Note from the subway

I almost forgot that when SarahB and I were waiting for the train Sunday morning, a gentleman wearing a black silk top hat sat down on the bench beside us. It was raining outside, and not the kind of rain I personally would be willing to expose my silk top hat to, but he didn't look wet or defeated or anything. He looked like an old-timey magician who under kinder, more temperate conditions would obviously have been wearing a cape. Instead he had on an overcoat and a red scarf. He talked to us about walking boots and Munich and Larry Hagman and child actors on the stage and once upon a time being invited to tea in Vermont by Maria von Trapp. He said that he said no to her strudel, out of concern for his waistline, and of course he regrets it to this day.

People are always saying don't dwell on your regrets, but regrets are how you know you made real choices in the world, and that those choices came with real consequences, even if you're the only one who paid the price. What good does it do to pretend you made the right choice all of the time? That doesn't even make sense. We should all have to pay the price for our own vanity and short-sightedness and general moronitude, and if Maria von Trapp is the object lesson, so much the better. On the flipside, not everybody likes strudel, Maria, so maybe you should have had a backup plan.

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