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1:58 p.m. - 2004-11-19
Life Needs an Undo Button
This morning, as I was getting on the elevator, I pushed the wrong button. I promptly pushed the right one, but knew the elevator would then make an unnecessary stop at a floor where no one needed it.

So this got me thinking. Due to the miracles of modern technology, when we screw things up we're used to being able to hit "Ctrl-Z" and magically erase whatever we managed to screw up. However, life doesn't have an "undo" button. Hit the wrong button on the elevator, and you're pretty much going to the wrong floor. Write a nasty e-mail, hit send, you're pretty much going to suffer whatever consequences are inherent from that action. Dial the wrong number on your phone, you're not speaking to the right person. Say something you regret, and there's no immediate recall, no way to reverse the emotional response of the person who heard your words.

Wouldn't it be cool if life had an undo button? Kinda like that movie The Butterfly Effect. Granted, that was more about the unintended consequences of actions, but as a practical matter, he got to reverse the negative decisions until it came out right. It reminded me of those "Choose Your Own Adventure" books. Anyone as dorky as me remember those? Where you would pick what happened next in the story? Of course, my nerd-like self always flipped to both possible choices, and then the ones after that, and the ones after that….I loved those books, but I did not use them in the manner intended.

Maybe that's why I have trouble with major (and minor) life decisions. I want to have every possible outcome outlined before I pick one. I want to know what happens next, and if it will lead to a happy ending. If my choices don't work out, I want to be able to go back like they never happened, not have to deal with the consequences if they are bad. Most of the time, the consequences are negligible. As long as you are careful to treat others with respect and not set fire to any bridges, you can usually go back near your starting place and pick another choice.

That really wasn't where I was planning to go with this, but I guess it's an interesting subplot. I was driving at this: what would be different if you did have an undo button for your life? What things in your past would you "undo"? Some of mine:

Making a smart ass remark to a friend in second grade who was adopted.

Being hateful to a boy that asked me to do something in fifth grade.

Being hateful to a girl in sixth grade. She was a complete dork, but I was only mean to her because I didn't want everyone else to think I was a gross dork for hanging out with her.

Confiding in my high school friend about my first real crush (she later went after the guy while we were dating.)

A lot of the insults I screamed at GEB around the time of our breakup.

Telling a guy I dated that I loved him when I really didn't.

Confessing to having a crush on someone when drunk.

Not returning my college roommate's phone calls.

Agreeing to do any number of things I didn't want to do, from going on trips to typing people's papers in college to writing people's papers in college to taking jobs I didn't want to take to hanging out with people who bored/annoyed me….

This is not to say that I want to take back every mean thing I have ever said. In some cases, those sentiments were deserved and long overdue, and I don't regret a word of them. Most of my regrets have to do with that last bit about doing things I didn't want to do, but hearing the word "yes" come out of my mouth when it should have been "no."

I am getting better at saying "no" as I get older. I am getting better about realizing that everything is not a life-or-death choice…that it is possible to find another job when yours sucks, that if you move somewhere you hate you don't have to stay there forever, if you buy something you don't want you can take it back. I still have this compulsion, though, to know what will happen next, to see at least one step ahead. Guess we don't get to. That pretty much sucks.

In other news, how does everyone feel about the new layout? SingleGirl, I loved your layout and decided to get a similar one…the designer (click the "design" link, I'm too lazy to do another one) let me change the colors, though.

My friend CL is finally having her movie party this Saturday, so there could be more drunken photos….stay tuned.

3 more hours till 5. Praise be. To quote New Order: "I used to think that this day would never come…"



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