Why oh why didn't I take the BLUE pill?
I am absolutely terrible at making decisions.
Part of the problem is the vast range of options in the world. For every taste and scent and colour you pick, there are hundreds more you don't. How can you be sure the option you're choosing is the best possible? Other people don't seem to have this problem. They know what they like and they go for it. I don't know what I like; or if I do, I'm not convinced that I might not like something else better.
When I was very little, I got into trouble in a sweet shop. It wasn't, as you might expect, because I was being noisy or greedy or difficult. It was simply because I couldn't decide which chocolate bar I wanted. I was meant to be getting a treat (and in my book there's no treat better than chocolate – see C), yet it had turned into an ordeal. Faced with a wall of sweets so vast that to my limited perception it might as well have been infinite, I didn't know what to do. How could I decide? How could I know which option out of a hundred was my favourite? I hadn't tried them all, compared them side by side, rated them out of ten and come up with a winner. I kept trying to get a decision out of my overwhelmed brain, and all it came back with was insufficient data.
Since then, what I consider to be an important decision has changed. But the problem remains the same.
Unfortunately I married someone who is more decisionally impaired than I am. We'll stand in the supermarket for twenty minutes trying to pick the right kind of bread. We still haven't decorated the house we moved into four years ago because we can't make up our minds what colour the walls should be. When we go out for a meal, we tend to go to the same restaurant every time and order the exact same thing, simply to avoid the trauma of decision-making. We are the world's most indecisive couple. (How we ever managed to pull together an entire wedding is a mystery to me.)
Yet even vacillation has its good points. I like to think that the reason it takes us so long to make decisions is that we see things from both sides. We don't close ourselves off to the possibility that there's a better way of doing things. We're willing to throw out our preconceptions if the situation arises. And that's better than being stubbornly convinced we know what's best all the time.
At least, I think it is …