There's something delicious in those four words: I'm wrong, wrong, wrong. Humility. Truthfulness. Acceptance.
It took me three "wrong's" because that's how many times I can recall being wrong recently. Actually, I'm sure the number is much more.
Like most people, I much prefer being right than wrong. So I tend to focus on experiences that affirm the correctness of my view of the world, and put out of mind the oops moments.
Still, sometimes even I can't ignore how amazingly wrong I can be. And how confident I am that I'm right until the curtain rises on the fantastic drama, My Error.
Last Monday I rushed into my Tai Chi class, customarily late, and sat down to hurriedly put on my lightweight shoes.
What the ____? The cozy confines of my Tai Chi shoe world had shattered. I had two different shoes – two sizes, two brands.
My brain struggled to figure out what had happened.
Then I remembered that in the previous class we'd talked about types of Tai Chi shoes. A woman had said that she liked her shoes. They were black with a silver "Turf" on the tongue, just like the smallish shoe that I was mysteriously holding.
It all became clear.
We must have taken off our shoes after class and put them next to each other. Then one of us had grabbed two shoes without looking and went home with them. She had one shoe of mine, and I had one of hers.
I spent a good share of the Tai Chi class pondering this. I wondered if she would remember to bring my shoe with her on Thursday, the only day she comes to class. I pictured her being as surprised to find a mismatched pair as I was. I visualized where we'd been sitting to accomplish the mix-up.
Except…when I got home a little "you're wrong" bell started ringing in my mind. It kept getting louder, drawing me to look on top of the box in my closet where I keep my Tai Chi shoes.
And there, tucked behind some clothes, barely visible, was another "Turf" shoe. I'd forgotten that I'd gotten a pair, just like the woman's, a couple of years ago. They were a bit too small, so I didn't wear them much, preferring the Tiger Claw shoes.
I'd mindlessly picked up one of each shoe somehow and mindlessly never noticed until I'd sat down to put them on. So here's one wrong.
Onto the next wrongs.
Two days later I installed some backup software for an external hard drive on my new Lenovo notebook computer. The installation and first backup seemed to go fine. But I decided to click on the "Computer" button in Vista to see if anything had changed on the Lenovo Y510.
What the ____? The cozy confines of my laptop world had shattered. Now there were two hard drives on the Lenovo, a small 29 GB "C" drive and a large 188 GB logical "D" drive/partition with nothing in it.
I got anxious. Years ago I'd had a problem with an earlier version of the same backup software. It has screwed things up on the computer I was trying to protect, paradoxically. I searched the Internet for mention of my current problem. Couldn't find anything.
I still fretted, though, until I could phone Lenovo tech support. Who told me, "That's the way the hard drive is supposed to be." Relief. I hadn't paid attention to the drive layout before, the computer being new and little used.
Once again I'd jumped to conclusions, figuring that I knew the cause of a problem. Once again I was wrong. In this case, there wasn't even much of a problem (I still want to get rid of the "D" partition, but not because there's anything horribly wrong).
Finally, last night we sat down for some TV watching. I grabbed the remote control, because that's my manly sacred right. The DISH satellite receiver turned on fine. The TV didn't.
What the ____? The cozy confines of my television world had shattered.
Blank screen. Just sound. At first I thought this would be easy to fix. A video cable connection must have loosened up when something got moved.
I re-plugged in everything that makes a picture on the TV. Still blank. I played a DVD. TV was fine. I reasoned the problem must be with the DISH receiver. I reset it. And reset it again.
I found some different "RCA" cables and substituted them for the possibly malfunctioning cables. I plugged them directly into the television, rather than going through a possibly malfunctioning selector box (to switch between a DVD player and DISH network).
Screen was still blank.
I was convinced the receiver had gone bad. I lamented the likely loss of all the recorded programs we had stored on it. The Lost episodes! The ballroom dance championship episodes! All those Stephen Colbert and Daily Show episodes we hadn't watched!
I started going through the stages of digital video recorder death. Anger. Despair. Sadness. I was nowhere near acceptance.
I dug out the DISH receiver manual and started going through it for clues to what had gone wrong with their piece of shit equipment that had turned my TV watching world upside down.
And came to a mention of the S-Video input and output. Which set off another "you're wrong" ringing in my psyche.
Because I'd noticed an unattached cable lying behind the TV set amid the spaghetti-like maze of other cables that, miraculously, allows our myriad electronic gadgets to communicate with each other.
Most of the time.
But somehow the S-Video input had gotten detached from the selector box. So even though a S-Video cable was coming out of the satellite receiver, and a S-Video cable was going into the TV set, a crucial missing link was unhooked, something I'd failed to notice.
Hooking the cable back up, all was well. Except I'd missed an hour of television viewing in my life that can never be recovered. Rebirth awaits to assuage that regret.
So that's my three "I'm wrong's." Three opportunities to reflect on how I can be equally sure I'm right about much bigger things in life.
Such as the meaning, or lack thereof, of it. If I can be wrong about little things, I can be wrong about big things. We all can.
A good thing to keep in mind when certainty rules the mental roost.