Regrets, I Have a Few

By Randy Fitzgerald | December 15th, 2014

Columnist Randy Fitzgerald confesses to one BIG holiday mistake.

When the extended family gets together at Thanksgiving, we always go around the dinner table and each of us reviews what we’re thankful for each year. I always have a pretty big list – you do once you get north of 65 and are still ambulatory!

“Lots of thanks and few regrets,” Barb said recently about 2014, anticipating the annual dinner, which started us sharing some little things that might have gone better.


I mentioned that I seemed to be losing my famous comeback powers, citing something that occurred near the end of summer when I stopped at a West End grocery store to stock up on my favorite fat-free chocolate yogurt. Because that particular store is one of the few to carry it, and because I live on the other side of town, I ordered four pints at once and asked the clerk to pack it down good for me. “Is that for here or to go?” she asked.

I weigh about 155 pounds. Did I look like someone who could down four pints of chocolate yogurt in a sitting? After a stunned moment I managed to say, “To go.” But then, while I was still thinking about a comeback to the first insult, she handed me my four pints and said, “Do you want a spoon with that?”

Now you’d think someone who has written over a thousand columns and delivered hundreds of speeches would never be at a loss for words. But it wasn’t until I was getting into the car that I said, aloud and to no one, “Just give me four straws and I’ll suck it down on the way home.”


Barb shared her regret about “making a scene” on Facebook back in August. “That wasn’t very gracious of me,” she said. Her posting had shower guests calling from all over the state saying, “It wasn’t me.” (I didn’t share that I had secretly enjoyed all the protestations and speculation.)

Here’s the story. On the hottest day in August, Barb and my sister threw a bridal shower for our niece Tiffany. In the wee hours of the morning after, Barb posted the following notice on Facebook (I’ve toned it down a bit):

It’s 2 a.m., and I just woke up thinking maybe I’d died and gone to hell. The house was so hot I was sweating from head to toe. After a change of pajamas, I went downstairs to find that one of the guests at our afternoon bridal shower had apparently decided the house was too cold for her and thought to turn the air conditioning thermostat up a bit. But instead of changing the air conditioning thermostat (which is always set at 78), she changed the furnace thermostat (from its summer turned-off setting of 60). When I just went down to find the problem, both were set on 78 – which means the heat and the air conditioning have been battling each other for dominance for over 10 hours. At some point during the time we slept, the heat won out and took over the house. This was a serious fire hazard since I had party decorations (tissue and crepe paper) on some of the radiators, along with stacks of books and various flammable things on others, now all fiery hot to the touch. I tend to use the radiators as table surfaces in the summer. So I had to clear off nine hot radiators before sitting down to write this — and take a cold shower to boot. Randy has never awakened. Aren’t men amazing?


Yes, we are, my dear wife. And now, from the safety of five months’ distance, I confess that it was not a shower guest who almost burned down the house. It was your loving husband, having momentarily forgotten which thermostat was which — and no doubt overcome at having all those beautiful women in the house at once. Either that or the darn male jerk gene has kicked in again.

I hope I don’t regret this confession.

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