I wish that I’d had a better answer when the heavily accented voice on the phone told me that he was from the IRS and was calling because there was an arrest warrant out on my social security number. His statement was patently ridiculous to me because I know that the IRS communicates via first class mail, not call center phone calls. Also notifications of arrest warrants arrive with uniformed officers at the door, not phone calls. And arrest warrants are issued against names not social security numbers. There was so much wrong with his statement that I listened in silence to find out what strange thing he would say next. But he hung up, I guess he assumed that my silence meant I’d already hung up.
Thing I wish I’d said:
“I’m sorry all my arrest warrants have to go through my lawyer. Would you like his number?”
“From now on all my communications from you must go through my lawyer. I’ll have her call you. May I have your contact information?”
It still would have ended with him hanging up, but I would have felt more clever having traded one fiction for another.
I wish I’d looked down at the icy steps before attempting to walk on them. The result was bruises on various sides of me because I twisted on the way down in a vain attempt to not go down. Nothing broken. I just have a new disbelief for all the action heroes who fall out of vehicles, jump out of buildings, take punches, and then are able to move enough to repeat all of it the next day. I don’t think that human bodies or post adrenaline works that way.
I wish I’d been either more or less assertive with the lady at the couch store. I stood around waiting for 20 minutes with no sales people in sight. When I expressed this frustration, she immediately reacted with defensive statements that implied that I was an irrational customer that she had to manage. I wish I’d either not been cranky with her at all, and thus had a pleasant interaction. Or I wish that I’d been firm and clear that, no, the fault was not mine. Yes I really did push the button which is supposed to summon help. Yes the red light was blinking, it is not blinking now because there must be some sort of auto shut off after ten or fifteen minutes. No I did not accidentally push the cancel button. I made it blink red and waited, and waited, and waited while growing increasingly cranky. Then I finally went searching for a salesperson and found one who was just coming back from break and was more interested in exculpating herself “we just don’t have much coverage on Mondays” than in being polite and helpful to a cranky customer. I bought the couch I wanted because I’m not going to let a store clerk divert me from my purpose, but I walked away from the encounter with a bad feeling floating around in my brain.
On the whole I think I’m glad that my regrets are passing ones. Things that will have become irrelevant and forgotten within a week or two. Those are much better than regrets with real weight and staying power.