Stupid Mistakes

There’s been considerable flurry in the news recently of big-time mistakes people have made in relation to money or valuable items. 

wedding ringsOne man had a garage sale while his wife was in the hospital delivering a baby.  He later discovered that she’d put her engagement ring in a box for safe keeping during her stay.  He sold the box, apparently believing the ring was costume jewelry.  Fortunately, the kind recipient discovered and returned the ring. 

Clearly men don’t pay attention to the jewelry they buy us!

I don’t know what the deal is about garage sales (often called yard sales here in the States), but industrious people seem to give away valuable items all the time.  Another woman recently made an appeal to the person who bought her wedding ring set for $20.  She’d tucked the rings inside a shirt pocket while she was volunteering in her child’s classroom and had forgotten they were there.  Actually, I can totally see that happening!

You get busy, drop your car keys on the floor, baby throws them in the toilet.  I’d do something like that.  My personal fear is that I’ll step on the gas pedal while driving when I intended to brake. 

Biiigggg mistake. 

It happens more often than you’d think.  My husband was golfing recently with the group he calls “the old guys” because most of them are in their 80’s or 90’s.  Afterward they always go to Taco Bell for lunch. 

On a recent occasion a woman backed into the Taco Bell brick portion at the bottom of the fast-folosing moneyod restaurant.  The glass didn’t break, but the sound was like an explosion.  Apparently, she’d thought the car was in drive when it was actually in reverse.  Fortunately, no one was hurt, but “the old guys” were annoyed by the lunch interruption.

When my youngest daughter was sixteen, she took down quite a length of fence, mistakenly slamming on the gas instead of the brake.  I only learned a few years ago that she’d been eating an ice cream cone and gotten distracted. 

I want to ground her all over again for that trick.

My daughter-in-law’s father was famous for tucking a bit of money here and there, inside old wallets, boxes, shoes and shirts.  He immigrated from Mexico in the 60’s and never quite trusted American banks.  We used to joke that he kept his money hidden under the mattress like the Mafia. 

During one garage sale my daughter-in-law and her sisters donated a lot of Abuelito’s old clothing.  Toward the end of the day one of their earlier buyers returned.  She said she’d just found a wad of money inside one of the shirt pockets and hadn’t unrolled it because she didn’t want to be tempted to keep it. 

“It wouldn’t be the Christian thing to do,” she said. 

The roll contained $5000 in cash.

Hand to God, tstupid mistakesrue story. 

I learned a big lesson when I took money out of a retirement account many years ago and forgot to pay the extra tax to the IRS.  I was young and naive and only learned of the mistake when the IRS finally caught the error three years later, and I was compelled to pay both the tax and the interest!  Never made that mistake again. 

It’s true that we learn from our mistakes, but hopefully the price isn’t too high!  I’m grateful I never made a tatoo mistake like this one above from :


What about you?  Any stories, positive or negative, of mistakes or errors you’ve made?  Any lessons learned in a big or small way?

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  • Cassondra says:

    I am not in any state to actually comment, except…that tattoo…that’s awful.

  • Cassondra says:


    Are you telling me the rooster is coming here? On a SUNDAY?

    For real?

    I’m mowing the yard tomorrow. And having a tennis lesson.

    He’ll just have to suck it up.

  • ki pha says:

    Wow, That tattoo! *shakes head*
    But these stories! Some makes me laugh and the other gives me hope 🙂 I once drove the car into the bush in front of our house while trying to park the car in our drive way. It was my first time “really” driving with my sister as the teacher and I stepped on the gas instead of the break paddle. My younger brother (who was in the back seat) will be scarred for life.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      LOL, your poor brother, ki pha! I’m a firm believer that non-family should teach kids how to drive. My dad taught me and I was a nervous wreck. Didn’t get my license until I was 18. But mistaking the pedals is really a common thing from what I hear.

      Did you have to replant the bush?

  • Helen says:


    I loved that story about the money in the shirt what a lovely Lady to return it.

    I remember once that my Husbands grandmother used to do that with money and accidently burn’t around $2000 after hiding it in some newspapers, and once my father had been stashing money away in and old coat pocket in his wardrobe and after a party at our place he couldn’t find the money and was sure someone had taken it but found it about a year later it had fallen into the sleeve of the coat lucky him. For me other than putting things in a safe place and then forgetting where they are and finding them much later I have not done anything like this yet LOL

    Have Fun

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Hi, Helen. Yes, the woman was so lovely. She was a Russian immigrant and hardly spoke English, but was very honest.

      Ouch on the $2000. I would still be crying if that happened to me. When I taught school I often stuck a $20 in my winter pants or jackets so I wouldn’t have to carry my purse around, and would forget about it. When I found the money the next winter, it was like getting a bonus!

  • Mary Preston says:

    I have actually driven through our front fence.

    I was learning to drive, came in crooked & instead of breaking I put my foot down & took out the gate & fence.

    The corner post took the car straight through the middle. The number plate was bent in half. The cooling system sits just behind that – destroyed. The engine was fine.

    $3000 worth. The insurance company were superb. We had the car in the shop the next week & back on the road in two. The car drives like a dream.

    This was just a few years ago. My son has never been in the car with me driving since.

  • Caren Crane says:

    Oh, Jo, I have so very many stories like this, both my own and my family members’. *sigh*

    My niece (now 23) has wreaked so many cars my sister has lost count. All from being distracted or startled. She is just someone who should probably not drive. She did fine when she lived in rural upstate PA, but now she’s in Philly with no car. It’s just as well!

    My worst mistakes have mostly been forgetting things. I have forgotten to pay bills many times (thank goodness they invented automatic bill pay!). Have forgotten I was supposed to pick up kids from X, Y or Z and had to backtrack (though my husband did this more often than I). Forgotten meetings (usually for volunteer gigs), forgotten I was supposed to be leading a meeting/session/lesson (also volunteer stuff).

    I am from a family of forgetters, though, so this doesn’t surprise me about myself. I can have something written in several places, on boards and calendars, set reminders…and still forget. My brain sort of only does one compartment at a time, so if I’m not in the “thinking ahead” box, anything goes. Keeping up with my schedule, the DH’s and the three kids was all I could do while working full time.

    Of course, now that they’re practically all grown, I accomplish far less and forget more. I think my brain has lapsed back into its natural forgetful state and I can no longer get much done.

    I did drive off with my wallet on top of the car once. In my defense, I had a baby, a 7-year old and was pregnant at the time. But still… Some nice businessmen found it in the parking lot and got a secretary to track me down and call me to come pick it up at their office. It was really embarrassing, but at least I recovered everything. Doh!

    • LOL Caren – Two days ago I saw a car driving out of our neighborhood with a tall plastic drink mug on top of the car on the driver’s side. It’s slow going on the neighborhood streets but I imagine they were about to turn of a busier faster street. I think I kow what would happen next. 🙂

    • Jo Robertson says:

      ROTFLOL about the wallet, Caren. At least you didn’t put the baby on the car and drive off. Long before car seats were mandatory, my friend did that with her baby in an infant carrier. Luckily, she only drove a few yards before she discovered her potentially fatal mistake.

      I didn’t know you were so forgetful, Caren! I’ve gotten used to writing my important things in dry erase pen on my bathroom mirror. That’s the one place I go multiple times every day, so I see the list. It seems to help.

      My forgetfulness is definitely old age, though.

  • Dianna aka Hrdwrkdmom says:

    So far I have managed to avoid anything major, I am real good at putting things in a safe place then forgetting just where that safe place is.

    My mother burned her false teeth up once, that was interesting. We were getting ready to take our first plane ride ever. When I got off work my brand new husband’s father was picking us all up at my mother’s and taking us to the airport, we were flying to Maryland. My husband and I were going to his mother’s house (I had never met my mother-in-law) and my mother and aunt were going to their sister’s house. I called mother to see if she was ready to rol and she was almost hysterical. It took me a while to understand that she had been “picking up” and had went out to burn the little bit of trash she had collected. We lived in the country and burned just about everything we could. Unfortunately my mother hated her teeth so as soon as she got home and had a little dinner she took her teeth out and rolled them in a paper towel, yeah, you guessed it, she grabbed the paper towel, put it in the trash then burned them. So, we went to Maryland anyway and mother made sure she never burned anything without finding her teeth first.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      That’s got to be the most hilarious mistake ever! Burning your false teeth. Lucky she wanted a new set anyway.

      Thanks for sharing, Dianne. I’ll be grinning at that one all day.

  • CateS says:

    My mom was on a several week trip visiting friends and family in the South. The chain holding her necklace broke early in the trip. She wrapped the chain and diamond up in tissue and stuck it [where she would remember it] in her makeup bag. You know the end of this story; she returns home and realizes she’s ‘lost’ her diamond. Calls the insurance and gets a check for the replacement value and comes to visit us. Wonder of wonders, finds her necklace in the makeup bag. Returns money to insurance company!!

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Good story, catslady. I love these stories that start out tragic and end happily. And kudos for your mom’s honesty!

      These are the kinds of tales that if you wrote them in a book people wouldn’t believe them!

  • LOL Jo – What a fun post!

    Okay – my stupid mistake was last week. We have three adult drivers with cars living in my house with a two car garage. While my husband and I park in the garage, my daughter parks midway down the driveway behind my husband’s car. When I exit the garage, I hug the left side of the driveway so I avoid my daughter’s car.

    Last Monday night, my son came to visit. He’s been driving my husband’s old Eclipse convertible. It’s a beautiful car, low mileage but we don’t need it and it’s a pain to drive in the winter – so we’re planning to sell it. Anyway, instead of parking the car on the street in front of the house – he parks behind my daughter’s car, half on the driveway, half in the street (we live in a court – not a lot of traffic). Meanwhie my neighbor parks a truck on this street between our houses. The back end of his truck is really close to the left edge of my driveway. Whew – lot of set-up.

    I’m going to water aerobics. I back out of my garage, stay close to the left end of the driveway to avoid my daughter’s car, keep watching the side view mirror to make sure I clear the neighbor’s truck before I swing around it. Start to turn…and my right front crunches the perfect convertible’s back quarter panel over the wheel. Just had an estimate to fix – $1800.00. I could strangle my son for not taking a few moments to park on the street…but I’m the one who should have noticed he had parked there. Oh well – good thing we have insurance.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Oh, Donna, I’m so sorry, but I can perfectly see how this could happen. A sort of perfect storm of events leading to the accident. What a tight spot to be in.

  • Rita Wray says:

    A few years ago my husband and I were planning on buying a house. The prices had dropped a lot. He said we had to buy it now, I said let’s wait. He said the prices would start climbing we have to do it now. We argued about it and I finally gave up. Had we waited we could have saved a lot of money because the prices fell again. Men never listen to women.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      LOL, Rita, and we’re so much smarter, you’d think they would listen to us more.

      It’s really tricky predicting the housing market, though, especially right now. We just refinanced our mortgage to get a lower percentage rate while the rates are still low. It was a PITA but worth the savings.

  • Oooh, Cassondra! Lucky you! I am sure the GR will be most helpful. SNORK!

    Okay, that tattoo … No. Just, no.

    I see SO many mistakes like that every day at Walmart. And wardrobe choices. Bad, bad wardrobe choices. SHUDDER !! I have to come home and look at photos of Richard Armitage dressed to the nines or Joe Manangiello undressed to the nines to get my eyes back in focus most days! 🙂

    Stupid mistakes? Me? Well, I left my wallet in the laundromat restroom a few weeks ago. Didn’t realize it until the next morning when I got to work! FREAKED! Called the laundromat and fortunately their cleaning crew found it and turned it in completely intact. God bless ’em! Needless to say after eight years of going to the laundromat the next day I fired up the credit card and had a new washing machine delivered to the house. I’ll be paying for it forever, but it is SO lovely to be able to wash whatever I want, whenever I want!

    • Cassondra says:

      Oh, Louisa, I hate the laundromat. I grew up going once a week with my mom, but once I had a washer, I never looked back. On the couple of occasions that either the washer or dryer was broken and I had to use the laundromat, I realized how much I truly detest going. Partly because there aren’t any good ones around here now. They’re not particularly clean and I don’t trust the machines not to have some kind of grime in them.

      Don’t you absolutely love having a washer!

      • catslady says:

        For the first 6 years of marriage I had to walk 3 floors down to use the washer in our apts. I’m thankful it was in the same building but people would mess with your laundry and I remember falling a few times with tide soap falling out all over everywhere lol. And you always had to have lots and lots of quarters. As a child my mom hung her clothes out to dry and I hated having to do that lol.

      • Jo Robertson says:

        A washing machine is God’s gift to women, Cassondra :-D. I still like to hang out my clothes though. It’s so peaceful. I know that sounds weird, but it’s calming to hang out the larger items like towels and jeans on the short clothesline I have.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Oh, Louisa, I’m sure you’ll really enjoy that machine. I remember the days of going to the laundromat when I had two babies in cloth diapers. Oy!

      Glad you got your wallet back. That’s scary!

      That tatoo is hideously awesome, isn’t it?

      And you can give me Joe M. undressed anytime. He’s the most ruggedly handsome man I know. Well, I don’t KNOW know them, but I pretend.

      • I am enjoying my washing machine tremendously! I actually have had a dryer this entire time, but who wants to lug loads of wet laundry home to dry?

        The dogs, however, are still getting used to the noise the washer makes. They are not amused!

        I cannot imagine going to the laundromat with diapers and all of the things children require. I was doing well to get my own clothes clean!

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Good morning, everyone! It’s a horribly hot and humid day in northern CA. We hardly ever get temps in the 100’s with high humidity, but we’re on day 2 of a week of this. Yikes! This combo makes me very languid!

    Hmmm, wonder if Mother Nature is making a big mistake here in the foothills, LOL.

  • catslady says:

    Goodness yes. I put a ring somewhere for safekeeping and never found it 🙁 I do hide a bit of money but did tell my two daughter where it is just in case lol. I use to put some in books but realized that was a horrible idea. My only car accident was when I had to pick up one of my daughter’s at night at a school I was not familiar with. I got boxed in and had to back out while there was other traffic. I guess I went too fast and don’t know how to back up straight. Hit a cement lamp post. Since I didn’t break the light I thought I was good until I saw it in the morning – trunk and side were totally out of kilter. Still that way since my husband didn’t fix it so I’m alway reminded lol.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Aww, what a sad reminder, Catslady. At least you didn’t hit another car!

      That’s a good idea telling your daughters where you’ve tucked money.

      My DIL’s father died a year ago and they’re still finding money hidden in various places around the house.

  • Jo Robertson says:

    It’s horrible enough that the woman with the tatoo placed it in such a place, but forever and forever she and the world will have to look at “tragedy” spelled “tradgedy.”

    I’ve had students get the word twisted and say “tradegy,” but never this convoluted spelling.

    I wonder if it was her mistake or the tatoo artist’s?

    • Cassondra says:

      Jo, my only other thought when I was looking at it was, “is that the name of a band, and therefore a purposeful odd spelling?

      Even so, I don’t think I would want such a thing RIGHT THERE, where everybody would constantly be saying, “do you know that word is spelled wrong?”

  • Barbara Elness says:

    I learned from a costly mistake when I sold my townhouse. I had received a first time homebuyers loan for middle to low income buyers. The loan was for $8,800. When I sold my house for over three times what I paid for it, to someone not middle or low income, I not only had to pay the $8,800 back, but 10% of the profit, which added up to $24,000. If I had read my contract and refinanced and paid that loan off before hand, I could have saved that money. But I consoled myself with the fact that it was going to the city and hopefully they could help more people with the money and I still came out ahead.

  • Becke says:

    Funny post and funny stories. I could say I’ve duplicated one of each, except I don’t have tattoos. I don’t get those, but people seem to love them. And not just young folks. Geezers my age and beyond have these big ridiculous tattoos.

    Here’s my best one:
    I fell asleep on the way home from nursing school while driving my dad’s sports car. I awakened when the wheels hit the dirt on the left medium of I-70. I panicked and smashed the accelerator instead of the break. Did I mention I was in a high performance sports car? That little honey launched into overdrive. I skidded across two lanes of traffic, down the embankment, and through a fence. By this time I was wondering why the stupid car hadn’t stopped. I checked my feet and corrected my error. When I stopped the car, I had traveled a good mile across the field. The folks driving behind me on I-70 stopped. There was so much dust, they thought the car was on fire. Bottom line: the fence stripped the wipers, the side mirrors, my mother’s custom initials etched on the door and the tail pipes. Other than that, no other damage! Of course Dad’s “What the **** happened to the car probably caused a hearing deficit.

  • Jo, I’ve never made a mistake like this, but I so easily could. I’m always putting things “somewhere safe so they don’t get lost.” And then, of course, I forget where I put them and the dh has to hunt.

    We always check pockets before giving clothes away. Or washing them.

  • Jo robertson says:

    Thanks to everyone for stopping by yesterday. It was interesting and funny to hear all your stories.

    Thanks for sharing!