Monday, August 27, 2012

Magic Button

My generation wasn't the first to play video games, but it was the first to have the opportunity to grow up with them. To have them in the home from toddlerhood or even infancy. To defeat the mighty Bowser before going up against Kindergarten bullies.

And sometimes I wonder if this all might have screwed us up... just a little. And by us, I mean me. Because sometimes I'll make a stupid mistake in life, and then sit there going, Why can't I just undo what I just did? Why isn't there a... a... a BUTTON?

I leave a plate of food on the table to go grab a napkin and the dog snarfs it up. I try getting a stain out of a shirt and I wind up rubbing a hole in it. I accidentally put an important paper in the shredder. I leave my coffee mug on the top of the car and drive off. It's things like that -- things that, if I had slowed down, thought my way through, and not been so impulsive or impatient, I might not have made the error.

And some errors are pretty permanent. Like shredding a really important paper by mistake. What if replacing it is going to be a huge hassle of time and money? Or the hole in the shirt. That's it, now you're doomed to always wear it underneath hoodies or cardigans. 

And all because life doesn't have an undo button. Or, rather, a redo button.

Hey, life, can I do that over? If I had a second chance, I wouldn't put the paper in the shredder without looking at it really closely. I wouldn't take my eyes off the road before I got near that intersection. I wouldn't daydream and walk into that pillar.

Or... maybe I still would anyway.

When mistakes are made, we have the chance to learn from them, but sometimes I think we don't even do it. You work on a mustard stain and think, Rub, rub, rub, gotta get this stain out! Brain says, "hey, remember last time when you rubbed a hole in that other shirt?" Well, that's not likely to happen AGAIN is it? That was just really cheap material or something! Rub, rub, rub... oh. Crap.

And you stare at the hole you've just made, mentally kicking yourself for making the same dumb mistake again. Wondering why life can't be like a video game, where you can reset the level or use one of your extra lives and make it all better. Where you can get into an epic battle and die... and pop back up a few seconds later. 

Alas, that's not reality. And it would do me well to remember that before I make another moronic move.

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