I like to tell myself little lies all the time. Things like, "Oh, it might have turned out badly, but it led me to ____." You can put a positive spin on anything and make it seem like a blessing if you try. Someone near to you died of Mad Cow Disease? Well now you know the symptoms and at least you can plan a few weeks in advance for the outcome. "Well sure Bob caught Creutzfeldt-Jakob (Mad Cow), but at least I know what's coming for me and I can buy additional life insurance!" Try pasting on that happy face when someone tells you that you both ate from the same contaminated meat! It's the prettiest form of bullshit.
Personally, I have a lot more irritating stuff that I wish I could erase from my history. I would name them, but that might seem rude to those who have the same name. Some of them, of course, don't have the names of people, but bear the events or actions I wish I could undo. I won't go into a lot of detail here, because I'm sure everyone has done something or said something to someone they wish they could take back. Unfortunately, life isn't like that. Once you've done it you can't undo it. It's a permanent scar. Finito!
Some things aren't as cut and dried. From time to time we do things that seem unimportant at the time and later in life we're faced with those decisions and we just think, "What the ____ was I thinking?!" or "Did I really?" In the ugly light of day... or decade... we're faced with the ugly truth. "Yes, it appears I did."
During a recent physical examination, the attending physician did a body map of my scars, moles, piercings, tattoos, etc. I sat through the pre-exam process answering questions with the standard, "Yes. No. Both sides twice. 1998. 1999. 2011. No, never." I giggled when asked all of the sex questions simply because I'm a Midwest girl at heart who can't imagine answering yes to any of the standard blood test questions. I did my jumping jacks. I ran on the treadmill. I got a full workup.
When the physical inspection started I was all cool. I'd answered all the questions. My eyes were good, my nose, unstuffed, throat clear, ears only pierced... twice?
"On your physical map you marked two piercings on each ear lobe. I see three on each lobe. Do you remember getting a third piercing?" the doctor said.
"What? I've never worn more than 2 sets of earrings. I don't have three piercings... unless you count my nose. Do you mean my nose?" I replied.
"No we've not gotten to your nose, but maybe I should check because you definitely have three in each lobe on your ears. Maybe you forgot other things, as well. We'll get to that. Do you remember piercing your ears a third time?" he answered.
"Well it was the 90s. Who knows?" I said with a half laugh, all the time wondering how in the hell I might have forgotten turning someone lose on my earlobes with a gun and something sharp. No. Freaking. Clue.
The doctor was NOT amused. Following this little lapse in memory, the man proceeded to check every single thing I'd marked on my physical map. Moles, tats, piercings, scars, obvious bruises, etc. while I lay there feeling more than a little ashamed. Oddly enough the 90s represent the time during my legal drinking age when I drank the least. I couldn't even blame my choices on binge drinking.
As the doc examined my tattoos and further documented them for my chart, he began to note the amount of colors used in the dolphin tat.
"You have a tattoo on the back of your neck. It's a triangle. What is that?" he said.
"Oh crap, sorry. It's a trinity symbol. Reno. 2010." I answered. Easily forgotten. It's under my hair and I never see it.
"About when did you get the dolphin tattoo? What is that symbol beneath the wave?" he questioned.
"During a phase of stupidity, and the mark beneath the wave is one of poor decision making." I joked.
"Really, I need to chart this. Is that a star or a water drop?" he responded.
"I don't know." I replied and shut up, embarrassed to even be there now.
"I'll call it a star. Okay, now back to the piercings, do you have any other marks or scars that you don't recall receiving intentionally?" he asked.
"Aside from the internal and emotional ones?" I laughed again, trying to alleviate the feeling of incompetence that comes from not knowing the basics of my own body.
"Were you in accident or did you have surgery performed that would cause internal scarring?" came his response.
"No." (huge sigh)
So aside from all the relationships I wish I had avoided, the things I wish I hadn't said, the letters/emails I wish I hadn't sent, and the crappy days I wish I hadn't experienced... there are apparently things I've done to my body that I probably shouldn't have done. If they were so important I probably would have remembered them.