“OOOPS! I’VE SAID IT AGAIN!”

By MICHAEL WRIGHT

C’mon, admit it! You’ve said it. We’ve all said it: “If I had it to do all over again, I’d _______(fill in the blank).”

Think about it. What would you change if you had another chance?

Okay , I’ll start first.

If I had it to do all over again, I’d either take dancing lessons in my teens, or get some of the ‘cool cats’ to show me how. Then I would have been ‘cool’ too, and, I could have saved some of the girls from having to dance together because we guys were all standing around on the perimeter talking about cars and music.

If I had it to do all over again, I’d take history classes more seriously. I’d conquer the boredom, memorize dates, learn how it repeats itself and how we never learn from it and probably never will.

If I had it to do all over again, I’d be more conscious of “Dorothy R.” and other beautiful, cheerleader-caliber girls who were sweet on me — only I was too naïve to realize it. Big dummy!

If I had it to do all over again, I would have forced myself to understand trigonometry and get a passing grade. “That’s okay,” I rationalized back then. “When am I ever going to have any use for trig?” In 1964, I became part of a survey crew as a “rodman.”

If I wanted to advance to “instrument man,” I’d have to become adept at using a slide rule and know trigonometry.

I remained a “rodman” until I left that job.

If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn’t be the class clown, making cat noises during Spanish class. I took it for two years, failing a semester each year, and thus not getting credit for any. “That’s okay,” I said. “I’ll never need it. I’ll never live where Spanish is spoken.” In 1962, I arrived in Tampa, a town whose Cuban population is rivaled only by that of Miami, and….possibly Cuba.

Actually, if I had it to do all over again, I’d probably do it the very same way, because had I done it any differently, I wouldn’t be where I am today — here with the love of my life at a place I call “So Very Happy.”

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