The Internet is the world’s greatest procrastination machine.

I’m sitting here on a Sunday night, knowing I really need to build a workplan and line out some requirements and do a weekly report and plan out my week and and and…so I pull up my email and see what interesting reading material I can find, and bingo — the Internet comes through and allows me to put it all off for another 20 minutes or so.

This one comes courtesy of Tim Ferriss’ 5-Bullet Fridays email. He refers to a favorite blog by Tim Urban called “Wait Buy Why”. I click on over and sure enough I stumble across a post called “Clueyness“, which describes that aching feeling of regret you have about some incident in your past where you did something self-centered and jerk-y, and even though you stew about it years later, the person you wronged has probably never even given it a second thought.

His goes all the way back to when his dad and siblings left their father sitting in front of a freshly-laid-out Clue board to play outside with some friends who just showed up. The grandfather was probably pretty happy that his kids decided to get some exercise outside instead of sitting down to a board game, but his dad had guilt for years over abandoning that family game night for some mindless physical fun.

This brings to mind an incident I’ve regretted for years. Way back in college, I invitedĀ a girl I had just started dating to the movies, and I was determined to be chivalrous and pay for the movie. As we approached the ticket counter she started rummaging in her purse, so I blurted out something like, “I’ll get the tickets, and you can get the refreshments.” Crisis averted — I was paying for the movie so it was a date. We had a few minutes to kill so we wandered down to the other end of the mall where she pulled some cash from the ATM and then she bought the popcorn.

It was only years later, on reflection, that I realized the fact that she didn’t have cash meant that she hadn’t intended to pay for the movie at all. (This was back in the dark ages when we actually used cash.) She was probably just looking for her ID so we could get into the R-rated movie — and I had gone and stuck her with the bill for the refreshments. Cue the guilt, and the admiration for the grace she’d shown that had avoided me even noticing the faux pas at the time.

She probably promptly forgot about it, and she certainly never mentioned it to me, but LJ if you’re reading this, I apologize for my clueless behavior.

Phew. That’s off my chest, and thank you to Tim Urban for helping me articulate that awful “Cluey” feeling I’ve been carrying around ever since.

Okay, back to the workplan. Or maybe I’ll take a look at the second bullet in this week’s 5-Bullet Friday…