If scientists eventually figure out time travel, I reckon I’ll use it more for mundane occurrences, than for big stuff. For example, I would go back to Tuesday last week and stop myself from foolishly putting this block of cream cheese in the freezer. What makes this occurrence particularly annoying is that I knew that cream cheese shouldn’t be frozen. Yet I decided to gamble, by turning the thermostat in the freezer compartment of my standing refrigerator to the highest temperature. You might think that perhaps my foolishness was justified because the thermostat sign read ‘Refrigerator Max Cool’, but I’m unable to give myself this pass because, you see, I have an actual kitchen thermometer which I placed in the compartment multiple times, and every time, it read below 00; and the cream cheese package very clearly stated: “Do not Freeze; keep between +2 and +7 degrees.” Now I’m left with a melting, grainy mush pile which, even though it won’t be thrown away, cannot serve the purpose for which I bought it. I’ll have to go out of budget to buy a new block. So that’s extra money, time and effort gone into a lesson I DID NOT have to learn the hard way, seeing as it was something I already knew.
Now contrast this with my encounter with Tunji, my first potential rapist. I would definitely not go back in time to undo that occurrence because how then would I have learned the valuable lesson that “girls did not go to visit boys in their houses unless they wanted to have sex”? Oh no, I would not have prevented my naïve 17 year old self from going to visit a boy whom she thought to be her friend, and with whom she’d shared general camaraderie and many a witty remark. She still believed, would you believe it, that it was normal for two humans to just sit and enjoy each others’ company away from school, during a school break. Thankfully though, through the struggle that ensued as she fled his parents’ house that day, Tunji, through clenched teeth, spat out words that would save her from many a potential rape attempt, at least until it didn’t: “why did you come if you don’t want to do anything?”
So yes; to going back and changing those seemingly little things that wrangle one’s mind and leave one in a twisted ‘had I known’ knot – choosing a centre parting for my hair instead of a side parting, staying on the expressway instead of cutting into a side street to avoid traffic only for your car to land in a deep ditch that hadn’t been there two weeks before when you passed (hello Lagosians), etc.
What would you use time travel for?