Has you ever experienced a feeling of regret? A really big regret?
One that made you want to bang your head on a dashboard because you knew, at that very moment, that you missed a golden opportunity?
I'm not talking about the run of the mill 'Blue Light Special' kind of missed opportunity, but the life altering kind?
I'm pretty damn sure I had one of those yesterday. And it has lurked in my subconscious filling me with regret ever since then.
I dreamt about it last evening wondering if the opportunity really did exist. Or was I imagining things. Did I misinterpret the signals? Can I do something today to make up for my obvious bad timing? And lack of response?
Yesterday afternoon I went to the movies with a good friend.
She loves movies. And we used to do this periodically when our kids were attending the same school. We'd meet at noon and watch a flick and still have enough time to go pick up the kiddies. Yesterday we managed to work it back into our schedule and planned to meet at the local cinema to see 'The Invention of Lying' with Ricky Gervais.
(BTW - I would highly going to this movie if you want to be entertained. Very, very good movie.)
On the way to the theater I saw a Moving Sale sign. Something inside me urged to me to stop, even though I knew that by stopping there was a sure chance I would be little late. But my instinct told me to go, so I turned the car around and went.
By that time in the late morning many of the big items had sold tags on them waiting for the purchasers to come back to retrieve them. Too bad, there were some things that would've worked great in my home. But, oh well.
I was greeted in the driveway by a beautiful golden retriever, Alfred, who obviously picked up the scent of my own dogs and the fact that I love dogs. He was following me everywhere. The owners, a man and woman whom I assumed were married, were very friendly as well and we made the obligatory conversation that dog owners have.
"I used to have a golden."
"Oh, how old was he?"
"I had to put him down at 14, he was bigger than yours. 120lbs in his heyday."
"Max is only 3."
...you get the picture. I thought to myself, "what nice people". They kept telling Max to "leave the lady alone". It really wasn't any trouble, I love dogs.
The woman told me there were more things inside on the sale as well, so I proceeded to go take a look. There were some beautiful items and in the typical Nancy fashion, I asked where they were moving.
Now really. Did it matter where they were moving? Why would I bother to ask such a thing. I don't know these people, what would I do with that information? But I asked and she obviously also being made of the same cloth as me, told me.
I had been perusing the stuff staged in the family room whilst this conversation took place. As she was answering my question I turned to look at her. At which point she told me, "You've got beautiful eyes."
I'm not used to compliments. I don't do well with them. I give compliments, but I'm usually not on the receiving end, so it set me a little of kilter...
I thanked her for her kind words and then took leave into the front rooms to see what they had to offer over there. They had some nice items if I had room for a grand piano or a full dining set complete with curio, but otherwise there wasn't anything that I could use in my own home.
And then on a table mixed in with linens was a framed document.
I picked it up to take a closer look. It was the invitation and admission ticket for the 2001 Inaugural Ball for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. I'm not a very political person, but my past political standings are more on the right. I have always liked the Bush family, politics aside. My dad is a staunch republican and I thought that if this were indeed for sale, it might be a great present for him.
So I inquired if this piece of history WAS for sale. She said, "Let me ask my brother. He worked on the campaign, you know."
I could hear the chimes in my head. Oooh, that good looking man is her brother? Not her husband? Is he married? Is he moving because of a divorce? All the furniture and trimmings have a woman's touch to them, but it is a moving sale. There is no other woman here. And he is very handsome, but doesn't look gay...so hmmm.
The thoughts running through my head were interrupted by them both answering, "Oh, that? No. That got mixed in by mistake."
Darn, I thought. But okay. I wouldn't have thought anyone would sell that anyway.
"Do you like George Bush?" Mr. 'I'm so handsome and I'm moving and this is my sister helping me' asked.
"Yes, I do."
"Come with me then. I have something you might like."
Um. You bet you do. You have no idea....
I followed him out of the house into the garage where is sifted through a box and pulled out an 11x14 framed photo of the Dub himself. It's a casual photo. Like someone took a snapshot of him driving a truck on the ranch from the passenger seat.
"This is one of my favorite photos of him. You can have it."
"I can pay you for it.", I replied.
"No, no way. You can have it. Your so cute."
And at that point, looking at my watch knowing I was going to be late to meet my friend for the movie I thanked him for his kindness and walked down the driveway and left.
I never even looked to see if he had a wedding ring on.
I never introduced myself.
I never asked him his name.
I didn't ask him about the campaign.
All these openings!
I think I may have missed a stellar opportunity. And now what do I do. Would it seem to obvious if I stopped back this morning to "see if that love seat is still available?'
Perhaps I should just let it go. And think about 'what might have been' from time to time. It's been so long, perhaps I didn't 'get it'. By not reacting or responding I sent him the "yeah, no thanks' signal.
But it keeps creeping back into my brain. Was this the knight in shining armour?
Maybe I'll go back and buy that grand piano if it's still for sale.
That should definitely get his attention.
Now where will I put it? Damn.
I knew I should have kept up with those piano lessons...
Footnote: (11:00 am)
Upon the overwhelming response to me 'GO BACK!' I did drive by. I even made out a little note in the case that the sale was not continuing through today.
But it was, and I went.
Another sister was there today, but no "Good looking I worked on the campaign" guy. I did buy something small, inquired about the loveseat that now also had a SOLD sign on it and left my business card with a note of "Thanks for the picture, didn't get to thank you properly...in a rush to a meeting" on the back of it.
So I guess, I've done my part...outside of stalking. Who knows?
Too bad he wasn't there today. My hair looked fabulous.
Footnote, Part II: (6:00 pm)
So my cell phone rang. I didn't recognize the number so I let it ring into voicemail. Voicemail is my God, right next to the Internet and Cable...
Here it is Mr. 'Handsome with two sisters still don't know if he's married or single' calling me back. His message? "Thanks Nancy for leaving the note and your business card, very classy. The loveseat is still available, call me back. Maybe we can work something out."
So I waited a little while...I mean, I don't want to appear to eager. But don't want to wait too long, he might think I was the one unavailable.
Anyway. I just got off the phone with him. We talked for 20 minutes. I'm having drinks with him next week!!!!
But I bought a loveseat. Thank God the piano was sold.