An expensive trip to the neighborhood coffee shop and some analysis

I’m going to try to type this up really fast, so that I can enjoy the rest of my evening, hopefully as planned and without event. Jack said, “And now you can blog about it.” And so I will.

I decided that I would have a productive Sunday afternoon in the studio. I would do my calendar for the week, do lesson planning and research for piano students, and be a very, very good girl and have a great session or two of practicing cello. Then I decided that what would be really cool is to go to the coffee shop on the next block and get a refreshing beverage and a snack. It would be like the old days of my singlehood when I would patronize a breakfast vendor on my way into work. So I prepared a few things and decided to go light to the shop and just put the few necessaries into my pockets and head out. Upon my return, just as I’m reaching the studio door, I think, ‘where are my keys? surely they’re in my pocket.’ But, alas, no, they’re not. They are inside the studio.

Remember that part about kind of reminiscing about single days? Well, I’m single today because Jack and James are out of town. And the landlord is also out of town. I’m able to communicate with Jack because, although I left without keys, I did have my phone with me. He calls a locksmith. The locksmith (who turns out to be the father-in-law of the friend who ends up rescuing me) is unsuccessful. So I text a few friends (again, thankfully I have my phone, but it would have been nice if the phone and keys were reversed — but that’s in my brief analysis below) and track down the lovely Christina, who comes to my rescue, giving me a place to be inside. The landlord, who was expected back in town by 6 (this we know because Jack had contacted him) actually gets back by 4. It turns out that his key won’t work for the studio. He is able to get our apartment door open, and I retrieve a second copy of the studio key, which also will not work. What is up with that! I just had used a key to get in 4 hours ago. So the landlord calls the locksmith back. He tries his little tools again. No luck. They decide the lock has to be replaced. So with 30 minutes until closing time, the landlord goes to ACE.  Lock is replaced successfully.

As much as I didn’t want to, I did my work and practiced cello a bit, and even went on a planned Walmart trip. And now here I sit safe and (too) warm in my apartment, getting near the time that I didn’t want to be typing this post anymore.

Now, about that expensive trip to the coffee shop. I’ve recently been reading “The Undoing Project”, in which the working relationship of two psychologists who won a Nobel Prize in Economics for their studies in judgment and decision-making is discussed. At about 50 pages from the end, I finally came upon the use of “the undoing project”. Throughout the book, the author has gone over their work in how people make choices (one of particular interest to me was how the anticipation of regret influences decisions), but this “undoing” is about what our mind does after the fact, after a negative consequences of a choice, or a tragic accident or death. It is the “if only…” Although we cannot change the results, the mind wants to imagine scenarios that could have prevented this embarrassing, irritating or painful event. But interestingly, there are limits.

So I found myself this afternoon living all those “undoing” things that I had just been reading about. Feeling frustrated with my afternoon lost and anticipating the cost to my pocketbook,  I ran through all the “it could be worse”, “at least I had my phone”, “I do have some friends to call”. And I did a few “if only”s. And I realized that I was in the middle of that book. Isn’t it something that the mind insists on doing that? Maybe some of it is helpful in helping you not do that again, but am I really not going to plan to go to the studio when Jack is out of town? (hard to teach lessons that way); am I really never going to go to the coffee shop again? really never going to decide to walk the block with a light load? Now, I will hopefully check my pockets for keys, maybe think keys before phone. That’s the good thing about an “ordeal” (yes, I know, it could be far, far worse) like this; it is memorable.

Regardless of how much I reason and look on the positive side —if the lock was broken, me locking my keys in helped us discover that in a time better than a worse time to discover that, and definitely the comfort of having friends nearby and available, the security I felt at seeing how hard it was for a professional to break into our studio  — I’m pretty confident that my mind will always associate this day with my decision to go get coffee and that raspberry bar. Good thing they were both really good. They sure were expensive.

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