom sharpener. Teacher takes off the shavings container to empty it in the trash, leaving the blades exposed. I distinctly remember thinking to myself “I wonder what would happen...” as I stick my finger in the pencil hole and crank the handle. Evidently I did it hard enough that I got tiny curved cuts all along my pencil-sized finger. I just remember hurting like hell.
posted by not_the_water at 1:41 PM on August 24, 2018 [5 favorites]

I was about 6 - that at time at Thanskgiving dinner when I took a BIG (too big, really) bite of dark meat - which was actually turkey liver. My mother could tell by my face that something had happened and she let me spit it out in her napkin (discreetly).
I was about 7, and offered to give a friend a ride on my bicycle - she sat on the back fender and I pedaled away on the lumpy sidewalk. Hit a big lump and went flying over the handlebars - scraped my nose, upper and lower lips, both hands, and both knees. I ran home (around the block) crying without my bike.
posted by dbmcd at 2:06 PM on August 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

Oooh! Oooh! There was that time I tried using double-folded aluminum foil to take a can of beans off a Sterno stove. I can hear my fingertips sizzling to this day.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:41 PM on August 24, 2018 [6 favorites]

After cutting serranos, I touched

Once I changed a tampon after cutting habaneros.

Never mind ow ow ow
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:48 PM on August 24, 2018 [8 favorites]

Despite all good sense and warnings, when I was maybe 6 or 8, I wanted to see if the car cigarette lighter was actually hot, or just red.
The answer may surprise you.It was actually hot.

posted by Kafkaesque at 2:48 PM on August 24, 2018 [17 favorites]

About a half-hour before until my then-husband was due home from work to immediately drive us both to the airport to visit his family, I decided it was a good time to use a callus shaver to take some dead skin off of my big toe. My feet were still wet from the shower.
posted by kimberussell at 2:53 PM on August 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

as a child, I fished a yellowjacket out of a swimming pool with my finger, reasoning that out of gratitude for my mercy and kindness, it wouldn't sting me

an important lesson about the perils of anthropomorphizing was learned that day
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:54 PM on August 24, 2018 [40 favorites]

I asked a friend to entirely bury me in sand at the beach once. I thought it would be funny. I found out pretty quickly why you don't bury your head in sand - I sneezed.

Also the time I decided to test a recursive-delete function in a script on my company's live, customer-facing web server, and a stupid bug made it start from the root rather than the test directory it was supposed to delete. Fortunately the script didn't have the permissions needed to do any real damage - aside from wiping our clients' uploaded documents (thank you, god of backups).

Also, every damn time I do a woodworking project (measure twice, cut once, people...)
posted by pipeski at 3:00 PM on August 24, 2018 [4 favorites]

Oh, and the time I preheated the oven for a cake, then noticed I'd left a pizza stone in the oven, and took it out with bare hands.

And the time I dropped an iron face-down on our new living room carpet.
posted by pipeski at 3:01 PM on August 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

Last Christmas my parents gave me a mandoline (the slicing instrument, not the musical instrument). So, I decided to make some potato chips one day. It came with this gadget that stabs the potato or whatever for you and holds it so that you don't have expose your hands to the blade. But on first use I found the gadget clumsy and awkward to hold. I figured that I'm an experienced home cook, I have respect for tools, and I'm generally not accident prone--surely I can just hold the potato myself and stop a couple of slices early.

As you probably guessed as soon as you read "mandoline", there is still a visible patch on my finger where I sliced a piece off.

My second story ends a bit better. At happy hour in my first year of grad school, several beers in, I asserted that running a mile backwards didn't sound too bad, and I would totally do it. The person to my left said, "I bet you can't do it in eight minutes." I said "No way, give me nine!" He extended his hand to shake and I instantly regretted not asking for more time.

Reader, I won the bet.
posted by egregious theorem at 3:16 PM on August 24, 2018 [15 favorites]

"You can resign, or you can be fired."
"Fire me."
posted by Sweetie Darling at 3:49 PM on August 24, 2018 [10 favorites]

I had read that gargling salt water was good if you were coming down with a cold, so made up some salt water. However, I didn't read up about what kind of ratio to use, so the water was incredibly salty. Instant regret. It was the worst thing I have ever put in my mouth. But- I made it through the gargle, and I didn't get sick!
posted by freethefeet at 4:37 PM on August 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

From when I was camping on the beach a few weeks ago. I was hanging out by the water under my shade tent, but was feeling a bit peckish and went back to my campsite to get a snack. Realized half way there that I wasn't wearing shoes and that the sand was pretty hot. As I got close to my tent, the sand got hotter. But rather than going back, I stupidly decided to just run for it. After two steps I knew that this was a TERRIBLE idea. Despite running faster than I've run since I was like 12, I ended up with burst burn blisters under my toes and had to leave my vacation a day early to avoid getting them infected.

Mostly all healed now, but that was a complete and utter stupid move that I instantly regretted...
(Never again!)
posted by gemmy at 5:22 PM on August 24, 2018 [5 favorites]

I think I was in year 9 and had to fetch a ball that had rolled into a wombat hole, being the smallest person there. Instant regret, as I got stuck and had a moment of panic that I was going to suffocate in that darn hole. Obviously, someone pulled me out. I hated tunnels after that, and it took me years to feel comfortable going through the harbour tunnel.
posted by Kris10_b at 5:22 PM on August 24, 2018 [7 favorites]

I trusted my husband's assurances that the chai he made with expired soy milk was "still good" and drank it anyway. Worse case of food poisoning ever.

All my other instant regrets have ended in the breakage of bones.
1. Putting up curtains in my graduate school apartment. I put too much weight on one side of the bench I was standing on and up-ended it. I broke a rib and dislocated my elbow.
2. Changing a shirt underneath a ceiling fan that was mounted on a low ceiling. I broke a bone in my hand, and went for a 20 mile bike ride afterwards. And I did it again with the other hand a year later.
3. Visiting the giant rubber duck. Decided to goof off with my child. Took a jump while wearing improper footwear. Ended up with a chipped bone in my ankle, a severe sprain and severely strained ligaments and spent six weeks in walking boot. (On the upside, I was honored the label of "hard core Penguin fan" for walking up to the area to attend a game while in the boot).
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 5:48 PM on August 24, 2018 [8 favorites]

I ate half a dozen vegan donuts today and finished them off with a bag of M&Ms just now

So many flavors, so many regrets
posted by Hermione Granger at 5:50 PM on August 24, 2018 [17 favorites]

Mom: Don't go in the pen where the rooster is.
Three year old me (lying): Okay.
posted by jessamyn (temp) at 6:05 PM on August 24, 2018 [45 favorites]

Mine is a story of chilis too, but of the dried variety.

A while back, I wanted some chili flakes to sprinkle into dishes as needed, so I grabbed some dried ghost peppers I had and tossed them in the food processor. After I popped the food processor's cap off to pour the flakes in a shaker, the urge to smell the ground peppers came over me. I stuck my face directly into the bowl and took a deep whiff.

I'm still sneezing to this day.
posted by rachaelfaith at 6:30 PM on August 24, 2018 [12 favorites]

Oh, hey, you won’t catch me out that easily.

(Regretting even this comment.)
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:33 PM on August 24, 2018 [3 favorites]

We were probably eight or nine, playing truth or dare in the basement by the laundry. I dared her to put laundry powder in her underpants. The look on her face about five minutes later chilled me to the bone. It was the first time I realized I had agency and could cause harm to others. I wonder if she remembers?
posted by kinsey at 6:54 PM on August 24, 2018 [4 favorites]

When I was in high school i guess I thought underneath your fingernail was more solid than it is, so I was pushing a needle through some cloth by bracing the needle under my thumbnail. The needle slid under my nail all the way to the bed. Pain and so disturbing, I felt like I was having an out of body experience.
posted by gatorae at 7:06 PM on August 24, 2018 [4 favorites]

I had two wisdom teeth taken out on Friday and I have regretted it for days. In the words of Annie Blount, it has made my life a double-jointed hell. The surgical complications are probably as bad as the accidental issues I might have suffered if the wisdom teeth failed in the way that dentists have warned me about for years. For several hours a day, I feel like Pinhead must have felt after he went all in for his body mods. And I can't have anything stronger than ibuprofen now because, well, I know better than to even ask. God forbid someone think I was a seeker. I'd never be listened to again.

Treasure every minute you're not in pain, my friends. Someday every body must fail.
posted by Countess Elena at 7:09 PM on August 24, 2018 [14 favorites]

I wore sandals to the Arctic Circle.
posted by mochapickle at 7:15 PM on August 24, 2018 [14 favorites]

Despite all good sense and warnings, when I was maybe 6 or 8, I wanted to see if the car cigarette lighter was actually hot, or just red.

Same! I was waiting in the car for my parents to come out and drive to the Canadian National Exhibition, which is like a state fair, but nominally for the country. Of course we went anyways, and I was just in horrible throbbing pain the whole time.
posted by rodlymight at 7:17 PM on August 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

oh gosh, now I remember my mom snatching my hand away from that lighter. I didn't understand how it worked because I thought lighters meant flame, and I wasn't clear on the concept of something glowing hot enough to cause something else to catch fire.

I must have been tiny; she quit smoking in the car when I was very young. Man, the world has changed. Imagine lighters being standard, built-in equipment anywhere these days. And some little kids don't even know what cigarettes are anymore, which is probably for the best.
posted by Countess Elena at 7:25 PM on August 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

When I was about 4 I took my dad's razor and shaved the tip of my nose. It bled like crazy. I can remember thinking it was probably a bad idea as I was doing it, but the compulsion to imitate him was just too strong.
posted by gatorae at 7:29 PM on August 24, 2018 [4 favorites]

The time I popped a wheelie on my 10-speed and that instant watching the front wheel fall out.
Forks hit the pavement, I went over the handlebars and landed on ny chin which needed a bunch of stitches.
posted by parki at 8:45 PM on August 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

When I was about sixth grade, we were all at dinner at home. Me, my parents, my baby brother and my six-years-older big brother who had been my tormentor since toddlerhood if not birth. So, he’s a junior or senior, maybe. And I’m sure he’d been a dick all day. He’s sitting at dinner with no shirt on and I’ve forgotten what he said, something teasing under his breath no doubt and I was fed up. I sat there for a moment as everyone settled in, and gripped my full, cold, glass of milk. I calculated that since he was shirtless, it wouldn’t be such a big deal if I flung my entire glass of milk right at him.

Readers, it was a big deal. Cold, arcing, milk right across the table and smack in the middle of his chest. Milk everywhere! Shouting! Baby crying! Chair flipped right over as he stood up in sudden shock, dripping with milk.

Trick story - NO REGRETS! Still fills me with self-satisfied glee a good 30-years later. Everyone knew he deserved it. I’m sure I was punished but I don’t remember. If I had to clean up the milk, I’m sure I did it while hiding the huge grin on my face.
posted by amanda at 8:57 PM on August 24, 2018 [56 favorites]

In middle school, one time, I had the sudden bright idea that I was going to staple my finger to see what it was like. I put my finger in the classroom stapler, I carefully lined it up, I slammed it down super hard, and naturally, I instantly regretted it.
posted by limeonaire at 9:42 PM on August 24, 2018 [5 favorites]

I can tell you what I'm NOT regretting -- "Raiders" on VH1 right now!
posted by lazuli at 10:03 PM on August 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

Setup: I am allergic to or intolerant of barley. It causes very severe heartburn and sometimes hives on my hands/arms.

It was a stressful day - MuddDude was out of town, we were selling our house and the buyers were doing an inspection, I had to come home early from work to grab the dogs and take them *somewhere.* I stopped at Whataburger and got some fries and a malt shake. Did you know the "malt" in a malt shake is barley malt? I know that now.
posted by muddgirl at 10:43 PM on August 24, 2018 [5 favorites]

I wanted to see if the car cigarette lighter was actually hot, or just red.

I got a lovely scar of concentric rings from this when I was a kid.
posted by arcticseal at 11:50 PM on August 24, 2018 [3 favorites]

The thing that affected me the most personally: declining the offer of a date from someone in Norway a long time ago now. That, maybe, could have led to a very different timeline. Perhaps unwisely, I still have the occasional look at her lifestyle in Norway, and it's something quite notable.

The thing that affected others the most: in a public library several years ago, in discussion with a scheduled speaker of some notoriety who I disagreed with just about everything on. Even though his arguments were, in one light, persuasive. I snapped at one point and sarcastically said "Well, we're in a library, why don't you write a book about it?" Unfortunately he did, and unforseen, ongoing and unfolding consequences occured, and that's something for another day.
posted by Wordshore at 12:30 AM on August 25, 2018 [7 favorites]

I did some mucking around in the medical clinics computer system and accidentally marked myself as “deceased.” Despite an instantaneous phone call to IT to get it corrected ( and a pretty through scolding), this resulted in the temporary cancellation of my health insurance and a polite sympathy letter to my husband.
posted by SLC Mom at 12:34 AM on August 25, 2018 [24 favorites]

Funny you should mention regrets tonight.

This hardly ranks as one of my great regrets but...

Mrs. Bartfast flew cross country this weekend to give a talk. “But honey,” I said, “I’m on call at the hospital that weekend and won’t be able to care for the children.” Well, this talk is a great honor and should not be declined. Mrs. Bartfast asks her mother to come stay with me to watch the kids while I go and live at the hospital all weekend.

Now, my mother in law is an adult, and technically satisfies the legal requirements for caring for minors, but her idea of caring for the boys is “let’s do math problems all afternoon” and “I made cauliflower curry for dinner” and “please stop beating each other with sticks or else I will keep asking you to stop beating each other with sticks” and “go upstairs and read while I watch Hindi movies on my phone for the next 6 hours.”

So I search high and low and find someone to trade call weekends with. Yes, this means I’m going to work three straight weekends of prime Seattle summer but it’s worth it.

Meanwhile, my old climbing buddies decide this particular weekend would be perfect for climbing Mt. X which we’ve been talking about for years. I politely decline. Yeah, I got out of working that weekend, but Mrs Bartfast you see, giving a talk, it’s a big honor, yeah, my mother in law will be here, but no really it’s better if I’m here for my kids, yadda yadda.

So they reach out to my wife, who already feels guilty saddling me with solo care of four children (our two sons, my mother in law, and now my mother in laws sister who has decided to visit) is emphatic that I must go and be wild with my friends climbing Mt. X, a highly technical physically exhausting climb. My better judgement says no, I say no, I tell my friends no, no, no, no, this is a bad idea. Somehow my wife and friends conspire and I am now scheduled to not only do this crazy physical feat I’m woefully out of shape for, I’m also driving and providing much of the gear.

So today, the day before departure, my wife leaves for DC. I get killed at work. I currently now at 1230 am still have an hour of charting left to do. I’m not done packing though we leave at 630 am. Youngest Boy is still awake. Mother in law went to bed at 8 pm just as I was cleaning up dinner that I made after a 12 hour work day for everyone.

The regret is that I fucking knew how this would go down and I let myself get manipulated by friends who just want me there not understanding the pain involved in getting there and by my wife who just felt guilty leaving me alone and thought she knew best what was good for me.

So yeah, I’m apparently going to climb 5000 feet with full pack after 5 hours sleep tomorrow. I suspect I will experience some amount of regret.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 12:40 AM on August 25, 2018 [43 favorites]

When I was about 5 I loved climbing things, as 5-year-olds do. I climbed on the bathroom sink and leaned over the shower curtain to see a birds eye view of the bathtub. Then SMACK! I fell face first into the (likely porcelain?) tub. I blacked out and came to spitting salty metallic red liquid onto my 90s purple glitter winter boots.

That lead to a swift ER visit, stitches without numbing while my dad washed my purple boots in the sink and tears rolled down my face, an infection a few days later, a multi day hospital stay, and permanent scar tissue in my lip and a slightly uneven smile.

Please tell your children the shower curtain rod isn't load bearing. I had no idea it couldn't hold me.
posted by Crystalinne at 2:41 AM on August 25, 2018 [3 favorites]

Please tell your children the shower curtain rod isn't load bearing. I had no idea it couldn't hold me.

But how else are they going to learn, I mean you expect them to trust the word of an adult!?!
posted by Fizz at 4:53 AM on August 25, 2018 [3 favorites]

I didn't get into make up until I was much older and still stuck to mostly just lipstick and mascara. But a couple years ago I noticed everyone wearing winged eyeliner and thought it looked so good.

First I went out and bought a pencil type eyeliner because it was cheap and looked simple.

Wow. I was surprisingly bad at it, and it felt weird and I kept flinching.

Watched a couple videos and this girl was using something liquidy and a brush of some sort, and I thought to myself, I'm an artist and I know how to use detail brushes.

Went back to the store. It was a little pot with a little brush and I got it in water proof because my eyes teared using the pencil and kept ruining things. But I bought makeup wipes in case.

Three hours later my eyes were red, I looked like a racoon, and one eye was lined looking like I had sneezed midway.

I just use lipstick and mascara and leave the fancy makeup to the better coordinated.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 5:19 AM on August 25, 2018 [5 favorites]

“I totally have enough upper arm strength to swing far enough out on this rope swing to get to the deep park of the lake. Sure I have to swing out over a bunch of rocks and blackberry brambles and shallow water, but No Way i’ll Fall.”

I fell.
posted by thivaia at 5:30 AM on August 25, 2018 [3 favorites]

I climbed a tree to get a closer look at a hornet nest.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:51 AM on August 25, 2018 [13 favorites]

Currently, based on my headache and nausea: the amount of wine I drank last night.
posted by capricorn at 6:46 AM on August 25, 2018 [2 favorites]

I have a lot of regrets - a lot - but the one that leaped to mind was when I called my husband "vile" during an argument. It's kind of an odd thing to think of because it didn't shift the trajectory of my life whatsoever - the marriage was functionally over by then - but I have never said anything that cruel to anyone before or since. Even though most people would say he deserved it, as soon as it slipped out of my mouth I wished I could take it back. No amount of apology can reverse a word like that, and I'm certain he still remembers it eight years later.

Nothing particularly silly jumps to mind, though that's probably due to my current overall mood. Less emotionally serious, but more life-threatening: twenty years ago I spent a December night drinking spiked hot chocolate and tobogganing with friends under a starry Montana sky. The hill (which was actually a seldom-used road) was about a quarter mile long with a slight bend two-thirds of the way down. Beyond the bend was a drainage ditch, filled with stones hiding under the snow. You know where this is going, but I'd successfully made the turn several times on my own. After each run, a friend in an SUV would pick us up at the bottom and bring us back to the top. To that point it was one of the most amazing nights of my life: we were in the foothills of the Bridger Range, meteor showers up above, coyote howls in the distance. I felt relaxed, yet spectacularly alive.

Back at the top, a friend suggested we go down together, and - regret alert! - I agreed. I was 100 pounds soaking wet, and he was at least double that bone dry. We didn't fit well sitting, so he laid down headfirst and I lay on top of him (second regret alert!). Physics is a cruel mistress that spares no man. Despite previous successful solo runs, with our combined weight we shot down the hill at meteor speed. We approached the turn and despite valiant efforts and a 45 degree lean, we could not make it. Witnesses said I went airborne but I have no memory of it. When I came to, people were lifting me off the blood-soaked snow and carrying me to the SUV.

The rest of the story is fairly pedestrian - a midnight trip to the ER, stitches, bandages, Vicodin, concussion protocol instructions to my friend. Obviously i lived, and oddly, I still remember the night fondly. There's nothing like the expansive silence of the mountains. They always remind me that my birth, my body, and my death are completely irrelevant to the immortal earth.
posted by AFABulous at 8:03 AM on August 25, 2018 [15 favorites]

I'm making this post on behalf of my cat. (Obligatory pics here)

Please tell your children the shower curtain rod isn't load bearing. I had no idea it couldn't hold me.

Should have told this to my kitty as well. One day, not too long ago, I heard some rustling around in the bathroom. I figured it was the cat, doing his crazy kitty routine, but I decided to go make sure he wasn't ripping up the shower curtain. So I go to the bathroom, and there he is, balancing on top of the shower curtain rod, which I've never been able to install correctly, to the point that it will fall if you just pull on the shower curtain too hard. I'm not even sure how he managed to get to the top without it falling.

The look on his face as he balanced on top of that shaking curtain rod can best be summed up as, "I greatly regret my recent life choices."

Before I could run to get the ladder to rescue him, kitty, shower rod, and shower curtain all came tumbling down. Fortunately, kitty was okay, and I think he learned a valuable lesson that day.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:30 AM on August 25, 2018 [10 favorites]

I started reading this thread.

I didn't instantly realize it was a bad idea, but I quickly arrived at the graphic and disturbing injuries comments.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:44 AM on August 25, 2018 [7 favorites]

I've had a rough few weeks, and I have said some things to my (soon to be ex) wife that I wish I hadn't.

The marriage was in trouble before the affair, and I regret that I wasn't the kind of man that she would trust to just ask to end it. I regret that I was not the kind of man she could be honest with. It has been 4 weeks since I learned the truth and I still have not slept a full night. I haven't eaten and I've been drinking far too much.

I regret that when I learned of her infidelity and lies that I handled it poorly. That I was so weak as to let my emotions get the better of me and to lose my shit those times I did.

I regret not trusting my gut. I regret not being the kind of man that my friends who knew of the affair felt could tell me.

This last month has been a nightmare. Soon, we will have a settlement, and I will leave this house I love so much, and put so much work into with the intent of retiring and dying in it. I will leave this town and place I love so much. I will leave this circle of friends who I did love so much, but some knew and didn't say or provided cover.

I regret all of it.

A couple of nights ago, a storm blew in. You could hear the haboob making its way down the Uncompaghre Mesa into the valley as it marched ahead of the falling rain. Soon, we had a downpour and the first rain of any substance in 9-12 months. If I thought it would work, I wanted more than anything to go out into the rain, lay down on the patio, and let the rain wash me away into the Colorado and out to the sea and away from all of everything that has happened.

I regret that that would not work.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:04 AM on August 25, 2018 [38 favorites]

Thinking it would be a good idea to drink a large quantity of cheap red a week or so after having my wisdom teeth out. Terrible, terrible idea.
posted by sarcasticah at 9:09 AM on August 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

I also was one of those young kids left in a car who tested to see just how hot the cigarette lighter was.

In third grade after begging since kindergarten (and taking piano lessons since then as part of a deal), I finally got a drum set. On the first day while just playing around, I was sitting cross legged on the throne and rocking forward and back when I rocked too far forward. My legs wouldn't uncross quick enough to catch me, and my arms grabbed the hi hat and upper tom tom, both of which just slid/tipped over. I went face first onto the snare drum and impaled the flesh just above my upper lip on one of the lugs. And that would. not. stop. bleeding. I still have a small scar. And my new snare drum was all bloody.

In 4th grade I was trying to remove the metal spiral from a notebook. I was just kinda doing it to fidget - I didn't specifically want the loose leaf. However the end I wasn't removing had caught, so I was just adding tension to a spring. Eventually it snapped out of my grasp and hooked into my finger somehow (I'd added a bend for better leverage). So I got sent to the secretary trying to hold the notebook up in an awkward angle so it wouldn't dig/twist further. She called in a janitor who dropped off a wire cutter and pliers and she unclipped the notebook and then unspiraled the wire from my finger. Wow she had to have been underpaid.
posted by nobeagle at 10:16 AM on August 25, 2018 [5 favorites]

My ex-husband proposed and I immediately thought I was going to barf - but I said yes, anyway. Oh Past Violet, you idiot.

(SO many of the stories above made me laugh in a cringing dark-humour way. Yeeesh.)
posted by VioletU at 10:25 AM on August 25, 2018 [8 favorites]

Pogo_Fuzzybutt, I’m so sorry to hear that things are so sad for you now. Strength to you.
posted by holborne at 10:26 AM on August 25, 2018 [5 favorites]

I don't do regrets but there's a sweeping right hand bend up on Vancouver's North Shore that I will never again try to take at 80 mph.
posted by philip-random at 10:27 AM on August 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

Today, I stuck a knife in a rotisserie toaster to dislodge cinnamon bread.

This close.
posted by clavdivs at 10:28 AM on August 25, 2018 [7 favorites]

I still have a small scar. And my new snare drum was all bloody.

Rock and Roll!
posted by Fizz at 11:09 AM on August 25, 2018 [2 favorites]

I have so many regrets, and many of them are sad (as are many of yours). All those things we did that we shouldn't, all those things we didn't do that we should have.

But it's Saturday morning so I'll share one of my less tragic ones. I'm maybe 10 or 11 years old, hanging out alone in my backyard on a breezy September day, when I decide to firebomb my neighbor's yard.

I didn't have any particular grudge against the neighbor. The yard was really just a target of opportunity -- it was empty and not particularly nice, open to the alley so it was gravelly on one end and the rest of it was pretty weedy. No, really it was more about the fact that I had recently read something age-inappropriate in which the main character had made a Molotov cocktail and the process had been described in some detail. I had found an empty glass bottle near the garage and suddenly it all came together in my head. I have this bottle, there are oily rags and gasoline in the garage. I can do this.

So I grab the can of gasoline, and a book of matches, and an old t-shirt rag my dad used to wipe oil off his hands after wrestling with the lawnmower. I park myself and my tools in the corner of the yard that I knew from experience was not visible from the house. I stuff a bunch of dry leaves and twigs in the bottle, because why not, and then I fill the bottle halfway with gasoline. I spill a little but that's fine, I have this rag, so I wipe off the bottle and splash a little extra gasoline on the rag for good measure before stuffing it into the bottle. So far so good.

Now came the moment of truth. Will I really light this Molotov cocktail and throw it into the neighbor's yard? Of course I will and it will be amazing. Maybe I will discover my true calling and I will become a firebombing revolutionary, or at the very least a talented young arsonist.

So I light a match, and I go to light the rag. But it's breezy, so the match goes out. I try again. Match goes out again. (For a budding arsonist I wasn't so good with matches yet.) Third time, I get smart and I cup the match closely in my hand before it can go out. Almost immediately, my gasoline-covered hand goes up in flame. This is unexpected, and briefly fascinating as the gasoline residue burns off in a flash. But then right in the center of my palm, apparently there was enough of a combination of oil and dirt and dry skin that the flame actually took hold and started burning burning. I yelled and beat it against the ground until the flame went out, and then ran my hand under the garden hose until it didn't feel like it was on fire anymore. Though it did blister up impressively shortly thereafter.

Of course in the throes of my instant regret I dropped the Molotov and all the gasoline leaked out. The neighbor's yard was saved and to my knowledge has not been firebombed by anybody to this day.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 11:10 AM on August 25, 2018 [16 favorites]

Alright, as a young adolescent Gyre, I once put Nair on my armpits......... Fairly immediate regret. On the other hand, an important lesson in how not to remove hair.
posted by Gyre,Gimble,Wabe, Esq. at 11:51 AM on August 25, 2018 [2 favorites]

I appreciate the intention but this thread is not cheering me up. I have several deep regrets that are useless as they happened in the past and there's not a damn thing I can do about what caused them. So allow me to send virtual hugs to anyone who needs 'em after pondering their own regrets or those of fellow MeFites.

Today I have exactly one regret: That I asked my grandson if he wanted to pee in the bushes at the playground we visited just before his bedtime.

See, the kid is only 3 and hasn't even been wearing underpants all that long. He still sleeps in a diaper. It didn't occur to me to ask if he needed to pee before we left his apartment. When I noticed him kind of rubbing the front of his pants, I asked if he needed to pee, and he did.

The poor kid got super excited when I suggested peeing in the bushes. Apparently nobody had told him yet that little Swedish kids get away with that on a regular basis, weather permitting. On the flip side, nobody had told me that the kid did not know how to pee while still wearing clothes. (This possibility had not occurred to me. I don't have a penis and raised a daughter, so this is new territory.)

The kid asked me to help pull down his pants and boxers, which I did, and he started peeing on the bushes. Yay! Everything was going gangbusters until it wasn't. When things went, er, south, I picked him up and tried to hold him parallel to the ground so he would be peeing on the ground instead of himself. That was kind of hard to do (partly because, I regret to say, I was laughing--to be fair, as quietly as I could) and he got tired of it and asked me to put him down. Which I did, and then (what choice did he have?) he just kept peeing on himself until he was done.

Still, the kid is making progress. This time he did not burst into tears, which he did when he accidentally wet himself after a nap a few months ago. He just asked me to zip him up and then we went back to me pushing him on the swing until it was time to go home.

Then we went back to his place, I helped him clean up, and we joined the rest of his family for cheese sandwiches and hot chocolate.
posted by Bella Donna at 12:32 PM on August 25, 2018 [19 favorites]

I was hiding in the bathroom, wondering why I was marrying him. Wondering how I could get out, can I cancel the wedding? In front of my friends? i’m too embarrassed. REGRETS! 2 years later I divorce him.

it was awful but if i hadn’t done that, i might not have gotten desperate enough to seek any change to feel better. i didn’t want to spend a few months getting drunk, so i started volunteering at a planetarium, then began coding shaders and a ray tracer... reinvention stopped, a life i now love began, and i found my place in this world.


oh and 3 years again, I was seized by a desire to tidy vases on a tall shelf and not grabbing the step stool. i tipped over, smashed foot against fireplace, broke 2 toes. this was 24 hours before 2 week holiday to Melbourne where i had bought surprise tickets to see Nick Cave (my fav artist) and Black Sabbath (his fav artist) for me and mr. lemon_icing. couldn’t even stand. holiday cancelled. i never tidy before holidays now.


selling my karmen ghia.


convincing my little brother that water and dirt was proper tea so he should drink it because me and my dolls thought it a good idea.
posted by lemon_icing at 12:32 PM on August 25, 2018 [6 favorites]

I was a high school intern at Norman, Craig and Kummel. At the time they were the third largest advertising agency in the USA. I became friendly with a producer named Bob Lopez. I sat in on various commercial work. Fixing the color on a TV commercial. Writing an update for an oven cleaner. Bunch of fun stuff. I even had my own office. Bob decided that he'd rent a 16mm camera and we'd go to Central Park and film... stuff. I was well on my way to an amazing career in TV commercials.

Then I sent some of my 35mm photo film to be developed by Berkey Photo. In the bag from the office. We did it all the time, just one of the perks.

I arrived a bit late one day and was called into Bob's bosses office. There I was told that the latest batch of pictures had come in. With two cops along for the ride. Did I recognise these pictures.

They were pictures of nude women from some magazine. I had taken the pictures of the magazines pics to show how good I was. And I was. You couldn't tell that I hadn't actually photographed live nudes. I was too good.

I was fired for developing pornography via the job. My life would have been completely different if I hadn't screwed up that internship.
posted by Splunge at 12:57 PM on August 25, 2018 [7 favorites]

Pogo_Fuzzybutt, I'm so sorry. Divorce is the worst thing I have ever gone through, and I can't imagine anything worse.
posted by AFABulous at 1:04 PM on August 25, 2018

Regrets? I've had a few. But then again, too few to mention...
posted by Stanczyk at 1:50 PM on August 25, 2018 [4 favorites]

A friend was visiting the city where I lived and she had recently moved from. She wanted to meet up with her ex-boyfriend who had a new girlfriend. He said he really couldn’t as he had unbreakabke plans with his new girlfriend. I jokingly said that he was probably planning on proposing to the new girlfriend. My friend who had really wanted to marry the man in question went immediately silent and sad. I backpedaled immediately but the damage was done - she was crushed.

A week later I found out I had been right, he’d proposed. He is now a public figure and has been, so far as I know, happily married to the “new girlfriend” for more than 20 years. I still feel terrible about how careless I was and how sad it made my friend.

Recently: weedwhacking a bunch of poison ivy. I had itchy spots on arms legs and throat. Also weedwhacking stinging nettles. Ouch.
posted by sciencegeek at 2:20 PM on August 25, 2018 [3 favorites]

This text box isn’t big enough.
posted by bendy at 3:10 PM on August 25, 2018 [8 favorites]

There's a medium-famous musician in another country who I'm "friends" with on social media. I've been to a few of her concerts but I've always been too shy to introduce myself, even though after each one she would reply to my twitter pics of the concert with "sorry I didn't get to meet you!" At the most recent show I was finally gonna say hi but my friends talked me out of it ("she's very busy packing up after the show"). Drat!
posted by moonmilk at 4:03 PM on August 25, 2018 [3 favorites]

Yesterday, I bought an iMac to replace my wonky computer. I put the defunct computer on the floor, and informed it that it was not the boss of me anymore, thanks.

Reader, never underestimate the levels of resentment harbored by discarded electronics.

This morning, I stubbed my little toe on the computer. Said toe is now various shades of purple. I was sure that I could hear the old computer yelling FROM HELL'S HEART I STAB AT THEE...

(Also, I have been downloading Microsoft Office for several hours now, which is an entirely separate regret. It may finish, uh, next year.)
posted by thomas j wise at 4:48 PM on August 25, 2018 [9 favorites]

Not quite as bad as the chili peppers, but definitely wash your hands between applying bengay and placing them anywhere near your eyes.
posted by ActionPopulated at 5:15 PM on August 25, 2018 [6 favorites]

I will always regret selling my ‘67 Buick LeSabre. I didn’t have the money to maintain it at he time, but I really wanted to hold on to it & my ex-wife insisted it go. I regretted doing it as I watched it drive away, plus the “friend” I sold it to in 1992 still owes me $600.00, which was at least half the sale price & he was going to get that to me any time real soon. No upside- just regret.

It rode like a boat, but it was comfortable, with a big-ass bench seat, good AC, long & lanky. It was a marauding land whale that had a hell of a lot more charisma than the ‘92 Sentra I was stuck with for the next 5 years. I like a door that goes “whomp!” When you close it, not *clank*.

By the following year, money had improved immensely & I could have probably afforded the work it needed.

I drove Classic GM’s Of one variety or another until that one went away, & it was the last one, unless you count my ‘79 4x4 pickup, which I kinda miss, but don’t regret selling because of the 10 mpg. I miss having a cool old car a lot & unless I win the lottery, those days are permanently gone.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:40 PM on August 25, 2018 [3 favorites]

I regret not figuring out the meaning of the "check gauges" light on my truck before I ruined the engine due to letting the oil level get too low. The truck is 20 years old, but it's in great shape for its age and the engine had only 53,000 miles on it. Since the cost of putting a new engine in my old truck was considerably less than selling it for parts and buying an even remotely comparable vehicle, that's what I did, and now I have a 20 year old truck with an engine with less than 500 miles on it. But that was a $5,000 mistake that could have easily been avoided.
posted by drlith at 5:58 PM on August 25, 2018 [2 favorites]

I'm 3 (the age when you put a lot of stuff in your mouth) and have somehow gotten hold of a chain necklace, which I pop into my mouth. I'm enjoying the feel of it in my mouth, but am generating a lot of saliva. I decide I will be able to swallow the saliva without taking the chain out of my mouth ... (yeah, bad idea, and my moment of instant regret) ... I almost swallow the chain, and the clasp gets caught on my uvula. Trip to the emergency room ensues.

Here's one from Mr. gudrun. His little brother has *just* gotten a new bike. Mr. gudrun takes it for a ride downhill, it slides on something, and he goes over the handlebars, and one handlebar becomes embedded in his leg. The emergency personnel cut off the handlebar and leave it in his leg for the trip to the hospital (turns out it just missed an artery.) Little brother wheels his new (now mutilated) bike home, crying.
posted by gudrun at 6:19 PM on August 25, 2018 [3 favorites]

Hey, Pogo, I went through exactly what you’re going through in 1997. I can’t regret that marriage itself in its entirety because it gave me my daughter who is my best friend in the world, but goddam, getting divorced sucks, especially when it’s instigated by cheating. My ex held me in such utter contempt that last year, & the whole thing was so mystifying, until I found the emails in the trash folder. It’s been 21 years & reading your comment here still makes my heart race because some of the scars are permanent, but you know what? The hell with those people. They don’t deserve you. I nearly drank myself to death over it, & I regret that. Take care of yourself- it gets better. I’m sitting here beside the real love of my life who’s been a rock for me for 19 years, & it’s better now.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:19 PM on August 25, 2018 [13 favorites]

(Yeah, same wife that talked me into selling the Buick.)

*trundles off to play Ben Folds’ Regrets*
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:28 PM on August 25, 2018

I've done some seriously regrettable things in the past, but the one I think about the most is not pursuing marching band after high school.
posted by rhizome at 6:41 PM on August 25, 2018

Falling in love.
posted by dazed_one at 6:44 PM on August 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

In a life filled with bad decisions, most of which aren't even slightly funny, I still wince the most when I think of the time I decided to stand on a rake because it looked so funny when it was done in the cartoons. Reader, it was not funny.
posted by h00py at 6:49 PM on August 25, 2018 [11 favorites]

I remember one more! I was about 3 years old or so. I had a Dawn doll -- Barbie for those who didn't quite have enough money -- and she came with teensy tinsy high heel spikes. By then, I knew better than to swallow things. But hey, I have a nose, right?

Papa comes home and asks my mother: did lemon_icing fall down and hit her nose? Because I had a little bump.

Run to ER and after much squeeling and crying, nurses and doctors (my parents both are docs so these were their friends and co-workers) finally extracted a red high heel shoe.

My regret is not putting the shoe up my nose. My regret is telling Mr. lemon_icing who enjoys reminding me when I least expect it.
posted by lemon_icing at 7:43 PM on August 25, 2018 [10 favorites]

The louisianian child struggle of not touching your eyes after eating crayfish. I'd put an age, but it would really be 2,3,4,5,6,7...I never learn.
posted by AlexiaSky at 8:16 PM on August 25, 2018 [5 favorites]

No amount of apology can reverse a word like that, and I'm certain he still remembers it eight years later.

As a tween, telling my mom “I hate you!”
She immediately said, “You can say you’re sorry for saying that, but you’ll always have said it and I’ll always have heard it.”

I wish that were the last hurtful thing I immediately regretted saying. It was not.
posted by greermahoney at 9:26 PM on August 25, 2018 [3 favorites]

I sold my 1986 CB450 which was in perfect shape and a beautiful blue.
posted by bendy at 10:25 PM on August 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

Once I changed a tampon after cutting habaneros.

I always wear gloves now when cutting habaneros. Because no matter how well you think you've washed your hands, when you are later touching sensitive parts of someone's body....

You know what drops for swimmer's ear are? Mostly alcohol. You know what they're not good for? Eye drops.
posted by bongo_x at 11:20 PM on August 25, 2018 [8 favorites]

I'm starting to regret that I didn't call a certain self-absorbed, lying, jackass "vile" when I had the chance.
posted by she's not there at 2:29 AM on August 26, 2018 [3 favorites]

We went camping up at Mount Hood last week.

I remembered to pack some poetry I wanted to read.

I regret that I did not remember to pack SOCKS. 🧦
posted by hilaryjade at 3:27 AM on August 26, 2018 [12 favorites]

I didn't remember this until I saw the Hilarity thread - I used to tell it as a funny story, but now I'm ready to admit that it's mostly regrettable.

A boyfriend and I were going to a hot springs outside of Portland that has a bunch of private rooms with hollowed-out log tubs. I invited along a guy who was new in town that I knew from a volunteer gig. Then, tipsy at a party and trying to stay friends, I also invited my most recent ex-boyfriend. It will keep new-in-town from feeling like a third wheel, see?

I pick everyone up and it's about an hour drive away and a hike in. It's busier than expected, and the line for private rooms is long. Somehow, through a failure of group decisionmaking, we decide to all pile into one private room. Surprise! Current boyfriend does not own and did not bring a swimsuit, nor did he bring underwear. After a few minutes of all of us trying to be cool and being uncomfortably crammed side-by-side into this log, new-in-town and ex leave to get their own room or maybe try the big tub. Great, right? Current squeeze and I stretch out in the tub and enjoy a romantic soak.

The capper is that when my ex knocked on the door and asked if we were decent, I unthinkingly said yes. We were not decent. The car ride home was very quiet.
posted by momus_window at 8:17 AM on August 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

I've given up the lease for my current place. I haven't moved into the new one yet but I regret the decision regarding both places. There is no pleasing me right now.
posted by jojo and the benjamins at 3:21 PM on August 26, 2018

MetaRegret: I missed the Best Products post when it was first posted, because I just now found this 17 minute documentary from the 1980s, via Retroist.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:27 AM on August 27, 2018 [2 favorites]

I went with a friend of mine to Coney Island once, mostly to ride the Cyclone and the Wonder Wheel. Somehow, he persuaded me to ride the pirate ship that swings -- this thingy. I'm all about the thrill rides, so I said sure. This proved to be a really, really bad idea. Through an enormous act of will that I don't quite understand to this day, I managed to not throw up on the ride itself, but I did throw up on the F train on the way home. Twice. Now I get sick just looking at that ride, although I'll go on the hairiest roller coasters without batting an eyelash. Go figure.
posted by holborne at 7:54 AM on August 27, 2018 [3 favorites]

I went skiing and soon regretted not falling:

I had never skied before but when the kid was a couple of years old we took her up to a local mountain, since we now lived in Maine and all. So we're all trying skiing, and did a little lesson. I took to it very naturally and after several runs on the easy slopes I did a run on an intermediate slope as well.

I enjoyed it so much that when some people got together to go that Tuesday night after work (where a different local mountain had a nighttime special) I signed right up. They were all experienced skiers/snowboarders so we went our separate ways and after a couple runs on their beginner trails I felt ready to try what looked like their easiest intermediate trail, which was basically a wide straight run down under the lift.

Among the many things I did not know was that on an east coast mountain early in the season the snow is not so much "snow" as "a loose collection of ice particles". This means, I also did not know, a much faster slope and a lot less to dig into when turning/slowing.

I start out ok, going back and forth in long lines to help control speed as I was taught. But soon, I notice I'm picking up speed fast, and digging in my skis is not really slowing me down. So I try to steer across/up so I can use gravity to stop, but I can't get the skis in enough to change my downward trajectory.

With every second of my failed attempts I am instead picking up speed and on one turn I feel myself about to fall. This is, frankly, for the best I realize but then my body kicks in and stops me from falling. Instead, I'm still picking up speed but having even less control, which leads to more speed etc. Two more times I brace myself for impact as I feel my balance giving out, and two more times my body "saves" my by contorting wildly and stopping me from falling.

At this point I am running out of mountain and hoping I avoid any innocent people as I'm surely going to crash into something, but as the slope lessens I just manage to skid to a stop by the racks of skis outside the lodge. I took it easy for the rest of the night and made sure to get better at falling for the future.
posted by mikepop at 8:23 AM on August 27, 2018 [5 favorites]

Somehow, he persuaded me to ride the pirate ship that swings

I went on this at a county fair, felt like I was going to fall out the entire time and must have looked so visibly terrified that after the ride two strangers from the other side of the ship came over to ask if I was ok.
posted by mikepop at 8:25 AM on August 27, 2018 [5 favorites]

mikepop: With every second of my failed attempts I am instead picking up speed and on one turn I feel myself about to fall. This is, frankly, for the best I realize but then my body kicks in and stops me from falling. Instead, I'm still picking up speed but having even less control, which leads to more speed etc. Two more times I brace myself for impact as I feel my balance giving out, and two more times my body "saves" my by contorting wildly and stopping me from falling.

Having snowboarded on what was a slightly gritty surface of ice (from my recollection), I think you came out ahead that evening. I have only snowboarded twice -- the first time was on decent conditions, with fluffy enough snow that it didn't hurt too much when I fell or crashed (and I did that a lot). The second time, I only survived a half day on the slopes, because every fall resulted in me snapping my neck back, and then up again to avoid or lessen the impact of my head on the ground. My ass was sore, too, as were my arms. The next day, I couldn't pull my head straight up if I was on my back -- instead, I had to roll to my side and get up that way.

In other words, learning to ski or snowboard on ice is no fun at all.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:34 AM on August 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

So yeah, I’m apparently going to climb 5000 feet with full pack after 5 hours sleep tomorrow. I suspect I will experience some amount of regret.

Um. So, it's the Monday after. "Regret" doesn't begin to cover the emotion. I learned this weekend that there are 4 types of fun. Type I Fun is just fun: fun while you're preparing for it, fun while you're doing it, fun when you remember it. This was clearly not ever going to be Type I Fun. Type II Fun is not fun to prepare for, but fun while you're doing it, fun while you're remembering it. An hour into the trip, we knew this was not going to be Type II Fun. Type III Fun is not fun prepping for, not fun doing, but fun remembering the lessons learned and the friends you made along the way. I was hoping for some Type III fun. Unfortunately, this was Type IV Fun: i.e., not fun.

This was my first climb in 10 years. I am in reasonable shape and exercise regularly. But most of my gear is 10-20 years old, which means I can afford to be a little less cavalier about things that people who've been doing this continuously are.

One must respect weather reports. I mean, I checked the weather and understood what "drizzle" and lows of 35 F meant, but didn't respect what that means 10 miles from the car at 8000 feet. Because I'm an experienced climber, and this is summer, and I have Gore-Tex, right?

From the parking lot, I am comparing my pack to those of my partners. I'm like 15 pounds heavier. So I start removing things. I'm really not going to change clothes, those are out. An extra full Nalgene? Out. The big ass first aid kit I carry everywhere because I think I'm the expedition doctor and I'm going to sew somebody up or put a cast on their broken ankle but I never use? Out. Two parkas? Clean socks? That much trail mix? Toilet paper?

You have probably identified some red flags even before I point out that the whiskey and weed stayed in the pack.

An hour into the approach, we are scrambling over about 300 yards of a slag field with boulders the size of cars when I twist my ankle pretty good. I am ok walking and I'm climbing with pain but it seems doable. I'll just wrap it up good when we stop and I can get to my big ass first aid kit. Which of course is in the car.

At almost the exact same moment I look back at one of my partners and notice that his entire shirt and arm are covered in blood that he hasn't noticed. I point this out to him and we discover that he has a pretty nice gash on his palm that would absolutely benefit from stitches.

I have carried my big ass first aid bag which has a full suture kit for literally decades without ever getting the chance to be the heroic bad ass that stitches someone up in the wilderness. And now I've blown it.

We get him cleaned out really good and with a mix of pressure and Krazy Glue and duct tape the bleeding stops. We all agree to turn around and get to a hospital if that's what our bloody colleague wants, but he's not bleeding anymore, his hand doesn't hurt because it's numb, and it's pretty clean and he wants to press on.

At 6,000 feet, we are literally in a cloud. Visibility is about twenty feet max. We aren't paying attention to the cold and wet (and the fact that none of us brought a rain cover for our pack) because we are 3/4 of the way through a marathon and are sweating profusely and actually shedding layers as the route gets steeper and steeper.

Because it's not the cold and wet, but the visibility that's really the problem. If you've never been climbing, you need to know that there is a point in the climb where you are pushing yourself physically and mentally to the absolute limit. Where every step is an act of profound endurance and you are not sure how many more steps you have left in you. It's actually part of the appeal of climbing actually, for me at least. To be unsure if you can do it, and then to just do it. The problem is that it's psychologically difficult, and it's far more difficult if you can't estimate how much further you are going to need to push your body. We can't see 10 yards in front of us, the route is hard to see, and every time the visibility lifts a little and we think we can see the pass we are planning to make camp at, it turns out it's just another depression and the route still keeps going up 45 degrees.

At this point, it seems obvious we are having Type IV fun and our first priority should be safety. But you can't just make shelter anywhere, at least with the gear we have, you need flat, and you need a water source (a glacial lake or stream). All of us suspect our planned base camp is closer than the last place we passed that had water which I seriously doubted I had the energy to make it back to.

I should point out that we see *no* other climbing parties during the whole trip because no one else is as stupid as us. There is no cell phone coverage and none of us have a satellite phone.

Finally, about 50 yards past where we all sat and debated the best course of action, we come upon the lake we had planned to make camp. Now it's about 5 pm. Every article of clothing anyone is wearing is drenched and it's 35 degrees. We quickly get the tents out of the packs and discover that everything we've been carrying is also drenched. Wet and sheltered is better than exposed and sheltered so we throw everything together and one guy goes to pump water. But one of the water filters is broken. Because there is a god, I had brought my 20 year old filter as an extra and we do not die of dehydration that day.

So, I sit in the wet tent, in my wet clothes, in my wet sleeping bag and I am unable to get warm. I put on an extra wet shirt, a wet hat, extra wet socks and I look at the thermometer clipped to my pack wondering how much colder it is going to get and thinking that I am out of things to put on to get warm. I drink about 6 ounces of whiskey thinking this might help and fortunately I can hold my alcohol and still problem solve this situation. I realize that among the "Things Necessary to Keep a Human Body Alive" is food, though I am not at all hungry (which I think is odd and probably concerning given that I just expended about 30,000 calories getting up here). There is no way I am leaving the sleeping bag and the tent so I light the stove inside the tent which is something everyone does at high altitude but I've never personally done because the tent has labels all over it saying YOU WILL CATCH ON FIRE AND DIE if you do this.

By the time the whiskey kicks in and I've had some hot tea and dehydrated beans, and there's a little radiant heat from the stove, I am feeling somewhat more comfortable. Maybe I'm hypothermic, I'm not sure because I've never been hypothermic before, but I take off one wet layer and hang it inside the tent, hoping against hope it's a little drier in the morning. My tent mate (they guy who sliced his hand) and I start talking about soccer which is the right mix of distracting and boring so that we are able to fall asleep.

12 hours later, I wake up. Nothing froze. The cloud cover has lifted to about 500 feet above us, so we still can't see the summit we were attempting but we can look around it's quite beautiful. And by some miracle, the clothes I've hung up are now "slightly damp" instead of "fully soaked." Not one person in our group has any other plan besides packing up as quickly as we can and getting down the fuck off the mountain as quickly as we can. Before we leave, we snap one picture, the only one of the trip, which I shall not share so as to not publicly identify the idiots who took part in this poorly planned fiasco with me.

6 hours later, we are standing in the parking lot, soaking wet and cold, drinking a celebratory victory beer, trying to pretend this was Type III Fun which it definitely was not.

I am now sitting at home, the sun is out, the mother in law is gone, the kids are lovely, my body is stiff with inflammation and I can't move. What I am currently experiencing is not so much "regret" at doing something I knew was a bad idea from the start, but the feeling of thank fucking god I didn't die.

At some point today I am going to have to unpack shit before it starts to mold, though I am not sure I'll ever use any of that gear again.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 11:50 AM on August 27, 2018 [58 favorites]

I like the Four Types of Fun. That reminds me of something was Type III, which I fooled myself into recalling as Type I or II Fun.

When I was a kid, we were on a family snow trip, and I was grumpy because I couldn't slide somewhere, so I trekked off alone, up a different hill. As I recall it, I slid down the icy slope, bounced over a road, and flew up into some bushes that were really just a bunch of poky twigs, and it was AWESOME!

As my parents remember, I was freaking the fuck out, crying and not happy at all.

Now my memory is shoddy enough that I'm not sure if its something I should regret. I don't think I got hurt, so let's say no, no regret there!

I also don't regret climbing over a rusty fence to jump on the trampoline in between houses, even if on the return clamber over the fence I got mildly impaled in my foot when my jump off the springy, rusty metal fence recoiled faster than I leapt off of it -- I have a minor scar, but no real ill effects.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:15 PM on August 27, 2018

Somehow, he persuaded me to ride the pirate ship that swings

Oh, my poor mom regrets the day she let me talk her into going on that exact same ride with me!

It was the very end of the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of college. Mom and I decided to have a weekend adventure, packed up the car, and headed north with no real destination in mind. We ended up in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, where we were able to find a cheap hotel room right off the beach. The boardwalk/ amusement park area was still partly up and running, so we rode the Ferris wheel (at sunset, right by the ocean -- it was an absolute dream) and got some midway food. I wanted to go on the pirate ship ride, and would have gone alone, but Mom said it looked like fun, so she would go with me. We sat toward the middle -- I knew, from going on this ride many, many times at the local fair, that sitting toward the middle was less scary. The ride starts up, swings a couple of times, and... I honestly thought my mom was going to die. I thought she was going to have a heart attack from sheer terror. She was SO SCARED that I was terrified for her. Luckily, the woman running the ride was both observant and kind, and she noticed how utterly petrified my mom was, and stopped the ride to let her off. She could barely walk, she was so scared. I regretted even going near the ride.

Her regret? Not telling me beforehand that she is afraid of heights. ("But we rode the Ferris Wheel!" I cried. That didn't scare her because it was the kind with the nice big round gondola seats. Very sturdy-feeling.)
posted by sarcasticah at 12:55 PM on August 27, 2018 [5 favorites]

I've had a couple type III fun caving trips, like Sorcerer's cave in West Texas (I narrowly averted a rescue call-out when I got wedged in a crevice, through sheer force of will & utterly ignoring the searing pain in my right hip that was being gouged by rusty re-bar that had been left at the bottom of the crevice in the 50's) but after almost 20 hours underground, I could SEE the campfire while still on rope at the top of the entrance drop, and I've never seen such a beautiful sight in my life. We had a pretty good, experienced caver bow out of caving permanently after that trip - she was just no. longer. interested. I miss her & was sorry she had that bad of an experience, but I recovered & went back in on the de-rigging trip 2 days later, & it was uneventful except for the bag full of scuba tanks that we thought was falling on our heads from above. Turns out one of the valves opened when it his a rock so it was hissing loudly, but we thought it was sliding down the wall of the pit towards us. I have no idea how I got 15 feet up the opposite wall in 2.5 seconds, but I did.

I did come away with some great photos, some fantastic memories & the trip seared some friendships together in a very permanent way, so it was worth it in the end.
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:07 PM on August 27, 2018 [4 favorites]

10 or 11 years old, and the Sunday newspaper comes with a free sample of a safety razor for reasons surpassing understanding. I knew my dad used razors to shave his face and my mom used razors to shave her legs, but both of those types of hair were much less dense than, say, my widow's peak. Surely this brand-new razor would not shave off that much hair.

It did.

I had to gel down the little Alfalfa sprout of hair in the middle of my forehead for months.
posted by coppermoss at 1:33 PM on August 27, 2018 [2 favorites]

I have various and sundry regrets, but when I first read this topic, nothing came to mind that immediately filled the bill. That's what's called a mental block I guess, because I most definitely have one.

So, just after the turn of the century[1], I had been doing a little wood working. I had made a few small things. I had even made my brother a wooden set of Ice House pieces, sized for lawn use. And I had this idea. I wanted to make wands[2]. I was going to start with one for myself, then, if I liked the results, maybe sell a few.

I had bought a some nice wood that I was going to use for my blank. Of course, I didn't want to have my first try be using my expensive piece of wood, so I wanted to use something else first. It just so happened that I had a perfect piece of scrap handy.

Before I get to the regret, I want to point out that I am not, in fact stupid. Most of the time. I know (and knew at the time) that you don't feed wood into a table saw directly with your hand. My Dad (whose tools I was using) at been quite clear about that when he was teaching me the basics. I had been being consistently careful. I had a convenient piece of scrap wood that I was using as a pusher. That's why it was nearby when I was looking for a roughly wand sized piece of wood to trim as a blank.

I guess the fact that I was feeding the same piece that I'd been using to push with directly into the saw just didn't register. And I could have gotten lucky. But I didn't. The saw caught with the wood about halfway through and my left hand went into the saw.

I got exactly one glimpse, which I can still see, and then I put my hand out of sight behind my back and told my Dad. "I think I cut off my finger." This was not entirely accurate, but I didn't know that yet. I then requested that he drive me to the hospital. I walked to the front door of the house, where my Mom was waiting, panicked. I asked her to get me some ice, and she brought me the whole tray from the freezer. I asked her to put some in a bag and bring me a dish towel to cover the hand with. Once she brought it, I closed my eyes and stuck my hand in the bag and covered it with the towel.

With a little navigation help from me, my Dad got me to the hospital. I walked up to the triage desk and explained that I might have cut my finger off[3]. She asked if I had it with me. I replied something to the effect of "I'm not sure, but If I do, it's in here." And showed the the bag. She took a look and I was taken immediately to the actual treatment area. So at least I didn't have to wait in the waiting room. I was looked at by a couple of nurses and a doctor pretty quickly. One of the nurses asked me if it was okay if they cut my shirt off. I restrained myself from saying "Oh, no, I'd much rather you pull my mangled hand through the sleeve." It took will power.

By the time the specialist got there, it had been at least an hour, maybe ten (my time sense was a little off), and the initial shock had mostly worn off, letting the pain through. They couldn't give me any pain killers until the specialist had examined the hand. The surgeon examined my hand, looking a bit grim. None of my fingers were completely severed, so there was that. He was going to do his best to save them. I asked him if I'd be able to play the piano once it healed. I only left him suffering for a few seconds before assuring him that I hadn't been able to play before, anyway.

The upshot of the injury was that all the fingers except my thumb on my left hand had been injured. The pinky and the index finger healed completely, eventually. But I ended up with half a ring finger (luckily it was the bottom half) and a semi-functional middle finger. All because of thirty seconds of inattention.

I don't do woodworking any more, but I did go back and do a couple more projects (very carefully), just to prove to myself I could.

It's good to know that I can handle myself in a crisis, I suppose. Totally not worth it, though.

[1] I love saying that.
[2] I had a really cool idea that I still have never sen done and might go back and try some day.
[3] My siblings were back at the house cleaning up the blood[4] and retrieving any parts[5] that might need to join me at the hospital.
[4] It turned out that there were only a couple of drops. Shock is a weird thing.
[5] Luckily for them, there weren't any.
posted by Tabitha Someday at 2:00 PM on August 27, 2018 [8 favorites]

Coppermoss: you shaved off a widow's peak on purpose? I understand the regret, don't understand the motivation.
posted by she's not there at 2:31 PM on August 27, 2018

We sat toward the middle -- I knew, from going on this ride many, many times at the local fair, that sitting toward the middle was less scary.

I wish I too had known that. My friend (with whom I had a falling out rather soon afterwards about something completely different) insisted that we sit in the very last row. Schmuck.
posted by holborne at 2:36 PM on August 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

Coppermoss: you shaved off a widow's peak on purpose? I understand the regret, don't understand the motivation.

10-11 is a little young, but when I was 13 I was indeed aware of the fashion.
posted by rhizome at 2:43 PM on August 27, 2018 [2 favorites]

Eight year old me: I wonder what would happen if I stuck this wire in this electrical socket?
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 4:45 PM on August 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

Slarty Bartfast, did you ever see the show I Shouldn't Be Alive?

Your weekend sounds utterly miserable. I've had camping related woes but not like that. I learned the hard way to always bring dry, clean socks. A lot of things are bearable if your feet are dry.
posted by AFABulous at 5:46 PM on August 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

I volunteered to finish "vital" work on my own time from home, simply to escape the place past midnight. Why, yes, it is now 6am BST and I have just wasted ~5 hours on the laptop with the crappy Man From UNCLE remake and then Peep Show on in the background to keep me from further dying inside. Thank God for Metafilter and mojitos.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 10:01 PM on August 27, 2018 [5 favorites]

In this case the sinking feeling traditionally associated with regret was the mojitos.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 10:03 PM on August 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

That time we read A separate peace in highschool, and came to the scene where the protagonist has bounced the tree branch in an impulse, causing his best friend to fall and be permanently injured... the teacher asked if any of us had ever had the impulse to do something harmful, and I said "yes" into the room of silent shocked stares.
I know I was the only honest one, but jeez, i regretted it!
posted by chapps at 11:01 PM on August 27, 2018 [5 favorites]

[ only admitting this again because CMcG is brave enough to do so! ]
posted by chapps at 11:02 PM on August 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

Oh, I also regret giving my god daughter silly putter at two, because it went right into her hair and just started collecting all the hair into a total gluey glob. And we were on the ferry half way to Vancouver Island with an hour to go, so we had to beg scissors from the crew and give her a haircut immediately (chopping off all the hair right above her face) to avoid her losing a lot more of her hair in this sticky mess.
posted by chapps at 11:05 PM on August 27, 2018 [2 favorites]

I honestly did not think that the razor would cut through that much hair! I was testing my hypothesis and it turned out I was wrong.
posted by coppermoss at 6:11 AM on August 28, 2018 [2 favorites]

This is not an instant regret, but still one that lingers; which is that a person who I considered completely out of my league asked me out, not once but twice, and I was so deeply convinced I'd misinterpreted this ("huh, there is NO WAY they meant it the way it came out, how is that EVEN POSSIBLE") that I ignored it BOTH TIMES. I think the thing that makes me sad is not missing out a chance with the person in question but the fact that I was so absolutely convinced that I was beneath their notice.
posted by Ziggy500 at 7:35 AM on August 28, 2018 [7 favorites]

Well there was that time when I was heating oil in the pan and the doorbell rang and I went to answer it, and when I came back, the oil had just flash-ignited. That was just regret, not insta-regret.

I picked up the flaming pan and tried to run it out of the house, accompanied by the shrieking of the fire alarms - but it started singeing off my hair, so I put it down on our beautiful wood floor, and that was insta-regret, because now I had branded the pan manaufacturer's logo into the floor and I had two flaming messes on my hands.

It took me another 30 seconds to open the back door, toss the pan (still burning) out into the snow, come back and get the fire extinguisher and use it on the stove exhaust filters.

According to the fire chief who came in to check things out later, it was a close-run thing, because while I was running around with my hair (literally) on fire, we were apparently quite close to setting the inside of the stove exhaust pipe on fire, and that would have been a house-burning-down scenario.

So, hard-won lesson: your stove probably has filters in front of the exhaust fan. If it does, you're supposed to periodically clean them, because otherwise they just accumulate grease, and one day they might just catch fire.

(The logo stayed branded on the wood floor until we were selling the house, at which point a clever handyman replaced a couple of the floorboards. The hair never grew back, but I lost most of the rest of it anyway.)
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:43 AM on August 28, 2018 [12 favorites]

This is a great thread and I would love to join in.

But I was raised Catholic. Regret and guilt are the driving forces of my existence. I'm not opening my personal can of worms on this one.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:21 AM on August 28, 2018 [7 favorites]

In the category of small things I know I will regret instantly, but I do them anyway:

(1) Trimming my own bangs the morning before an important client meeting;
(2) Popping a pimple.
posted by muddgirl at 10:35 AM on August 28, 2018 [5 favorites]

I've been tempted to share the story of how I exploded a glass pan full of boiling chicken grease and ended up completely unscathed despite shrapnel flying around the kitchen and leaving black scars in the linoleum but I regret absolutely nothing about this incident. It was extremely metal
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:35 AM on August 28, 2018 [17 favorites]

But I ended up with half a ring finger (luckily it was the bottom half)
posted by Tabitha Someday

I actually laughed out loud. Thanks for that.

I've been tempted to share the story of how I exploded a glass pan full of boiling chicken grease and ended up completely unscathed despite shrapnel flying around the kitchen and leaving black scars in the linoleum but I regret absolutely nothing about this incident. It was extremely metal
posted by prize bull octorok

My oven decided to stop managing its temperature while I was roasting two whole eggplants for baba ganoush. When I looked in the oven the Pyrex dish had four halves of... charcoal. I double mitted and put it on the stovetop. The sounds it was making were a combination of evil hissing and lovely tinkling.

I was worried about fire so I poured water on it.


I also was, strangely, untouched. But I found glass shards imbedded in the wall behind the stove.
posted by Splunge at 5:35 PM on August 28, 2018 [4 favorites]

When I was eight or so, I went to a stranger’s house with my grandpa at Christmastime. The woman who lived there asked me, “would you like a roll?” and, mystified, I declined. I later found out somehow that she meant a CINNAMON ROLL and this rankled my soul well into adulthood, missing out on that cinnamon roll. I’m 41 now and I still feel regret over it, to be honest. Who doesn’t say the cinnamon part? That’s the key part!
posted by something something at 7:04 PM on August 28, 2018 [16 favorites]

That lady was indeed the worst, but what could possibly have caused 8 year-old you to turn down a nice, savory roll? There are no bad rolls!
posted by Atom Eyes at 7:52 PM on August 28, 2018

(Only bad actors!)
posted by Atom Eyes at 7:54 PM on August 28, 2018 [5 favorites]

It seemed like such a strange, random offer! We were just standing around in the foyer!
posted by something something at 8:09 PM on August 28, 2018 [4 favorites]

I regret selling all my many shares of Apple stock back around 2001.

I regret tossing a bowl of nuts at my now ex's head at a party … and letting go of the bowl with the nuts.

I regret watching the Northern Lights from a hot tub in Iceland and not bothering to go find my glasses.

I regret the unintentionally homophobic comment I made at a conference to a group of wonderful people I was dining with. And not correcting it once I'd realised (too late).

I regret telling a good friend three weeks before she was about to marry the new, wonderful man in her life about an affair her ex had with a coworker while they were together. Oh god, it's been 20 years and I still can't get over the thoughtless, unnecessary hurt I caused. She got me back good though, I deserved it.

I regret flipping off someone I knew at their work, in front of their coworkers, because I was pissed about how he treated another friend of mine.

I instantly regretted eating a bread bowl with a melted camembert inside it last Friday. I can't digest gluten like a normal person, nor that much cheese. It was so painful.
posted by iamkimiam at 11:31 AM on August 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

Oh, and I regret not getting a solicitor immediately. And every day I didn't thereafter. I won't elaborate further. But yeah, lawyer up, yo!
posted by iamkimiam at 11:34 AM on August 29, 2018

I never should have made out with that woman behind the bar.
posted by rocketman at 1:08 PM on August 29, 2018

I can't digest gluten like a normal person, nor that much cheese. It was so painful.

Cheer up. Maybe that worked off some karma from the other things eh.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:15 PM on August 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

I regret selling all my many shares of Apple stock back around 2001.

Yeah, if I hadn't bought that Volvo in 2003 by selling off my Apple stock (at a healthy 100% profit) for a $4000 down-payment, I've have about $95,000.00 worth of it, had I just let it sit. Not an instant regret-- a very slow-burn one.

Also, that Volvo got totaled in a hailstorm in the spring of 2008, 2 months after I made the last payment. I instantly regretted golf ball-sized hail.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:15 PM on August 29, 2018 [3 favorites]

I've had to start a new account on another website in order to comment because I got into a stupid argument about basically nothing (paint colours!) and I am *so irritated* that I logged out of my old account and never want to go back and be notified if they've replied again because I'll just be annoyed and I am bad at letting it go.

I immediately regretted engaging but sometimes I can't seem to help myself. And I ALWAYS regret it.

This is why I don't comment anywhere on the internet but metafilter.
posted by stillnocturnal at 8:32 AM on August 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

OK, and a funny one, although not actually my story - my granny was once eating cereal whilst thinking of something else, and thought it had a slightly different texture than usual but whatever, and then half way through she actually looks closely - and realises that for some reason the box of cereal also contains a whole lot of dead wasps.
posted by stillnocturnal at 8:36 AM on August 30, 2018 [8 favorites]

I intensely regret marrying my first husband when I knew damn well it was a terrible, abusive relationship. But I didn't know how to get out of it at the time -- no money, nowhere to go if I left, no resources, no nothing.
posted by sarcasticah at 9:14 AM on August 30, 2018 [3 favorites]

As soon as I walked into my dorm room on the first day of freshman year, I knew I had made A Big Mistake.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 9:15 AM on August 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

Hah, yeah. After my parents finished dropping me off at the dorms I lit the cigarette-in-my-bedroom I was never allowed back at home. This was an abstract harbinger that I was not exactly there for schooling. In that vein, I regret not taking a gap year.
posted by rhizome at 11:54 AM on August 30, 2018 [3 favorites]

I've had to start a new account on another website in order to comment because I got into a stupid argument about basically nothing (paint colours!) and I am *so irritated* that I logged out of my old account and never want to go back and be notified if they've replied again because I'll just be annoyed and I am bad at letting it go.

Oh, man, I got into a FB back-and-forth with an acquaintance last night and she is one of those SOMEONE IS WRONG ON THE INTERNET people, along with being extremely opinionated, fairly judgmental, and kind of Ivory Tower-sheltered, and I am proud of myself for turning off notifications after about 10 back-and-forths but I really regret starting the thing to begin with. (She is a lovely person in a lot of other ways.)
posted by lazuli at 7:11 PM on August 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

A decision I instantly regretted: introducing my epilator to my underarm, and then trying to soldier through the whole pit (through the tears) because "it hurt when I started using the epilator on my legs too, and it got better, right?"

The second armpit never got an introduction.
posted by sldownard at 10:32 PM on August 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

Well, there was that time I slept on the banks of a creek that was a crocodile hangout but that was more morning relief rather than midnight regret. Then there was the time I missed the exit in the rapids in while swimming in a river in Burma, and as I was careering through the river, thinking I'd ram my head into a rock and fuck up my new friends' day, I regretted missing that exit. But I think my biggest regret is visiting a glow-worm cave in Tasmania, marvelling at their illumination in a pristine environment, and then lighting and smoking a cigarette under their glow. To this day, I really regret doing that.
posted by Thella at 3:26 AM on August 31, 2018 [3 favorites]

I regret selling all my many shares of Apple stock back around 2001.

I used to be a part of a pretty tight knit group of hacker-types, crypto enthusiasts, and all around good good nerd boys. We were messing around with bitcoin and I bought about 100 USD worth on a lark. When my laptop HD crashed a few months later I didn't really bother with recovery because they'd only gone up a bit and anyway I thought the whole thing was only interesting theoretically. Of course, had I somehow held onto them / had a better backup strategy, I'd have a few million dollars now.

But... I didn't.
posted by atrazine at 5:15 AM on August 31, 2018 [5 favorites]

After hitchhiking from the Netherlands to Portugal with a friend, we arrived in a gorgeous seaside town. There was a camping site right at the beach. We put up our tent, and having pulled an all-nighter, decided to put our swimwear on and lie down on the beach, for just a short while. (Ha! As if.)
It was bright and sunny, but windy enough so it didn't feel hot... and of course, we fell asleep and burned to a crisp. We even managed do turn over in our sleep, so that we could both be toasted equally on both sides.

Instant regret that lasted for days, and intensified the next day when we noticed that we both felt really sick (too much sunburn will do that) and couldn't bend our legs properly because that hurt too much. I'm not sure how we got through those days... mostly we must have alternated trying to sleep, and doing the zombie shuffle back and forth to the toilet to puke, and to fetch more water because we knew that it was important to keep drinking.

Way to ruin the first days of your holiday.
posted by Too-Ticky at 5:15 AM on August 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

I immediately regretted engaging but sometimes I can't seem to help myself. And I ALWAYS regret it.

I recently got into a discussion on reddit (about a pretty innocuous topic- voting systems) where I thought there'd be an opportunity for mutual learning/understanding but I just inadvertently annoyed the shit out of the other person. Then I thought "obviously some more text will make things better" and nope
posted by a snickering nuthatch at 9:46 AM on August 31, 2018 [5 favorites]

Four immediately come to mind:

- as a seven year old, deciding that the right thing to do with the climbing frame in the back yard was to lay Dad's painting plank diagonally across the fourth rung on each of two corner ladders, put the deckchair on top of the plank, then climb into the deckchair. Of course the whole thing came down, and in the course of falling out, my arm swung out and smashed into the upright of one of the climbing frame ladders. Radius and ulna both snapped. I will never forget the two seconds of shock between seeing that my right arm now had two wrists and the pain suddenly becoming my entire universe.

- as a ten year old, hurling a fist-sized rock down a pebble beach toward my sister with the intent of having it startle her when it landed, but instead watching horrified as it caught her square between the shoulder blades.

- as a twelve year old, deciding to overcome my fear of swinging on ropes by swinging across a local creek on one, only to lose my grip on the far side and land flat on my back from a height of maybe ten feet. Breathing simply stopped working. Took a good two minutes to get going again, by which time I was very close to blacking out and totally panicked besides.

- as a sixteen year old, propped up on my elbows face down on my bedroom floor, backfeeding an old speaker transformer from a train set transformer to generate the ten thousand volts required to make a spark jump a centimetre gap between paperclip-in-styrofoam electrodes. Worked beautifully for a while, then the arc snuffed out; without pausing to reflect, reached out with both hands to move the electrodes closer together. For several seconds after the ensuing shock I was fully convinced that my sister had snuck up behind me and jumped on my back.
posted by flabdablet at 9:47 PM on September 2, 2018 [4 favorites]

Q: "How come grandpa has to stay in my room all week?" (as a snotty 11 year old)
A: "Because he's dying of cancer."
posted by benzenedream at 11:57 PM on September 4, 2018 [1 favorite]


2. g4
posted by the quidnunc kid at 9:31 AM on September 6, 2018 [5 favorites]

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