Monday, 20 September 2010

On Regret and High Society

I've posted before on this blog about 'regrets' and the song 'My Way' by Sinatra. I was rewatching High Society* (Grace Kelly - so very beautiful) last week which of course stars the great Frank. There are some lovely scenes between them where they are both drunk and being all flirty and silly. Of course she's engaged to someone else and this is the night before her wedding, plus her ex-husband (Bing Crosby) is hanging about. Really, it's pretty scandalous stuff. And then in the morning she's trying to piece back together what happened the previous night and is all jumpy because she cannot remember what she did with who (of course she didn't actually do anything naughty because this is a family film).
The song doesn't appear in that film, but it reminded me of it. Especially this bit:

Regrets? I've had a few,
But then again, too few to mention.
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption.

I planned each charted course -
Each careful step along the byway,
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way.

Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew,
When I bit off more than I could chew,
But through it all, when there was doubt,
I ate it up and spit it out.
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it my way.

I've loved, I've laughed and cried,
I've had my fill - my share of losing.
But now, as tears subside,
I find it all so amusing.

To think I did all that,
And may I say, not in a shy way -
Oh no. Oh no, not me.
I did it my way.

I've been thinking a lot about regrets and whether it is better to regret doing something or to regret not having tried to do something. I've also posted about channelling your inner-17-year-old and I think the two things are connected. My mother was telling me how she wanted to go swimming locally but last time she and my step-dad went they were repeatedly told off by the guard. And to put this in context let me tell you that my mother is quite like Mrs Tiggywinkle.
Me: "What were you doing?"
She: "Well Robbie and I were pretending to be sharks and then I was being a dolphin, and I would leap out of the water like a dolphin and Robbie would catch me."
Me: "Ah"
She: "Yes, they kept saying we just had to swim up and down in the lanes. So we left and haven't been back."
I told this story to my colleagues, and my Director remarked it explained a lot about me. Which is fair comment, since, like my mother, I have always been in the camp of being more likely to regret doing something, than to regret not doing something. Because at least then you know what happened, rather than being in a permanent state of "What if..." In fact...."To think I did all that, And may I say, not in a shy way" could just about sum it up.

So to finish, an example of how this translates into knitting.
This has been variously referred to, but the name I like best is 'malformed buttocks'. It is a bag out of the A Second Treasury of Magical Knitting and is the "Mobius Fanny Basket" which says it all really. It came about because I was very keen on felting at the time, wanted to try the mobius knitting style, and didn't read the instructions properly. So while I am glad I did it (and I later did a cat basket that did work much better), I regret wasting my time on something so freaking ugly and useless. But if I hadn't I'd be wondering what it would have looked like and have convinved myself it would have made my life better in some way.

But really - isn't that the most regrettable knitting object you've ever seen?

*A word of warning - if you google 'High Society' and look at 'images' be aware that it is also the title of a porn magazine. I'm just saying is all. 


Ms C @ HappyElastic said...

The story about your mum being a dolphin really made me smile. She sounds ace! And that and the malformed buttock bag, well you've just about made my morning.

As for regrets I have so, so many that if I think of one then it starts a whole tidal wave (with dolphins!) of 'what if's and I end up miserable as sin. So I live in denial!


Wibbo said...

I love the swimming story; did make me laugh! Have you given "The Philadelphia Story" a whirl yet? It's the 1940 non-musical original of "High Society" - Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart - and even more witty :o)

Unknown said...

That really is the most unfortunate bag . . . ;-)

Ynot said...

I also highly recommend The Philadelphia Story. One of my all time favorite movies.

And I really like the cut of your jib!

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