Monday, January 01, 2007

Longing for a Do-Over or Two

How many times have you wished you could just rewind the present moment – just back maybe 5 minutes? Oh for a do-over!

Yesterday I had two of those moments. You can read about it on David’s Blog. But the long and short of it was in my efforts to do something positive, to clean out and clean up the shelves and closet near our side entrance, I knocked a bottle of concentrated garlic used for controlling mosquitoes outdoors onto the floor, where the top cracked off and it spilled. First of all, I wished for a do-over where it wouldn’t fall on the floor at all. Then I wished I had just quickly picked up the bottle to keep so much from spilling out. But no, instead I was worried about getting the dogs outside so they wouldn’t get in the mess.

My husband, who is a pretty smart guy, suggested that I just throw out the towels I used to sop up the spill, thereby avoiding contaminating the washing machine with the stinking garlic smell. But frugal person that I am, I thought it would just wash down the drain leaving clean, albeit old, towels. As the washing machine gave off an almost overwhelming garlic smell, I wanted another do-over. He had been so right on this one.

Why were my initial positive intentions going so wrong? I went to the store and bought a large bottle of Clorox. After a few cycles, the washing machine was once again approachable. But the smell wasn’t exactly gone.

I got up this morning and made another trip to the store. $41 later I had Pinesol, Lysol, a new mop, latex gloves, Febreze, and scented laundry detergent (we always use unscented) in an effort to camouflage the garlic smell.

I’m hopeful that it will just fade away with time, but I thought long and hard about those do-over requests all day today.

There have been a few other moments in my life that I wish I could have re-played. There was the time I treated the entire yard for dandelions with Weed-Be-Gone, only to almost kill the desirable shrubbery. There was another time when we were on vacation in Norway and I fell and broke a tooth.

Unfortunately life doesn’t usually give us a chance to fix mistakes. Instead we look for solutions or just live with the damage. This is called coping. Does coping build character? Are we better people from having dealt with our mistakes?

I can’t really answer those questions. But I can say I would love to receive 5 do-over tokens on January 1 each year, with the idea that I could cash them in any time during the year and earn a chance to get something right.

Have you experienced a wish for a do-over during the past year?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You wrote and asked if needtsza.blogspot was my primary blog. Yes, it is. It's going to make a change soon as I just got my new computer up and running.

Anyway, thanks for visiting and even more so for adding me to your list. I see we have a lot of people in common (that we read at least).

See you soon =)

= Needtsza (Beaker) of

9:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My life!

7:33 AM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

My therapist would say that you don't need a do-over, you just need to cut yourself some slack. Actually what she would say is that there's no need to be so harsh with yourself. You launched into a cleaning project and now you've got SO MANY cleaning products on hand, you can clean up anything you want. The garlic smell will fade. All is well. Just let it go, girlfriend.

9:07 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

I don't know whether to laugh or cry about this garlic thing. I now think the main source of the residual smell is the washing machine. I just got off the phone with an appliance repair man who told me to run it through a couple of cycles with white vinegar in the water. Ka-chug-a-chug-a-chug...

If anyone I encounter tells me I smell like garlic, it will be an instant slap in the face! I swear...

9:20 AM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

"You smell a tad like garlic!"

Ha! HA! Can't get me!
Your garlic house may make you hungry! My friend has a skunky car since both dogs got in after thet'd been sprayed by a skunk!

Guess most of my do-over moments would be not to break precious my grandma's ivory mirror.

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, who knows if the do-over wouldn't cause more problems than the original action? As for learning from our mistakes, I'm not so sure...we like to think we'd do better next time but one look at history tells us we might do things differently but not necessarily better. My motto is, "This too, shall pass." I always feel better, knowing that's true. Next year at this time you'll be storing that garlic bottle somewhere where it can't get knocked over :)

12:57 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I was going to suggest vinegar for the washing machine! I'm glad to know that it was a good instinct. I'm sorry to hear about your series of unfortunate events.

I agree with Reya. Cut yourself some slack. :) My do-overs would just be those times I needlessly hurt someone else, when I didn't listen, when I didn't hear, when I didn't take the time to be understood. I can come across as extremely critical and that's just not good.

2:51 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Try peroxide for getting rid of odours (something like Oxy Pro with warm water also works).

Personally, I love the smell of garlic.

5:42 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Needtsza -- Welcome and thanks for the clarification.

OL -- Your life currently sounds like it's in pretty good shape. Are you sure you want a do-over?

Reya -- Good advice from your therapist. Many of us tend to be far to hard on ourselves. Slack is always nice to have!

MOI -- I too regret things broken, but I've just come to accept that even things have a natural life and sometimes it's up!

Pauline -- You are so right. I tend to forget many of the things that seem so monumental when they occur. Later they are just little blips on the radar screen of history. I'm sure I'll find something else to spill next year...

Kristin -- You reminded me that I too would like some do-overs when it comes to how I treated some people in the past year. Those are actually the hurts that really matter, not the broken or spoiled things.

Richard -- I'm hopeful that the worst is over and I will not need to resort to the peroxide. I too like garlic, but in this level of concentration it is a bit much.

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Robin said...

Hope the vinegar works! I've had those days too, definitely.

So how does the concentrated garlic drive away mosquitoes? Do you have to spray it all over the yard? Does it make your yard smell of garlic? I love to be outside in the summer, but my son and I are both mosquito magnets.

4:31 PM  
Anonymous David said...


You don't actually use the garlic in its concentrate form, but dilute the heck out of it with water. Then, just spray on grass, trees, shrubs and anything else you want in our yard. Works like a charm for a few weeks. And, in its diluted state, the garlic smell outside doesn't last long.

1:36 AM  
Blogger steve said...

We work so long and hard on the good things and the bad things seem to happen so quickly...

From a Book called "Fishermans Luck"--->
"In angling, as in all other recreations into which excitement enters, we
have to be on our guard, so that we can at any moment throw a weight of
self-control into the scale against misfortune; and happily we can study
to some purpose, both to increase our pleasure in success and to lessen
our distress caused by what goes ill. It is not only in cases of great disasters,
however, that the angler needs self-control. He is perpetually
called upon to use it to withstand small exasperations."

11:00 AM  

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