In-Decision 2012: Paralysis

Indecision 2012

Indecision 2012 (Photo credit: mgstanton)

A very smart woman just explained to me why I have such a hard time deciding what I want for dinner. The root meaning of the word decide is to cut off. When I decide to have the halibut, I am really choosing to cut myself off from lasagna. Who would seriously choose to cut themselves off from lasagna, for any reason?

This problem arises when shopping for shoes, groceries, even when buying a house. With any given choice I could be facing possible paralysis of decision making, just like a child when whisked into a toy store and told to pick something, anything, but just one thing. In this situation I have seen both a nephew and my son walk out of the store empty handed, sanity in tact. They were the smart ones. The rest of us chose Buzz Lightyear or Chutes and Ladders, and soon after were found weeping over our loss of Woody or Parcheesi.

Maybe this happened to many of you on election day in the U.S. Maybe you were in the election booth facing possible paralysis over your decision for a senator, county commissioner, or dare I say, president (I hope you aren’t weeping right now).

Because I write my stories without an outline, crossroads are part of the bargain. I have to make a choice to let John and Maria visit an overpaid marriage therapist in Tuscon, or else have them duel at dusk, winner gets the condo. Do I let Fido loose in a Petco only to crash a dog food pyramid creating a chain reaction of puppy death and destruction, or does he dash for the road and stop traffic, causing his owner utter humiliation, until that is, he meets the love of his life when Fido tinkles on her deflating Michelin?

Presently I am in the undecided category of working on the novel, an article for a local paper, or second breakfasts (for you LOTR fans). I wonder if I choose second breakfasts, will I have to skip first lunch which may just be lasagna?

What are you deciding on?

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10 Responses to In-Decision 2012: Paralysis

  1. Stacey lee says:

    Great post. I vote for second breakfast!

  2. joan chandler says:

    Mercy. It’s almost Thanksgiving, and then Bam! It’s Christmas, and then there are those New Year’s Resolutions……..and you ask what decisions are being made? Do you have a couple of hours?

    Apart from the predictable daily decisions surrounding meals, paying bills, and other common family activities, there are many momentous decisions at this time of year, PARTICULARLY FOR THIS FAMILY. We begin thinking about Christmas every Dec. 26 – meaning when Christmas is 364 days away. It’s always on our minds. We shop the after-Christmas sales for greeting cards, decorations, gift wrap, and possible gifts at bargain prices. Throughout the year we pick up little items that leap out at us yelling, “Buy me for Diane!” and put them aside in a storage room. Sometimes we even find them again in time for Christmas.

    But Serious Christmas Planning begins in October. My daughter and a family friend who is like family join me for CPD – Christmas Planning Dinner. And the first of our major decisions is dealt with: shopping lists. Picture the befuddled waitress as she checks on our table about two hours after we arrive. We’re still there, and the table is covered with coffee cups, crumbs, crumpled napkins, and many sheets of paper covered with red check marks. Each of us has had to decide which items on the others’ list she would like to “claim”. Of course this means big, secret gifts for the men in the family, but our gifts to each other are not secret. This procedure means there is no duplication of gifts, and that everyone will receive some items they really want or need. And we women have become expert at opening gifts and looking genuinely surprised!

    Then there’s the shopping day. The three of us set out early on the day BEFORE Thanksgiving, hitting the malls and specialty shops. There we are faced with choices among Yankee Candle fragrances (we want them all), personal family Christmas Cards (we want them all), which gift cards to buy – Macy’s, Meat House, Dick’s Sporting Goods – (we want them all). Oh, yeah, and whether to eat at Bertucci’s or Olive Garden or Ruby Tuesday (we want them all).

    I’m not done with decision-making dilemmas. We also plan the family Christmas gift exchange and dinner at our house. Roast beef or roast turkey? or roast pork? Yellow vegetable – sweet potatoes? butternut squash? turnip? Dessert – pie! Pumpkin? Chocolate cream? Apple? Coconut? (we want them all). AND when? On Christmas Day our daughter and her family like to be at their home for much of the day. So which day NEAR Christmas will it be? What days are Leo and Dean and Scott working? Is there a day when everyone can conveniently convene?

    I can’t decide whether to continue this because I’m so excited, or stop now because I’m so exhausted.

    Happy Holidays! 🙂

  3. joan chandler says:

    I was also undecided as to whether to give you a concise, to-the-point reply, or to be long-winded and rambling. Obviously I made a decision.

  4. Trudy Cohen says:

    Close your eyes and point. It doesn’t matter what you choose. It’s already planned out somewhere in the cosmos. I beleive in predestination. . .simpler that way.

  5. Discovered your blog today, and really enjoyed this post. As a writer with a few works in progress, I appreciate those daily decisions we make about where to “put the writing”. Thank you, I’ll be back.

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