I am the Queen of Hindsight. Not many people know that, but I am. Anywhere from 5 minutes to 24 hours after something happens I know exactly the right way to respond. At least I think I do, usually I make it worse. So this self-bestowed title also has a smidge of irony, duh. I know, I didn’t take any classes, I was born with this ability.
For example, about 11 years ago, very early in my career, there was this woman that I loved to work with. She was an informal mentor and also someone I reported to; we had a great relationship. We talked about family, we talked about work, she was what I wanted to be when I grew up. She moved to another nearby city so we didn’t work together very often, but every few months we met for lunch or saw each other at work. She told me she was pregnant. Very excited for her! I saw her at 9 months pregnant and she looked wonderful. Very happy, glowing, all the good things. What I said though, was, “you’re huge!”
Well, she was 9 months pregnant and her boobs were ginormous so she was, but that wasn’t very nice was it? It just came out. I wished I could suck it back in but I couldn’t. We laughed it off, I think, but I felt horrible. She really did look great, and I told her so, but the other comment was still out there.
So what in all my wisdom did I do the next morning? Queen of Hindsight kicks in and says to call her. I was standing at the bus stop and decided to call her to not just apologize, but explain. If I remember right, the message I left was something along the lines of, “Good to see you… looked great… I was talking about your boobs when I said you’re huge…” and the line cut off. Now, normal people would leave it there right? No, not I. I called back again, tried to explain and got cut off (bad reception and crap phones) and called a third time. I was an idiot.
Move on. But no. Not that time. To this day it was one of the last times I saw her and I feel horrible about it. She is an awesome person and I was too immature and stupid to act like a grown up.