Sunday, June 21, 2009


Stephanie McIntosh made a single named ‘Mistake’ which was released in her debut album Tightrope in July, 2006. The theme words are, “I don’t want to make another mistake like you.” The lyrics tell of a girl’s regret for rushing too fast into a relationship and the stifling affect it brought about. She didn’t want to be alone again, but she was stone cold and hurt inside. She doubted she could find real love without being ‘stung’ again and seemed prepared to live within the relationship because of being lonely. That’s a sad tale - all because of a mistake.
Mistakes can be costly to those who make them and to others who are affected by them. In hindsight we can look back and admit we have made errors that have cost us dearly, perhaps financially or in wasted effort and time. Mistakes can come about through carelessness, miscalculation or incorrect interpretation of the facts; they can even come about through lack of forethought or ignorance. There’s a right way and a wrong way to achieve an objective or to effect a solution, and failure to do it correctly is a mistake.
Those who make the least mistakes are the most effective in doing what they set out to do.
I was led to ponder this subject of ‘mistakes’ when I was on my way in the car to my daughter’s place with the purpose of letting the cats out of her house before they may foul her kitchen. She has two cats that are getting on in terms of cat’s age and in her absence while she is away on holiday she asked my wife if she would let her cats out in the morning and her friend would usher them in at night and feed them at the same time. Well, my wife can’t drive, therefore I became involved in the exercise of releasing the cats before they could foul the kitchen with their what’s-its. This particular morning I had almost driven half the way to her house, when I realized I did not have her front door key! That was a big mistake, because I had not thought the matter through. I duly returned home to obtain the key before setting off again on the 10 mile journey. On my arrival at my daughter’s place I found the cats looking rather sheepish; odd I thought, cats looking like sheep. Well, there it was: two large dollops of watery, brownish stuff that smelt vile. I quickly opened the back door and the animals scuttled into the garden, whereupon I equally speedily opened the kitchen windows.
How could I remove all trace of the offending matter? A search of the house and the garden revealed a large quantity of tissue paper that had been used for packaging, a plastic bag and in the garage I found a garden hoe. With care, not wanting to make another mistake, I set about scooping up the brown stuff, but I had failed to realize the handle of the hoe was longer than I had assumed, and as I tried to lift the gubbins into the plastic bag, the end of the handle came into contact with the wall which caused me to drop the smelly stuff onto the floor in a different place! In my effort to avoid that happening I moved the hoe forward and it came into contact with the bottom of the sink cabinet, where a blotch adhered to the oiled wood. Eventually, I had everything cleaned and gleaming bright by using some patent floor cleaner I discovered under the sink. After feeding the cats and leaving them outside I returned home with no further mishaps.
The completion of the mission left me thinking about the cost of mistakes. If only I didn’t make them, how much more rosy things would be, but that’s not life, because we are all fallible; none of us are perfect. If only we would learn from our mistakes, that would be a blessing. You won’t believe it, or would you? I made the same mistake of not taking the key which is kept in my wife’s handbag. The moral of the story, is not to make the mistake a third time, and better still, get a new key cut to keep on my key ring so that the error will never occur again.
Addendum – It would be impossible not to take the key when it is attached to the ring on which the car key is kept. Boy, am I learning!

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