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The Slippery Slope of What If

What if I was better with a blow dryer?
What if I was more willing to wear high heels?
What if I hadn’t moved to San Francisco in my twenties?
What if my hobby wasn’t ballet?
What if I would’ve settled?
What if I cared less about my work?
What if I cared more for “beach reads”?
What if I didn’t want my opinion heard?

What are your what ifs?

Image: Ed Ruscha



19 comments for “The Slippery Slope of What If”

  1. Rosanne says:

    what if I could accept a compliment better?
    what if I had learned how to flirt?
    what if I liked to wear make-up or dress in skirts?
    what if I wasn’t so tall?
    what if I cared more about my hair?
    what if I wasn’t so sarcastic?
    what if I didn’t work so many hours?
    what if I felt more bothered about being chronically single?
    what if I actually liked the types of guys who were liable to like me?

  2. wendy says:

    A few months ago, when the Washington Post sent a photographer to take my portrait, I ransacked my bathroom drawer to see if I had any face make up and powder from that one trip to the makeup counter years ago.

  3. Juliet says:

    what if I had been more of a girly-girl?

    what if I had been less independent?

    what if I had never read a Ms magazine, or listened to Gloria Steinam?

    what if I had worried less as a young girl and just had some fun?!
    what if I hadn’t been born flatchested?

    what if I had never joined the Army?

    What if I weren’t so darn responsible!?

    What if I didn’t have so much fear?

  4. Jodi says:

    What if I had married one of the smart, kind and successful men who were interested in me but with whom there was no “chemistry”?

    What if bright, fun, well-groomed middle-aged women were considered “catches” like their male counterparts?

    What if you knew in advance that your life would turn out fine and wasted less time in your 20s and 30s worrying about it?

  5. Lola says:

    What if I would have followed my heart instead of being fearful of my parents’ wishes for me to marry the “suitable boy”.

    What if the person I fell in love with (and still might be) was here and not deployed (Shout out to Juliet..I agree..you rock).

    What if I knew how to iron properly.

  6. wendy says:

    Lola, I do not own an iron.

    Check this out:

  7. CarryOn says:

    what if I had been a bit more of a ‘domestic’?

    what if I had a more defined ‘public’ self and a ‘private’ self instead of just being myself?

    what if I were a bit more assertive?

    what if I just applied a little of the mascara I carry?

    what if I hadn’t found this blog and wasn’t able to read and learn from some admirable women? Thank you, everyone.

  8. Patty says:

    What if I had taken my parent’s advice and just lost weight?

    What if I hadn’t married the guy who was willing to marry me instead of waiting for the guy I wanted to marry?

    What if I had “put myself out there” and spent endless hours in bars and online dating sites?

  9. v65 says:

    What if I could tell the difference between what I want and what I need?

  10. bitterbabe says:

    What if ballet wasn’t my hobby (ditto)?

    What if I hadn’t worked in a gay neighborhood for several years?

    What if I had looked for a husband in college?

    What if I hadn’t joined the Peace Corps?

    What if I hadn’t lived in a college town for eight years?

    What if I hadn’t moved around so much in my twenties?

    What if I had gone to my big state school for college?

    What if religion and politics weren’t important to me in a partner? Or conversational ability? Or sexual attraction?

    What if I had let myself accidentally get pregnant?

  11. Dienna says:

    What if…

    …I didn’t care so much about trying to be popular in high school (and to a degree, college)?

    …I took more risks regarding my creative endeavors and stopped worrying about failure and rejection?

    …I just did what I wanted and not worried so much about other people’s opinions?

  12. wendy says:

    All indications of living life well –

  13. Michele says:

    What if my Mom hadn’t been psychotic and narcissistic and allowed me to believe I am lovable and good enough?

    What if my Dad hadn’t died when I was 8 and left me alone with her?

  14. Mike says:

    These are WAY more interesting–and provide way more insight into the human condition–than those stupid “what if” question Zig Zaglar put in his books for the readers to ask themselves and help them become more creative.

  15. Mike says:

    Also, before y’all beat yourselves up too much about missing out on anything, here are the Google search predictions for “what if my husband” and “what if my wife” as of Sunday night, 26 February:

    “what if my husband is infertile”
    “what if my husband is sterile”
    “what if my husband doesn’t want kids”
    “what if my husband wants a divorce”

    “what if my wife dies in skyrim”
    “what if my wife cheated”

  16. wendy says:

    Mike, it’s a slippery slope, that’s what I’m saying. There’s always a what if.

  17. Lola says:

    Wendy – love the picture! Ha…

  18. wendy says:

    I’m really drawn to Ed Ruscha’s work, and the fact that he lives in L.A.

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