No Choice But To Make A Choice


Scarlett O’Hara may be able to put decisions off until tomorrow, but some choices simply have to be made today.  In fact, each of us makes thousands of choices daily.  One would think that by making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities on a regular basis it would make choosing an option easier.  But does it?

Apparently practice does not make perfect when it comes to food decisions. Ever been stumped by what to order when eating out?    A study by Cornell University determined that the average American makes over 200 food choices a day.  Yet, we still may be gripped by indecision when determining which of the 31 Baskin-Robbins flavors we desire to devour.

Of course there are different types of decisions to be made.  Thankfully, life-altering decisions such as whom to marry, where to attend college, and whether to move are not made every day.  Nevertheless, it is estimated that an individual makes thousands of decisions daiy.  Even if these decisions are not life-altering, some are weightier than others.  Whether to snap back at an irritable spouse might be of more consequence (and lead to other and perhaps stickier decisions) than whether to put salt on the steak one is eating for dinner.

Let’s take a moment to consider the numerous decisions one might be faced with each day and how easy that decision is to make.  Here are some possible choices to be made:

–Get out of bed or hit the snooze button?  Easy.  The latter is definitely more appealing.

–Take your coffee black or with cream and sugar?  Definitely cream and sugar, but then I have to decide what time of cream (fat-free?) and how much sugar.  One lump or two?  Artificial sweetener or real sugar?  And was that decaf coffee or regular coffee?  Guatemalan or Kona?

–Take a lunch to work or eat out?  I usually take my lunch. But making this decision is just opening the door to other questions.  What type of sandwich should I make–ham? turkey? With or without cheese?  What type of cheese–Swiss? provolone?  Rye, wheat or white bread?  Mayo or mustard?  Perhaps both?

–Do I wear flats or heels to work?  Heels look more professional.  But what color shoes go with my outfit?  Oh yeah–what outfit am I wearing?

–So they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Eggs over easy or sunny side up?  Let’s go with sunny side up.  One egg or two?  Do I cook the egg(s) with butter or Pam?  Do I want bacon or sausage to accompany the eggs?

–The darn cell phone is ringing at an inconvenient time.  Do I answer it?   Depends on who is calling…

–Should I listen to rock or country music on the radio on the way to work?  No brainer!  ROCK!  But just how loud can I play the music in my car?  Should I sing along or be self-conscious that the driver in the car next to me might see or (GASP) hear me?

–Encounter with a difficult person during the day.  Do I bite my tongue or bite her head off?  If I choose the latter, should I apologize when I calm down?  If I stuff it, how do I deal with the stress?  Do I blame the fact that I am of Irish heritage for a bad decision to blow up?

–Feeling a bit down.  Do I cry or just suck it up?  Depends on what I am doing.  While in attorney mode, I suck it up.  While at home, I cry at the sentimental ads on TV, movies involving animals, songs on the radio which bring back memories, etc.

–Thank heavens the work day is done.  Do I enjoy being a couch potato or do I work out?  Probably tired, so I choose vegetable mode. If I am a couch potato, what will I watch on TV?  If it’s a sporting event, for which team will I cheer?  If I am watching “Scandal,” am I Team Fitz or Team Jake?  Ooooh!  Tough call.  Both are good-looking, smart, military men in positions of power.  Gotta go with Fitz.  He’s more romantic. (Yes, he can build me a house in Vermont where I could spend time making jam.)

–How about spending time reading?  Book? Newspaper? Magazine?  A magazine is the most relaxing.  Which magazine should I read?  If the article is good, should I read it word for word or just skim it for the high points?  How much attention should I pay to the ads?  If it is for men’s underwear, do I lean towards boxers or briefs?  Depends on who’s wearing them.  Jim Palmer?  (Famous MLB pitcher/Jockey model) Definitely briefs.  In the abstract, boxers are more sophisticated.

–Uh oh.  It’s that evening snack craving.  Do I indulge or be disciplined?  Um, I was disciplined all day.  Bring on the snack!  Popcorn?  How much butter?  (You simply HAVE to have butter on popcorn.)  Do I share with my dog who is eyeing my snack?  What do I wash the snack down with?

Thank goodness it is bedtime.  I’m worn out from the myriad of choices presented to me during the day causing me to burnout from decision-making.  But while there may be a quantity of choices to be made daily, some choices are crucial for quality of life.  Choosy mothers may need to determine which peanut butter they will buy for their families, but a more important decision faces all of us.  We have to choose each day whom we will serve.  My choice is made.