Regrets… I’ve Had a Few. Haven’t We All?


You know the line, “Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention….”

As I move on in life, I understand the sentiment.  I’m pretty much where I want to be (with the exception of a yet to be received multi-million dollar publishing contract, but I’m not dead yet).  And, while I do have some regrets, they aren’t many.  That said, some things I’d change are rather glaring, especially if someone happened to record them in photographs.

Case in point: my (read: my mother’s) experiments with home perms.  I have my mother to thank, or rather, blame, for this, as my pin straight hair inspired her to try and give me little girl’s curls when I was in grade school.  My mother is not now, nor ever has been, a vain woman, unlike me, who puts on mascara for a morning run.

Yet, my thin, straggly hair was clearly too much for her to bear, and I was subjected to home perms on a fairly regular basis.  Regrettably, I thought I looked good, and I continued this misadventure far too long — as in, into my 20’s.  I was actually recently told by a former boyfriend that it wasn’t a good look for me.  I’d have told him to go to hell, but he was right.

So here, in its unfiltered glory, is my list of regrets.

Home Perms — I looked like a poodle.  In my youth, a toy poodle, and then the standard size, as I continued the unfortunate choice into my later years.  This may explain my complete aversion to poodles.

Oversized Glasses — I looked like a giant bug.

Small Wire Glasses — I looked like an adolescent, wanna-be hippie with bad skin.

The Preppy Look — Who ever told women they looked good in khakis and a button-down, complemented by a pair of brown docksiders?  The bow tied around my neck did not soften the effect.  I looked like a man…with a poodle on my head.

Stirrup Pants — I never, now, or ever, rode horses.  Nor was I aspiring to look like M.C. Hammer, although I did… with a poodle on my head.  (Really, though, that song still holds up.  See below.)

The ‘70’s — Polyester.  ‘Nuf said.

The ‘80’s Shoulder pads.  ‘Nuf said.

I also regret my country home decorating phase, where my house contained more chickens than an Amish barnyard, and the subsequent Victorian decorating phase, which surrounded me with enough oppressive, dark wallpaper (wallpaper!) and tchotchkes to put a moldy English inn to shame.


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Mary Fran Bontempo
Mary Fran Bontempohttps://maryfranbontempo.com/
Mary Fran Bontempo is an award-winning 2-time TEDx speaker, author, humorist, and media host who teaches audiences to uncover their Brilliance and Resilience 15 minutes at a time. A sought-after presenter for corporate and association events, Mary Fran is author of The 15 Minute Master, Brilliantly Resilient, and The Woman’s Book of Dirty Words and co-founder of the Brilliantly Resilient programs and media. Mary Fran proves small changes can create life-altering transformations, allowing individuals to be positive and successful in a rapidly changing world. A Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, and Thrive Global contributor and columnist for numerous websites, Mary Fran created a life-affirming brand of wisdom and wit after meeting the challenge of her son’s heroin addiction. A frequent media guest and speaker, audiences of all ages delight in her empowering and entertaining message. Find her at www.maryfranbontempo.com and www.brilliantlyresilient.net.


  1. I realize that your list of regrets is probably in the vein of humor and not your real list. However, I do note that most of them have to do with personal appearance. Do you think that women are more obsessed with personal appearance issues than men and if so why?

    I have no regrets even though not everything worked out as I may have intended. The key to having no regrets, in my opinion, is a simple question of: If you had it to do over, knowing only what you knew at the time, would you make the same decision? If so then you can’t consider it a regret. Works for me.