No life is without regret. In the past, I have regretted (1) being such a lame-o in junior high, and thereby failing, year after year, to follow through on my summer resolutions to be cooler and ascend the social ranks; (2) deciding to go to law school at a stage in my educational career when I should have been considering all my options, like being a ski bum or pot dealer (or both); (3) eating the chili cheese omelette I had on Sunday morning, which wreaked havoc on my digestive tract for two full days; (4) buying a Volkswagen Jetta, which was a big piece of crap with key mechanical components falling off willy-nilly; and (5) buying a travel clock at Eddie Bauer that, despite having a radio, inexplicably lacks tuning buttons or presets and forces me to perform all radio station navigation functions with a single "scan" button.
Those decisions haunt me. Now I can add one more to the list, and it pains me to say it: I regret purchasing the "personal" size Filofax instead of the larger, A5-size Filofax. Phew. There, I said it. It's no small matter to admit. I've invested an amount north of $100 in my Filofax, what with the fancy leather cover and the overpriced Filofax inserts I can't resist. I've also now invested a fair bit of time and energy into the thing. I've entered appointments and the like stretching far into 2006. I've transferred all my phone numbers into it. I use it as a check register. And let's not forget all the notes and data it carries.
My regret began to crop up last week, when a couple co-workers, one female and one male, noticed my Filofax on my desk. (Believe it or not, I do not walk around my office announcing that I have a separate life in which I refer to myself as "Philofaxer" and am obsessed with paper and calendars. For better or worse, I've decided to keep those facts largely secret.) My female co-worker said, "Oh, that's so cute." My male co-worker said, "What is that, your purse?" I said, "No, and I'm comfortable enough with my masculinity to carry around a small, intricately-stitched leather tote-like object."
But am I?
A few days later, I found myself in front of a large Filofax section at a local store. And there I saw the A5 size, for the first time in the flesh. It was expansive, hulking, manly. It wouldn't even fit in a purse, let alone be a purse. It seemed eminently practical, too. I occasionally run into issues with the amount of space afforded to me on the personal-sized calendar pages. I have to use a cross-referencing system involving the "Notes" section of the binder to give myself enough space. (That's a hack I intend to write about soon.)
More than all of that, though, the A5 size would not make me feel like a girl.
For a brief moment, I considered chucking my personal-size Filofax and going all A5. But how would I explain that to my wife? "Honey, remember how I spent more than $100 on a calendar mere weeks after you spent $10 on yours? Well, that's garbage now and I've bought an even more expensive system that will require the repurchase of all enclosures and inserts, and a weekend of time to transfer all my data into it. I love you."
No way. She already thinks I'm insane. That would move me from insane to rabid and undesirable. So I'm coming to grips with my regret. Maybe next year, for my birthday, or for Christmas, I will ask for an A5-size system. And then I can proudly display it to my male co-workers, pounding my chest and throwing feces at them. Until then, I'll be keeping my "cute" Filofax well below radar altitude.