12932884_1598507900468945_613133606886174276_nWhy do we act against our own best interest?

I could have gone to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books this weekend. Like my friend Lynn to the right. See how happy she is?

I meant to go, but I didn’t volunteer to do booth duty anywhere, so I didn’t have a solemn commitment. And someone asked me to work for them somewhere else, and it was drizzly, and my daughter asked me to babysit, and my car is not so reliable that I just jump in and go like I used to . . .

Man, I’ve got a ton of excuses. Now, pictures of people I know having a great time are showing up all over Facebook and Twitter and I’m realizing I blew it.

Cfp7q9vUMAAHCS9I could’ve gone to one of these great panels that folks are tweeting about. Panels I would pay money for and they’re free and all I had to do was show up!

Last year I listened to John Scalzi talk about the new Red Shirts TV series. I remember in the 90s that I sat in while Tony Hillerman was interviewed, and another time I spent half the day in line to get an autograph from my daughter’s favorite author Dean Koontz. (That poor man signed every darn book for hours, and was gracious and funny the whole time, btw,) I had a blast.

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Robin Quinn tweeted these last two photos. That’s her on the left with fellow writer Esther Pearlman. See that big smile?

My big complaint about the Festival of Books is how crowded it gets, because it’s always on a sunny, beautiful weekend. This would have been the perfect time to go!

I have to learn this lesson every decade or so. Once I was invited to fly to France with a couple and share their vacation. I didn’t go because, well, I’d just taken a long vacation and I couldn’t rationalize the expense and I had all these responsibilities and blah-blah-blah. Then my friends returned with stories and pictures and bottles of Calvados, and I realized that a gift had been held out to me, and I’d turned up my nose.

I got it; I wrote about it: that lost chance was a lesson I’d never forget . . . but I do forget it, often.

Why are we not more opportunistic, in a good way?

I’d kick myself, but I’m averse to pain.

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