Relationships Should Have an “Undo” Button

The two greatest innovations of the last 20 years are almost identical: The “undo” button in Microsoft Word and the 6-second rewind button on the TiVo remote control.

Why have modern relationships not caught up with modern technology?

I’m writing this post now because I’m not dating anyone, and thus I can safely discuss oops moments (speaking of which, wouldn’t Rick Perry like a 54-second rewind button?) without risk of being suffocated in my sleep.

And of course, this is strictly hypothetical–you can’t reverse time. Once you say something to your significant other, it’s out there even if you try to take it back. But wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could?

I think there would have to be a limited supply of undo buttons per person or else we’d abuse it. Maybe you could earn more by doing good deeds like taking out the trash when it’s not your turn or giving your honey a foot massage before she showers.

I remember one moment for which I definitely wish I had an undo button. This was years ago, and I was dating a woman with whom there wasn’t much of a physical spark. We were trying to get that chemistry going, so we described to each other what we liked and took turns giving and receiving. Above the waist stuff, no real hanky panky.

So I received first, and she proceeded to do nothing that I had described. She was clearly trying, but she also hadn’t really listened, so the more she tried, the more discouraged I became.

After about 10 minutes, she sat up and looked at me with a smile on her face. She was positively beaming with pride. I should have known then exactly what to say, but I was too caught up in my own selfishness and sexual frustration.

“So,” she said. “How was it?”

I paused, gathering my thoughts, yet somehow I wasn’t thinking at all.

“It was…okay.”

I immediately felt terrible. I would have done anything for an undo button in that moment. I would have run a marathon for an undo button (I hate long distance running, anything over 400 yards). I would have eaten sauerkraut for an undo button. Sauerkraut, people! That’s how bad I felt.

Is there any time when you wish you had an undo button?

9 thoughts on “Relationships Should Have an “Undo” Button”

  1. Oh… my… god… Jamey!

    Well, some of the best advice I’ve received, when it comes to relationships, is be honest about what you want, what you like and what you dislike. How can anyone meet your needs if they don’t know what they are?

    Sometimes it’s hard and things come out wrong or less polished than Brad Pitt or George Clooney, but you are who you are. If I know anything about Jamey Stegmaier, it is that your filter is slightly delayed, and that is ok 🙂

    But if we’re going to have an Undo button, can we have a Redo button just in case we change our mind again?

    • Well said, well said. I do think there is a much more tactful way I could have handled that particular instance. I definitely believe in full honesty, but I’ve tried to learn over the years that timing and semantics matter for sensitive subjects.

      I like the redo idea quite a bit. 🙂

  2. I wouldn’t want an undo button. My filter is usually pretty good and what it doesn’t catch, I was still thinking it and I usually share most everything I’m thinking (good or bad). I believe in brutal honesty (even if it sucks). BUT, that doesn’t mean I don’t have tact. We should have tact buttons for sensitive subjects.

  3. So, when my best friend got married, I was her bridesmaid–and the 8 other girls in the wedding were “honorary” bridesmaids. I was the only one who would be on stage, and the rest would sit in the pews.

    Here’s how the rehearsal went.

    Pastor: “Okay, bridesmaids, take your places.”

    (All the honorary bridesmaids file into the pews)

    Me: “Where should the real bridesmaid stand?”


  4. My first semester of college, a friend from high school attempted to get me to go to dance with a girl from her sorority. Savvy 18 year old that I was (and this being pre-Facebook and camera phones), I demanded to see her before agreeing. The girl turned out to be, well, round. I declined the invitation.

    My roommate – another worldly wise freshman – and I decided that it would be a good idea to provide my friend with a height/weight chart for future set ups. A flawless idea, to be sure. However, there was one small problem with our plan. We had no idea how much girls should weigh. We knew they should be lighter than guys of a similar height, but that was all we had.

    Undaunted, we completed the chart and presented it to the girl from high school. To her anger and our complete surprise, she quickly pointed out that she would not qualify under our standards. So ended her attempts to set me up with her friends.

    Wish I had that one back. She had some really hot friends.


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