Six years old

Yesterday was the sixth birthday of this website, and the day before that was the fifth anniversary of the day that I got fired for this website. I usually celebrate these events by opening up comments to talk about something specific, and I’ve been thinking about what topic I should choose for a few months now. Typically the topic has something to do with work or the environment around work, but this year I wanted to make it a little bit broader. So I went back to my inbox to see if there were any specific questions that people were frequently asking me about this website, and a few things jumped out at me. One, the email from the guy who asked me if I would like for him to suck my toes. Apparently, he more than anyone else could show me what a good foot sucking feels like. Internet, if you ever needed a reason to start your own website, look no further. You, too, could have some strange man offering to gag himself on your big toe.

Two, I get asked a lot about whether or not I had any idea when I started this thing that it would one day pay my mortgage. I’ll be honest here and say that I had no idea when I started this thing that it would last more than a month. I just didn’t take it very seriously in the beginning, didn’t think I needed to. Which is why there are all of those early entries that have no point whatsoever, entries that are very different than my writing today. Today my writing is very full of points and meaningful meaning. You just can’t see that part because it is invisible.

But then month after month I continued to update it, started to write a lot more about the personal side of my life, and then bam, my boss found it, found the many instances that I had referred to her as a giant thorn in my side and that one sentence where I had given her the nickname Her Wretchedness. The thing is, I know that I owe a lot of my success to losing that job, which is why I don’t regret anything. A lot of people ask me if I would ever go back and do anything differently, and I definitely wouldn’t because I try not to live my life that way. Yes, I have done a lot of stupid things in my life, writing about my boss with those words being one of them, but I try not to dwell on the thought that I should have lived my life differently. I’m too busy trying to get the thought of my foot in someone else’s mouth out of my head.

However, I do feel like I have been very wrong for not yet apologizing to that woman publicly, and do I ever owe her a huge apology. I know now that my frustrations had nothing to do with her personally, and that how I wrote about her was incredibly tacky. She had actually been a very gracious boss, had brought me into the company herself when she knew I was looking for a new job, had been an advocate of my design work to other executives in the company. What I wrote about her was just gross and clearly indicative that I had serious issues with myself. I do hope that she will one day forgive me and know that I could not be more sorry for hurting her.

Is there anything in my life that I wish I could go back and do differently? Yes. One thing. I wish had worn more sunscreen.

You?

  • alicat

    I used to think I regreted a lot: majoring in art history, working a full time job in college, not studying abroad, moving to Arizona after my then-boyfriend proposed (I turned him down)…

    But then I realized I feel into my career path during college and am a damn good HR person. I don’t like traveling anyway. My move to Arizona introduced me to my now husband with whom I have beautiful daughter- and we recently moved back to the DC area.

    Even if our plans don’t work out, they often lead us to a better place.

    “there are years that ask questions and years that answer.” zora neale hurston

  • karamia134

    I regret saving myself for so long, for the guy I was going to marry, only to have him end up falling head-first into his church, and then telling me that he doesn’t have enough room in his heart for both God AND a woman. (I mean WTF, really!?) I should have slept around when I was younger, so that now sex wouldn’t be such a big issue now.

    I love your site, doll, and I only wish I had found it years ago. Happy 6th! Keep up the awesome work!
    ~Kara

  • http://thebutterknife.blogspot.com Thebutterknife

    Beth-I once flashed a trucker on I-55. Oddly enough, I feel like that might have been one of the high points in my life. Although, I do regret throwing up on myself right afterwards.

    Maybe we are The Odd Numbered Interstate Flashing Sisters.

  • kristenk

    I wish I wouldn’t have wasted 5 years on my high school boyfriend during college. I missed out on a lot of fun because I tied myself to that cancerous relationship.

    I also regret that I was mean to the mentally disabled boy in my neighborhood as a child. It is at the top of my list of regrets. He did not deserve what I did to him and I will forever be ashamed that I had evil in my heart at such a young age.

    Thanks for the 6 years dooce.

  • http://www.lifeontheroof.blogspot.com JennL

    I would have travelled more when I was younger, and just had to carry a backpack, not a baby too. And I could think of 5346 better ways to loose my virginity than the way I did!

    Happy Blogoversary Heather! Hope I can say the same in a few years, your blog has certainly given me inspiration.

  • AmyB

    Ugh. I wish I could take back every ugly and mean thing I’ve said about other people, particularly about their parenting. You know? You reach a certain age and realize you actually don’t know everything, and that sometimes you’re actually wrong, and that we’re all doing the best we can.

  • http://www.straighttovideoscoop.com Beth

    I wish I never would’ve flashed that trucker on I-77.

  • http://www.sarahandthegoonsquad.com Sarah

    Yes, I wish I never started smoking.

    Happy birthday.

  • Thebutterknife

    I wish that I had looked for him sooner. Maybe then I would’ve found him before he got on that plane to Iraq and I would’ve been able to tell him how much I really loved him… and that I was sorry.

    Beyond that, I totally wish I’d gotten those fake boobs when I was 25. I think they would have made the last half of that decade of my life much more entertaining…if only for me.

  • Lolajb

    I regret:
    - dating and staying with and wasting my 20s with an abusive man because he was the first man to be interested in me and tell me he loved me
    - snapping at my parents who are so kind and giving
    - not telling AK that I loved him
    - feathering my hair … who cares that it was the 80s and it was “in”!?!?

  • Andrea-cat

    Despite having a major nervous breakdown before applying to vet school, I would have stuck with my plan to go to veterinary school because dammit, I’m a hell of lot better with animals than people. But at the same time, I should stop regretting almost every day that I went to law school instead. It is my decision and I cannot blame anyone else for it.

    I also regret not encouraging my husband to interview at the university in washington state because northeast winters SUCK!

    i do not regret my crazy wonderful marriage, my menagerie of critters, my decision to stay with my current law firm, our decision to wait to start a family until we are economically sound, and treating my great big lovable Irish Wolfhound’s cancer.

  • Spacecasie

    Oh yeah and Happy 6th Birfday dooce.com !

  • http://mytinykingdom.com Anne Glamore

    6 months after my mom died, my sisters and I discovered my dad had been having a 30 yr affair with a woman 5 years older than me (gross)– the woman who caused my parents to split up for a year in the mid-80s.

    They were sleeping together within days of my mom’s funeral.

    I wish the one day that I met her (Mother’s Day) I hadn’t been so stunned, and had told her how much she and my dad have hurt our family through the years with their selfish behavior.

    For now, I take some pleasure in knowing she has genital herpes, and I hope it burns.

  • srah

    *I’m too busy trying to get the thought of my foot in someone else’s mouth out of my head.*

    As opposed to your own mouth? :D

  • http://www.outsidevoice.net pammer

    This is like PostSecret without the arts and crafts.

    No significant regrets yet. The bigger fear is actually having them later.

  • Spacecasie

    I wish I would have worked out alot more when I was pregnant. I am quite the fatass now, and it seems the weight is harder to get off than when I was 19……although recreational cocaine use may have had something to do with it!

  • http://storiesforwomen.blogspot.com Momo

    I wish I could appreciated more my parents in my early years…

  • fachingnuts

    I wish I’d worried about what people thought of me less, and threw caution to the wind more. Meaning, I wish I did stuff 110% balls to the wall all the time. No shortcuts, no easy way out. Just live.

  • http://zahlaway.com Jon Z.

    I wore to my eighth-grade dance white shoes, white pants and a white shirt with a black-and-red silk tie, and a white fedora with a red band around it. I weighed about 85 pounds, most of which was comprised of my large head, upon which the large, white hat was perched. I have photos. They are monuments to regret.

    I was a slow learner; I wore the same outfit, minus the hat (thank god) to my first day of high school. A girl named Jodi placed a dollop of ketchup on her finger and pressed it into the middle of my back. I can’t say I blame her.

  • Esmter

    haha – I wouldn’t have majored in theatre in college either.

    I wish i’d taken more time to decide what i wanted to study. I knew for sure at the time that it wasn’t going to be one of the standard subjects covered in high school, but i didn’t have a clue what options were available.

    i regret that I didn’t take my Dad’s old Yashica when he offered it and major in photography.

  • http://thisthatmotherthing.blogspot.com/ AnitaBonita

    I wish I hadn’t fucked up the interview for the Moorehead Scholarship at UNC Chapel Hill. All I had to do was “express an opinion” and in my family, that was considered rude. I should have said whatever I thought whether it was “right” or “wrong.”

  • jugendstil

    Happy anniversary on the site. It’s great and one of the few sites I check obsessively at my boring office job.

    I regret all the poor decisions I made when I was coming to terms with my sexuality, the worst being the four years I spent in an unhealthy and damaging relationship. I sold myself short in a lot of ways, and it’s been hard to come to terms with that fact.

    That said, I don’t dwell on the regret. Yesterday is gone, and tomorrow is filled with possibilities. I have learned so much about myself and gained so much confidence in myself, if I could back in time and “fix” things, I don’t know if I would. I’d rather be older and wiser than have a chance to be young and stupid again.

  • http://blog.typealice.com typealice

    #1. I wouldn’t have slept with that one guy.
    #2. I would have worn more sunscreen in my days of living in Africa, the Caribbean and Mexico. Boy was I stupid not to.

  • http://mauzysmusings.blogspot.com/ Mauzy

    I would have saved 60K and not gone to law school, pursued my writing interests, and marry rich.

  • http://www.hootiepalooza.blogspot.com Skeezeroo

    If it wouldn’t change the lovely people in my life – my husband and daughter specifically – I would change the fact that I didn’t go to art school or med school, but instead just studied languages in college and got in & out as fast as I could. That was easy for me, and I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. Now I’m a really good tour guide in Europe.

    But a real regret? I regret at our wedding that we didn’t stay in town that night and go to the big-ass party all our friends threw. Instead, we had to catch a flight to Dallas and spend the night in a generic hotel, so that we could catch the red-eye to Colorado for our honeymoon. We were so poor, we couldn’t afford to take a normal flight the next day, and missed out on a terrific party. Oh, and we would have served alcohol. That always makes for a better wedding party. :-)

  • lurker

    I would have paid attention when my college friend-with-benefits told me that he loved me. And I sure as hell would have acted on that.

    Isn’t it interesting that so many of the comments are about stupid stuff that we did (or didn’t do) in college? I’d love to go back and do the last two years over again just so that I could appreciate the time.

  • PhillyOne

    I can relate to you because I am probably gonna lose my job over a blog I wrote recently. It sucks to be in this situation. I don’t know whether to regret what I wrote or to be relieved. I guess I won’t know how to feel for a long time. Love to read your page. You’re very clever.

  • http://talesfromthedadside.blogspot.com/ SciFi Dad

    Long time reader, first time commenter (I don’t know why it took me so long).

    I would never have signed up for the “enriched” program my parents put me in when I was ten. It alienated me from my peers and made life socially awkward until I left town for university.

  • dunderfunk

    I regret not staying in touch with a good friend of mine in Beaufort, SC: E. Ford.

    Now I can’t get in touch with him and I fear he may be dead.

    I also regret not leaving my previous job sooner, before it became a race to see if I would have a heart attack from anger and stress.

  • MsGonzo42

    I regret screwing over most of the people that I have screwed over.

    I regret bitching until my mom agreed not to chaperone our high school trip to Germany – I robbed her of a fantastic opportunity.

    I regret not spending more time with my dad before he died. He loved me so much & didn’t know how to show it. I loved him, too, and didn’t realize just how much I would miss him after he was gone.

    The one thing that is my biggest non-regret? Being the weird, geeky, bookworm girl in high school aka the “tarantula” girl because I had a giant spider as a pet.

    Thanks for letting me vent those – first time I’ve ever done so.

    And happy 6th b-day! Just recently discovered your blog & have been an avid reader ever since. May there be many, many more!

  • sue.g

    Congrats on the anniversay and from the sound of it HB as well.

    At 51 I am trying to live more in the moment instead of the past and fretting about the future. I’m just trying to be ‘present’.

    I regret not recognizing my marriage was bad and getting out sooner. I know that 51 is not old, but it seems an odd place to be dating, or in my case not dating. It just kills me,,,,,50 year old men do not date 50 year old women, they date 30 & 40 year old women. 70 year old men want to date me,,,,geez.

  • Meredia

    Augh! I am buried beneath so many other entries!

    One thing I wish I had done was get help for my depression much sooner. I realized something was wrong, but I kept putting off the help I needed for such a long time that it ruined many aspects of my life as well as the relationships in it. If I had done something about it sooner, I might also have spared myself a lot of pain as well.

    Part of why I love this web site so very much is because I read about your own struggles with depression, and I felt a sense of deep empathy with the struggles you went through. The humor as well has helped me through a lot of hard times. I have also cried for you out of sheer understanding of that sort of pain you suffered through.

    Six years ago you started on a path that would change your life, and it’s also changed mine.

  • http://therodebachers.blogspot.com Elle

    I had the chance to go to London for six months in my junior year and I didn’t do it because my boyfriend at the time didn’t want me to. He then decided sleeping with other people was what was in his best interest, so I spent that semester sad in Tempe instead of getting over him surrounded by sexy British accents. I still haven’t made it over there.

  • http://megancarty.blogspot.com megan Carty

    I regret not standing up for myself and kicking ass back when I got picked on in Junior High. I always wanted to be the “good girl” and not get into trouble. NO, I’m not happy I was the bigger person. I am NOT happy I remained the “nice one” and well liked later on. I would like to go back in a cool-looking time machine, wind up, and punch the queen bitch right in the face with the best right hook I could muster. I would then call her a few choice names and walk away with a deep satisfaction that justice was done. Then I would dream about puppies and cotton candy all night long. And I would NEVER regret that. Congrats on your bloggiversary. It’s neverending entertainment!

  • rose

    if i could do it over i would have let God choose the ‘timing’ of my having children, instead of hubby and me; they would have been born closer together and would have tighter bonds with each other.

  • http://nikki.northlander.org Nikki Jeske

    There’s nothing I really regret and I don’t know if I would change anything because I really like where I’m at now.

    But I wish my girlfriend and I had been honest from the beginning. And I wish we didn’t have to keep secrets from each other.

    I also wish that I had NOT bit that teacher in third grade. That still haunts me.

  • Just a trumpet player

    I wish I would have gotten a day job many years ago.

    I’ve been a strugling musician for 13 years and didn’t want to sell out and be one of “those” musicians. But you know what ? Having a day job made me realized that I really despise hands-me-down brown furniture, ratty clothes dropped by the neighbourgs and living in a house with 12 creepy roommates. Yes, I’ve become one of those industrial musicians. But I wouldn’t trade my custom-made jeans, my laundry room and my Starbucks prefered custumer card for anything in the world.

    Happy birthday Dooce !!

  • Cindy

    I got married too young to a man who eventually wanted to “spice up” the marriage by allowing others in, and I was too compliant to say “no”. It messed up my head and led to a marriage-ending affair and divorce after 15 years and 3 kids.

    BUT, I’ve been happily married to #2 for 10 years, so maybe it wasn’t so bad. And he doesn’t share.

  • kidsmom

    I should have been more willing to buck the system and risk “getting in trouble”.

  • Julia

    I wish I had gone to law school. I was very close but put it off to marry my husband. I think we would have married anyway. And I wish I’d had a third child. I had my tubes tied 10 minutes after delivering my second child. A nine month pregnant woman should not make that decision. And I regretted it the moment they started but I was “too polite” to interupt. I was stupid.

  • Scottysmum

    I wish I had had kids a bit younger when fertility was not an issue. I’m so blessed to have my 5 yr old, but I have been ttc for 4 yrs with two m/c at 12 weeks, one just last week. I am so sad, in my mission to have a second child. At 41, things just do not work the way they did.

  • KnitMongrel

    I wish I had never picked up that first cigarette. It is now 18 days since I quit, and they have been the hardest 18 days of my life. I feel like I just kicked out my best friend, and it makes me sad that my best friend was a smoke. I don’t regret a single other thing about my life (even being a mistress – what a wonderful rush), but I’d take back every cigarette if I could.

  • kmum

    Happy Birthday Dooce!
    My regret is half regret/half not. In a way I wish I had have started to have babies with my husband earlier than we did and then I might have had a chance to convince him to have two instead of one. On the other hand, I would not trade the baby I did have for the world. Then I regret having those thoughts because it makes me feel guilty and disloyal to my wonderful son.

  • MaggieMacLeod

    I would have gone to a state school and been kinder to my mother, who died when I was 20 and she was 52.
    I would have studied abroad in college.
    I would have punched that one guy in the neck when he asked the morning after I lost my virginity to him if I “didn’t think two people were able to do IT with no strings attached and without loving each other?” Not that I didn’t like the sex part. I just wanted to do it with someone who actually cared about me and not just himself.

  • http://www.2passthetorch.com KellyC

    Happy Birthday Dooce!

    I wish I had traveled abroad for six months after college.

    And worn more sunscreen. I tend to grow basil skin cancer too.

  • http://www.golden-state.blogspot.com miss kendra

    i wish i had saved more money from my waitressing days. i was rich back then- and it was all cash, untaxed.

    le sigh.

  • Tolovemoon

    Oh yeah, I would change quite a few things.
    To name a few, I would have believed in myself more and stop listening to what my mother’s opinion was when all along it was my life decisions not hers to what I wanted to do as far as a career or education.
    I really wish I would have realized how much of a pathological liar she was or that I couldn’t trust her because she would tell everyone I knew bad things about me and my family as well as tell everyone my dad died when he is very much alive.
    This may become boring or long so I will leave only after I add this, even though I may have trusted my mother at one time, I obeyed her every command, I did almost everything she asked of me up until I was about 25 years old, she can’t bring me down or mentally and physically abuse me ever again. She will never control my thinking or make me become something I don’t ever want to be.
    I feel better now..
    OK..Now can I end with this?
    Happy 6th Birthday to Dooce’s website! Thank you Heather for all the laughter and for sharing you true self to the world.
    I have learned a lot of new things from reading things you have wrote and I hope you will carry on even when you are a old granny sitting in a rocker waving a cane in the air to scare everyone away, scratching your butt, picking your nose, waiting for poop or farts, dressing up your dog making him do tricks for us, taking pictures with the most coolest technology, you will even be cracking wise jokes about the stupid comments I leave as well as wishing I could study enough English so I would finally write better without so may long run on sentences…. :) Cool site, keep it up, and give Chuck a extra pat on his head for all the cool poses hes done every now and then…
    Peace!

  • paula

    i reread my comment. when I said ‘it’s not as if you wrote it with the intention of her reading it’, by ‘it’, i meant the original post that got you in trouble.

    I regret not having better grammar and puntuation skills.

  • bird

    I would have not talked back to my mom as much as I did. Some of it was normal adolescent mother/daughter stuff, and some of it I just plain regret. My mom died four years ago, the day before my 31st birthday, and now with young children of my own, my loss is that much deeper.

  • noodlestein

    I think what I regret the most is taking life so friggin’ seriously for so long. Every mean comment slid right through my ribs and into my heart. Every problem was a disaster, and every obstacle insurmountable. My insecurity led me to a lot of pain, and I wish I could have seen my strengths a lot sooner. I wouldn’t have really done anything differently, per se, but I wish somebody had given me a smack in the mouth and told me to quit being so whiny! Heh.

    Happy Anniversary, Dooce; your posts brighten my everyday life.