Regrets, I’ve Had a Few

“Regrets, I’ve had a few; But then again, too few to mention.  I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption.I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway. And more, much more than this, I did it my way”

Sorry, Mr.Sinatra, but I call Bullshit. We’ve ALL had regrets, and probably enough to fill a entire notebook with.  I grew up listening to Frank Sinatra and still enjoy him to this day, but this verse is complete crap. Either he is too pompous to admit the “few regrets” he’s had in life, or he’s just a jerk. I think it’s the former…. and possibly the later too.  I say that in the most loving way, because I truly am a Frank Sinatra fan.  I like him so much that for a High School video project, I did a five minute documentary on him. He is an icon.sinatra

Good looking, he had an amazing voice, stage presence, and impeccable sense of style. Not to mention the bluest eyes that made many woman swoon; gaining him the nick name of “Ol’ Blue Eyes”. Once the curtains closed however, he had a turbulent life behind the scenes. Married four times, he was openly  known to have numerous extra marital affairs, attachments to the Mob, and mood swings that often led to violence. It’s rumored that the FBI had an ongoing investigation on him for five decades, starting in the 1940s due to his Mob connections and close relationship with JFK. Despite all that, Sinatra did not, in fact write the words to this song, Paul Anka did… but I still can’t help chuckling when that verse comes up.

I have to start this conversation with the fact that I consider myself a Leader, not a Follower.  I typically do not make decisions based on what others think of me, and I don’t consider myself to be a sheep in the herd.  I speak my mind (which as at times gotten me in hot water at work in meetings with superiors), but I say what mean, and I mean what I say.  That much is true, and that is the true me.

Do you want to know what I regret? 

I regret my Tramp Stamp Tattoo. Urban Dictionary describes this as: A tattoo above a woman’s ass crack.”Her pants were so low cut, you could see her tramp stamp.”

There, I said it.I regret this tattoo. At the wise age of 18, I spent a total of 35 seconds picking it out in a book  in a downtown tattoo parlor in a Washington DC.  The thing has no meaning to me whatsoever and I’m gonna be stuck with it for the rest of my life. I went with my best girlfriends.  The guy who did it looked like Fred Durst, from Limp Bizkit and better known for screaming “I did it all for the nookie!” in the late 90’s. (I’m so desperately wishing I could insert an eye roll emoji here, but I can’t).  

Anyway, Fred Durst look-alike tattoo dude most certainly overcharged for the work he did, but we were too dumb to know at the time that we were being ripped off. I borrowed half of what it cost from my best friend at the time, who, 15 years later; just like me, is still sporting a very similar tramp stamp on her backside as well. It’s not the fact that it is a tattoo, or what it looks like… I like tattoos.  It’s the fact that the lower back tattoo was a fad, and I fell into the trap. For the first time in my life, I chose to do something to “be cool”, and that is not who I am. I don’t regret my other tattoo I have gotten since because it has meaning to me and my family; but this particular one stings.  It was the “in” thing to do and I made the decision because I thought it would make me more interesting, intriguing, mysterious or badass, I don’t know…. something. But what I didn’t realize at that time was that I didn’t need to prove any of that, because I was already all those things.  My tacky tramp stamp didn’t make me any cooler. Now, I must put a disclaimer in here that at the time, my friends and I were  skinny, hot 18 year olds who frequently went out, wearing backless shirts, belly shirts and tight jeans, always carrying our fake ID’s in the back pocket, so at the time, the thing didn’t look too bad…  Today, at age 34, after two children, I can tell you honestly that I most definitely do not look like that, nor wear those types of clothes anymore.  The most viewings my lower back tattoo gets these days is when I’m bent over picking up a load of laundry, toys from the floor, or doing some other source of house work. Awesome.no-ragrets

 The silver lining to this story is that I can say is that I went for a lower back tattoo and not an arm band (also highly popular during this time). Or, it could have been worse, this guy above certainly has NO RAGRETS.

I regret deciding to smoke my first cigarette.  Nobody talked me into it. I did it because I was curious. I didn’t feel like I needed to do it to “feel cool”, or join the “in crowd”, I genuinely wanted to just try it. Thousands upon thousands of wasted dollars later and the incredible damage I’ve done to my body since starting smoking is unthinkable. No one forced me to do it. I have no one to blame but myself for this one.

I regret drinking vodka before a school dance when I was a teenager. Almost 20 years later, I can still not stand the smell or taste of it. I didn’t even make into the school gym, where the dance was being held, before I was whisked away to the Principal’s office.  The next day, my parents were angry, disappointed and confused. My mom kept asking me who “talked me into this bad decision?!” All I could say was “no one”. I decided, with my own free will that I wanted to do this. I wasn’t peer pressured. I made the conscious choice to make this bad decision. I don’t know if this made her feel better, or worse.  As a parent now, it would actually make me feel worse. I’d like to think of my little children being angels, and someone force-feeding them vodka, instead of them leading the pack.  As I said before, I was never a follower… that vodka decision was all mine.

drink

I was selfish. Neither the smoking or this drinking incident even made me consider at the time how this would effect other’s views on my family. My mother was on the School Committee at the time and her full time job was and still is, working with the State and Town to obtain grants for funding and collaborating with the local police to try to curb underage drinking and smoking and promote positive campaigns and programs.She must have been mortified.  None of this occurred to me until later in life.  I’m sorry, mom.

I graduated 14th in my high school class. I took AP Classes all through my senior year and had a pretty stellar academic record. I was on the Honor Roll and the National Honor Society, and this little drinking incident was the only blemish on my record. It was suggested by my Guidance Counselor that this is what I should focus on for my written portion of my college applications… how bad decisions lead to consequences and what I had learned from this incident. Not my first choice of topic to write about, considering that I was bringing more attention to this one day during my entire High School career, instead of focusing on my academic successes and work ethic.  Do I regret drinking that vodka? Hell Yes.

I regret interrupting my husband while he was in the middle of proposing to me.  We were at a beautiful lighthouse overlooking the ocean. At first, I didn’t realize what was going on, and about half way through, I figured it out. My palms got sweaty, my chest started burning up and I got so nervous that I interrupted him and blurted out “Hey! Do you think they still use that basketball court connected to that lighthouse over there?” The poor guy ignored me and kept going.point-judith-lighthouse-full-moon

I’m such an idiot.I have classic “insert foot in mouth” disease, and throughout our relationship he has learned that all he has to do to now get my attention is give me a glare from across the room if I start to let my mouth get away from me. He knows me well.

Finally, I regret not focusing on trying to be a better person everyday. This is sort of a fake regret, because it’s something that is a work in progress. I have to remind myself to practice more patience with my children, my husband, family and everyone I interact with on a daily basis. To offer help more to those who need it before they ask. To genuinely keep it in the back of my mind to be the best person I can be.  If I have that goal in the forefront of my mind, I can do anything, with no regrets. 

The one thing I can agree with Mr.Sinatra on in that song is that no matter what, I did it my way, and continue to do so.

 

6 thoughts on “Regrets, I’ve Had a Few

  1. My first tattoo story is so similar to yours I was laughing and cringing at the same time throughout. I can’t wrap my head around it when people say ‘live without regret’. IMO, we are all human and humans make mistakes. Of course we’re gonna look back and think… “oh man, why?????” or like you said earlier in the post, roll our eyes at our past selves. But ultimately, as long as we learn from these things that we regret, then they’re useful!

    Anyways, great post! Can’t wait to read more from you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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