Deb: I just read an article in today’s paper that said that Google Labs is testing a new “undo” button on its “send function” that would give us 30 seconds to stop an email from reaching our boss, boyfriend, neighbour, friend or anyone else we have issue with. It’s called “Undo Send”.
Funny that this comes in the wake of my blog last week about the letter I wrote and ultimately did not send to my neighbour. Being able to blog about it got it all out of my system and with your supportive responses I was able to get over it. That neighbour is now, as advised by my dear friend Annette “dead to me”.
But it got me thinking. Wouldn’t it be great to have an undo button in life? How many times have I said something and watched the words ramble out of my mouth, wishing I could leap in like wonder woman and stop them with my stylish cuffs before they reached the ears of the intended.
I wouldn’t want them just to stop mean things I have said in the past, although that would be so sweet. I want them to stop the stupid, the thoughtless, the things we all do every single day that still when recalled can bring a full on flush to my whole body.
Things like the classic, “Congratulations. When is the baby due?”. UNDO! “Well I never liked your boyfriend anyway, he was such a pig…. Oh ... that’s great ... when did you ... umm ... get back together? ... Married? ... Oh ... how ... umm ... yeah ... umm ... nice. UNDO! “Hi, Bob. Oh this must be your mother. How lovely to finally meet ... your wife? ... Of course ... I guess the sun was in my eyes and I ... er ... umm. UNDO!
And I also wonder how many “I love you’s” I’d UNDO that I gave so willingly to boys that were undeserving? And how many self-deprecating statements would I undo because I didn’t have the grace to handle a compliment? How many “snaps” at husband and child because I was just too tired and crabby to answer in a civil tongue? ALL-UNDO!
But as I am writing this and taking a second look at the UNDO as an aid, and as I look back at my life, I realize that all of these gaffes, these knee-jerks, these quips, and thoughtless comments are what made me me. They have allowed me to examine myself and improve myself and to assess myself and to forgive myself. As horrible as some of these memories are, they are the stained fabric of the Deb quilt, the little bits that the Tide-stick of life cannot completely erase. They are there for a reason. So I will UNDO the UNDOING. And, note to Google––it needs to be a helluva lot longer than 30 seconds, my friends. And it should come with a Breathalyzer.
Barbara: Ooh, I didn’t hear about this new button. Undo. Yeah, I’d need way longer than 30 seconds. Oh, the email-letters I’ve regretted sending. Much like your letter to your neighbour—the email I’ve written in anger or in haste always come back to slap me in the face. Hard. But I don’t want to take the email back until much later, after I’ve cooled down and realized IT IS NOT WORTH IT. Some people will just never get it.
Or undoing the haphazard comments made in real life? Me talking to a young hotshot director while she told me about a novel she’d just written. Me: “That’s great! Is it fiction or non-fiction?” UNDO! UNDO! She: “Well … isn’t a novel always fiction?” Me (red-faced, mortified): “Mm-hm, of course.”
I also want to thank you for your last thought, Deb—because I so agree. Why always punish ourselves for our own life lessons? They are difficult but potentially handy tools for growth and self-discovery.
And, yeah, a breathalyzer wouldn’t hurt…