Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The many faces of remorse

Everyone is familiar with buyer’s remorse but remorse has many faces.

I have eater’s remorse several times a day, followed by gym remorse and couch remorse.

I have transactional remorse when I go to the bank and the teller says, “Hi, Consuelo.” What just happened here? No, see I have money reposing here that you take out and play with and lend to other people without paying me interest. A bank is a solemn, formal place. There’s no “Hi, Consuelo” about it. All you can say to me is: “Would you like that in twenties or fifties?” If you must refer to me by name you have to put Ms. Mrs. Miss or Your Holiness before it. If I have a gun in my hand, you may say, “Don’t shoot. Here’s the money, Ms. Baehr.”

I have grocery remorse and high anxiety every time I buy peaches. It’s almost impossible to get decent peaches in a supermarket. Here’s the way it goes.
“These peaches are rock hard, will they soften?”
“Yes, just leave them out for a day or two.”
“The last time you said that, they didn’t soften up for a week and then they were mushy and mealy inside.”
“Can’t be. Are you sure you bought them here?”
“No, you’re right. I bought them in Tasmania.”
Every time I buy ice cream I have dairy remorse because I know that I am delaying yet again my decision to go dairy-free and ditto with bread and gluten-free. I have resolution remorse for promising to do things that I never do.

I have conversation remorse every time I talk to my friend Hilda because she runs the Rhetorical Inquisition. (modeled on the Spanish Inquisition) This is Hilda’s dialogue. “You don’t still eat meat do you?” or “You didn’t sign the petition to sterillize the deer, did you?” “You’re not going to vote for those Republican thugs are you?” “You’re going to let the cat sit on your toast, aren’t you?” “You’re not still a day trader, are you?” (I’ve never been a day trader.) One day I will say to Hilda, “I just shot a deer and had it butchered so I’ll have venison steaks all winter.” Hilda once called our former president an inchoate mass of deception.

My goal is to be remorseless, like the recidivist thief Willie Sutton. When asked why he robbed banks Willie said, “Because that’s where the money is.” Willie Sutton robbed banks for forty years and never looked back or felt remorse. He also dressed really well.

Sometimes I have blogger’s remorse.

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