Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
I've never been good at making decisions. When I was growing up my mom used to say: "What are you going to do when you have to make real decisions?!" I'm ridiculous really. Food shopping is a nightmare for me. As soon as I walk into a large supermarket, I am swept into an altered state bordering on delirium! My eyes start darting back and forth, and I can't seem to move three feet without being sidetracked by some enormous display or sample presentation. It's all too much. I just need a few items, and I have to make my way through mayhem starting in the parking lot. Oh God, don't get me started.
Listen, I like to think of myself as an understanding and compassionate person, but why the hell are there fifty-five parking spaces for handicapped people? Now there are spaces for women with children too. Not to mention employee-of-the-month. I just need a head of lettuce and a carton of juice. No worries, I remain calm, park a half a mile away from the building and tell myself that I need the exercise. The handicapped people should be as lucky as I am to be able to walk this distance. I feel slightly better as I walk past thirty-five handicapped spots. "It's okay," I tell myself, "the spots will be there for them when they come."
Even before entering the building the decisions begin. "Should I carry a basket, take a small cart, or do I need a large cart? Dammit, I forgot the reusable bags (every single time)!" I'm not frazzled yet, so I make that decision confidently and start walking past huge displays of water and soda of every shape, size, flavor, and color. They are all in plastic though, so I have to take some time to see if the plastic is BPA-free or not. "To hell with it. I'll just get that on the way out." I move another five feet or so, and I come across beautiful strawberries. I don't need them, but they look so good. Wait, they're not organic. Now I start looking for the organic ones. As I wander around wondering about the pesticides used on all the beautiful fruits and vegetables, I remember that I am not here for strawberries. I refocus and move on. "Where's the damn lettuce? Oh, there it is." Now the real confusion begins. There's green leaf, red leaf, romaine, Bibb, spring mix, and iceberg (and that's just the tip of the iceberg!). I have to decide if I want the prepackaged, or loose -- organic or poisoned -- bulk package or single -- on and on it goes.
Somehow I make that decision, but I haven't left the produce aisle unscathed. Although I think I can still pull off looking sane, the short-circuiting in the brain has begun (I call it sensory overload). I press onward through the grocery aisles (all twenty-five of them) keeping my head tilting downward so I don't get tempted to stop to consider the endless sale signs popping out from every direction. I've got this now -- I'm going to get the orange juice and get out. God help me -- the dairy case is at least fifty feet long, and the orange juices comprise about half of that. I stare blankly at the selections. I'm not sure. I really just want orange juice! There's pulp, no pulp, extra pulp, extra vitamins, calcium, various flavors, brands, prices, sizes, etc. This isn't funny anymore! Who is toying with me?!!! As I become more and more bewildered, a woman comes up next to me, grabs a carton and starts walking away. I mumbled something like: "Is this really necessary? I just want orange juice!" To which she replies: "You just can't make a decision!" Ouch. Now not only am I dazed, frazzled, and confused -- I've also lost any self-esteem I had when I walked into the damn building.
I'm not sure mom was right. Real decisions come easier to me. It's life or death -- a no-brainer. But somewhere along the lines, we were given way too many choices. Things were simpler when we knew where we had to live, to work, to go to school, etc. We didn't have a choice, and we made the best of it. Now we are constantly wanting something other than what we have because oftentimes there are many choices -- too many. And we usually end up thinking we made the wrong one -- or wondering what might be if we choose differently yet again. It's all too complex. For my sanity, simplicity trumps complexity every time.
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