“Oh Paris, you should’a known better”
This line from the musical Paris, written by John English, has been in my head since I saw the show about a month ago.
Partly because of the music, it’s a punchy number.
Partly because of the performance, she was a minxy rock’n’roll woman.
Partly because of “should’a”.
Being raised catholic, spending 15 years at church every weekend and eight years at catholic school, I know about guilt. As a lapsed catholic, guilt is supposed to be a big problem.
Happily I managed not to pick up too much guilt, I gave it up for Lent when I was about 15.
Being raised in a family with an optimistic-to-a-fault father, watching my mother manage the fallout of his whims and the schemes and plans that never turned out the way he imagined, has left me with a penchant for regret.
Could’a. Should’a. Would’a.
I could have dated, married young and had kids instead of deliberately staying single until starting my only long term relationship 10 years ago.
I should have gone to university straight out of high school 20 years ago, instead of spending five years completing a Diploma and Bachelors Degree, graduating two years ago.
I would have been happy if I’d done these things, and so many others.
Except I didn’t do those things and so many others.
Even if I did, there would be no way to know what the consequences of all of the things I could/should/would have done would be and what state my life would be in now.
Last year I asked a doctor if the disease in my lungs was caused by smoking years ago because I would feel so guilty if I’d done that to myself. He assured me neither the smoking, nor the guilt were the cause of the disease.