I Meant To Do That

I overheard a quote so good recently that I wrote it down to be sure I wouldn’t forget it. Because honestly, I forget my own name some days. Anyway, a dad was walking with his little one, and I heard the toddler say “uh-oh.” I think we adults must say this a lot without realizing it, because it seems to be every toddler’s first phrase.

So I heard a sweet little voice say “uh-oh,” and then I heard the dad say sternly “It’s not an uh-oh if you do it on purpose.” Yep, just like that, in the middle of the sidewalk, something so profound from a stranger. The dad went on to say “if you throw your toys down, it’s not an uh-oh.”

It made me think, and you know I hate that, but, it couldn’t be helped. Admittedly, the first thing that came to mind is that I would like for every member of the U.S. Congress to really absorb that information. They seem to do a lot of stuff on purpose, like not governing and representing The American People they love to talk about so much, and then wailing (a metaphorical) uh-oh.

I can’t even tell you how many times this quote would have come in handy in my career as a legal administrator. Had I heard it before, I would have had it engraved on a plaque and hung it right next to my flying pigs. So for all the people who mucked things up and disregarded my sage advice and then came crawling back to me asking me to clean up their mess: it’s not an uh-oh if you do it on purpose.

To all the “shoot first and ask questions later” and “it’s better to beg forgiveness than ask permission” people, admittedly including myself at times: it’s not an uh-oh if you do it on purpose.

To those people who do something they shouldn’t and get caught, and then blame the problem on the getting caught part rather than the they shouldn’t have been doing it part: it’s not an uh-oh if you do it on purpose.

I love this quote so much I might have to reconsider getting a tattoo. I might have to run for office using it as my campaign slogan. Bumper stickers and t-shirts at a bare minimum.

The great philosophers of all time. A wise anonymous dad joins your ranks.

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10 Responses to I Meant To Do That

  1. Pam Waits says:

    I’d caution against the tattoo. Even though you’d do it on purpose, I’m afraid someday you’ll look at it and go “uh-oh”.

    • Jill Foer Hirsch says:

      You are wise grasshopper. I did live to regret that Milli Vanilli tattoo I got when their music seemed timeless. And real.

  2. mimijk says:

    Bumper sticker please?? This is awesome -and so damn true!! Maybe a plaque…I’ve got it – a statue of you in DC and this quote below it!!

  3. filbio says:

    I admit to having a few uh-oh moments myself. Usually I see others doing something dumb and say uh-oh in my head.

    • Jill Foer Hirsch says:

      I never seem to be able to keep it just in my head. I hear myself telling the person they’re stupid. Then I have an uh-oh on purpose…

  4. katecrimmins says:

    I’ll take a tee-shirt. I have a few friends that fit this category. I give them eye rolls.

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