Bad Timing

“I never meant to make you cry
And even though I shouldn’t call
It just reminds us of the cost
Of everything we’ve lost
Bad timing, that’s all” – Blue Rodeo

No one writes a broken-heart song as well as Blue Rodeo did it in the late 80s/early 90s. At the time this song came into my life, I was in the midst of an intense crush. I assumed that timing was perfect for a relationship to blossom as I just had ended one the day before I first talked to the object of my affection. As it turned out, timing was not so good. She went to Mexico the following semester, wrote me once to my significantly more than once, and gradually faded from my life.

I’m going on vacation a week from Saturday. That’s good. At the same time, while I’m gone my company’s going to roll out a new e-mail newsletter template. I will miss out on part of that. Talk about bad timing. I thought today of some of the other bad timing moments of my life and felt compelled to share. Here are some of the highlights:

Breaking up with my girlfriend the day before she had a medical procedure: The breakup was a long time coming. We were doomed, and for months had been in a death spiral. She had a heart condition and needed a procedure to attempt to recreate the issue in order for doctors to properly diagnose the condition. I did not plan to break up with her then. It just kind of came out. I still escorted her to the hospital that day, fending off death ray looks from her mom all day. All in all, it could have been handled better.

Purchasing my Scion: The “smart” car buyers purchase their vehicles in the last month of the year. That’s when you get the best deals because the new year’s stock has arrived and the old year is, well, old. I went to a Toyota dealership looking at a Corrolla, the base model. It was boring. I test drove the Scion and liked that it was much more sporty. Scions were hot cars at the time, and they sold for sticker price. I paid. As we know now, the economy tanked and just six months later the guy who sold me the car called me up, asking me to let friends know that Scions were now selling for invoice. If I went to a dealership now, I could get a car for well less than that, and probably the dealer’s first born.

Investing from 1997 to today: When I started as a contractor at IBM in 1997, I got signed up for one of those 401ks. Those were the halcyon days. Put away 10% of your money and when it was time to retire, you’d have plenty of cheese. Unfortunately, I’ve been through an Internet bubble, the Asian market insanity of the late 90s and the mess of the past year. My 401k as a whole is worth slightly less today than the total that I rolled over from that 401k in 2005. And I’ve put a lot away since 2005.

Here’s the last one, and the only one that’s sports-related: LenDale White fumbled the ball twice in more than 200 touches last year for the Tennessee Titans. The second happened to be in the second quarter of a divisional playoff game. White tried to get the extra yard to get a first down on third down. He lost the ball and the Titans missed on a field goal opportunity. Had Rob Bironas made that kick, John Harbaugh might not have challenged Bo Scaife’s catch on third and seven. It was overturned. If Bironas made the 46-yard field goal there instead of missing the 51-yarder due to the overturned catch, the Titans would have had a 13-7 lead. It would have been game over and possibly, just possibly, led to a Super Bowl victory.

Bad timing, that’s all.

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