All bad decisions have consequences and sometimes those consequences are realized immediately. For instance, I decided to come home during my lunch hour yesterday to take a nap, but I had forgotten that our landlady had hired someone to paint the upstairs hall that afternoon. I was irritated when I saw the painting van but still determined to take a nap so I went upstairs, said hello to the strange, elderly man and headed to my room. I thought he was leaving and I didn't want to wrinkle my slacks, so I stripped down to nap in my underwear. Bad decision. I didn't close my bedroom door all the way because I thought elderly, Asian man had left. Another bad decision. You can see where this is going. Mid-nap, I was awakened to creepy old man's voice calling down the hallway that he was bringing me his business card. "DON'T COME IN!!!" I yelled, just barely avoiding a very awkward, very vulnerable moment. Clearly, some bad decisions have immediate consequences.
But then there are other bad decisions in which the consequences are not felt until much later. On Thursday, three of my past bad decisions came back to haunt me. In fact, they made for the longest, most painful 30 minute walk I've ever been on.
Bad Decision #1- A few months ago I bought the following UGG sandals:
I'll be honest, I bought them because of the name brand and because I found them for 30 bucks when they usually cost 70. I realize the tiny fluff of fur on the heel is completely unnecessary, inane really, since if fur on your shoes is needed, you probably shouldn't be wearing flip flops. But I love the color teal and I love finding a good deal. Plus, sometimes I try to look cool and I thought these shoes would help in that endeavor. When I bought them, I told my friend Megan about them. She said, "Oh Katie, keep the tags on those and return them. I bought some and they are terribly uncomfortable and not worth it." If only I had listened to her.
Bad Decision# 2- On Monday, I was overly aggressive in practice. This decision has become a very costly one which my bank account and body will be paying for for the next month. We were scrimmaging and I was guarding our best player and was roughing her up a bit because she needs to get stronger. But then I went and dove for the ball and full on tackled her. She is no rag doll and shoved back. But while she walked away with a small gym burn, I pinched a nerve in my back and now have crippling pain shooting from my lower back to my toes. I typically solve the problem of pain by ignoring it but I was literally collapsing to the floor when I would step wrong so I made an appointment with a chiropractor.
Bad Decision#3- All week I was busy and tired and procrastinated. I kept putting off something that I will never put off again: getting gas. The light went on and I made the decision 4 days in a row that, "Oh, I'll get gas later." By Thursday, the light had been on all week.
Thursday afternoon was to be the culmination of my bad decisions. I finished practice and could hardly walk from the pain but was not too concerned because I had a chiropractor's appointment. As I left school I said to myself, "you should probably get gas right now." But I didn't want to have stand beside my car for 3 minutes so I put it off again. Once home, I changed into dry clothes and looked in my closet at my shoe selection. I picked up my running shoes but decided it would be too much of a hassle to put on socks that I'd have to wash later. So I put down my comfortable running shoes and picked up the teal UGGs pictured above. I had completely forgotten about them until this moment. Here was my thought process:
"Crap. Megan was right. It's been months and I still haven't worn these shoes. There really isn't ever an appropriate occasion for furry flip flops. I think I'll prove her wrong, though, and wear them today. She said they weren't comfortable but I only have to walk from the parking lot to the chiropractor's office so I'm golden. Plus, I got a pedicure last week and no one has seen my painted toes yet except my cat. I can't let these cute toes go to waste."
So I put on the UGGs. Bad decision. I drove to the chiropractor's office and about a half mile from the office, all my bad decisions caught up with me. I ran out of gas. I was in the left turn lane and my sweet, reliable, crayon-scented Jetta went kaput. I sighed, groaned, reprimanded myself and then put on my hazards and signaled to the cars behind me to go around. I sat in the middle of the road completely stuck. Here was my thought process:
"Crap. How do I get people to help me move my car? Should I stand outside my car and look confused? I wish I had worn cuter clothes. Maybe if I just keep trying to start my car, it will miraculously start again."
So I tried about 12 more times and then reached for my phone to solicit help from my roommate. Right at that moment, though, a man's face appeared in my open window. I'm not going to lie. I thought I was getting car-jacked. He was wearing a Raiders hat that covered his eyes and his sagging pants were held up by a spiked belt. Not your typical "good Samaritan." I hadn't seen him coming but suddenly, there he was with his hoodlum friend, both of whom I probably would have avoided in a dark alley, and they were pushing me to the side. I was immensely grateful and hoped he hadn't noticed my initial look of fear.
This was the time I really began to regret buying those stupid, furry flip flops. Megan was right. They are terribly uncomfortable. So much so that after about a minute, I took them off and walked, I mean limped, the rest of the half mile to the office in my bare feet. After getting adjusted, I walked to a gas station not too far away and bought a gallon of gas. However, I asked the man working to show me how to use it. Apparently, he was as clueless as I because he managed to break the lid.
While I trudged back to my car, I could only laugh at myself and how I was now paying for all my bad decisions. I was grimacing from the shooting pain in my back and left butt cheek and from the cramping in my left foot and toes as well as the pain in my right arm which I had to use to carry shoes, purse, and gas since my left side was crippled. I found myself saying aloud, "owie, owie, owie" as I slowly plodded along and all the while, gasoline was sporadically splashing all over my bare feet. At one point I passed an elderly Mexican man who clearly had lived a hard life. He looked at me, shook his head, and said, "I'm so sorry." I laughed. I won lots of pity from strangers that day but I actually didn't deserve it. I had made poor decisions and they had come back to bite me in the butt, or the back, or the feet. Whatever.
I hope I remember myself on this walk the next time I find myself at a crossroads. The next time I'm deciding to procrastinate or make a purchase and can't foresee any consequences, I hope I envision my pathetic self on that walk.
The next time I'm deciding whether or not to spend the time reading the Word or put it off one more day, I hope I remember that poor daily decisions can have long-term consequences.
The next time I'm conflicted about whether or not I should hold my tongue or get a laugh from people and slander someone, I hope I remember that all bad decisions have bad consequences.
The next time I'm debating whether I should listen to my conscience or ignore it, I hope I see myself barefoot and in pain and remember that the consequences of bad decisions might be long in coming, but they will most certainly come and wreak all sorts of havoc.