Wednesday, October 26, 2011
“I made a mistake” is four of the hardest words to speak, but I have cut it down to just two words; “Yes dear.” For some, saying yes dear is like pulling eyeteeth. For me saying yes dear is like letting honey flow from by lips. If it is your wife you are saying it to the fight is over before it even started. If it is a girlfriend, her clothes fall instantly to the floor. If it is a guy you say it to, laughter breaks out (unless he is robbing you and then shoots you in the brain (or worse) for coming on to him). There are instances where silence is better. In any case, admitting to mistakes takes guts, but the rewards are always better than blaming someone else.
As a young guy, I always blamed my identical twin brother when I screwed up, and he did likewise. For instance, there was the time when my brother used my hunting license and shot a deer in a game reserve. Or the time I used his drivers license when I got a ticket for almost knocking a California HP off his motorcycle because I had my surfboard crammed sideways through the back windows of my car. Man was that cop pissed. “But, officer, I was in a hurry; surf’s up!” Fortunately, it was only a short period of time before I got my driver’s license back because I turned 18. My brother had to wait too. The Highway Patrolman tore his license up on the spot!
One time my twin and I blamed the Feeney brothers who lived at the next ranch for smoking in the barn after dad found our stash of matches and Pall Malls that mom smoked. He drove us up to the Feeneys’ ranch house with us being bumped up and down in the back of his pickup only to find out that we all had been smoking in the barn. This time we did not get spanked because we were too busy barfing everywhere. I didn’t touch another cigarette for 25 years.
The worst time was when my twin used my driver’s license and showed it to the Dad of a girl he had met a week earlier in high school. When he picked her up for a drive-in movie date, the father wanted to make sure he had a license to drive. Later in the evening brother and daughter got cozy and she became pregnant. You should have seen the look on my mother’s face when she got the call that I knocked up someone’s teenage daughter. In fact, you should have seen the look on my face when she slapped it. Brother heard the screaming from mom and high-tailed it out the back door. Of course, the real culprit was discovered later and the shotgun wedding went off without a hitch. In this case saying, “I made a mistake,” wouldn’t change anything.
I like to think that now I can admit to mistakes openly and freely. I can even admit to the mistakes of others if the situation warrants it. Sometimes you can defuse problems quickly by using broad shoulders to help someone else save face. Besides, they then owe you free lunches for a week. I’m not talking McDs’…I’m talking Pizza Hut for sure!
I’m just saying,