Everyone has at least one person in their life who refuses to make decisions about anything. That person you try and make plans with, and you’re like, “What time do you want to meet?” and they’re like, “Um…uh…what time is best for you?” And you’re all, “I’m free whenever. Literally ANY time is okay for me,” and they act like you just told them the fate of the world is in their hands and if you don’t meet for lunch at the precise right moment, interdimensional beings will stomp us all to kingdom come because civilization depended on you both having soup at 1:15pm exactly.
And if you don’t know one of those people…well, now you do.
I can’t help it! I blame my mother. When I was born, she went through so many spelling iterations of my name that my grandmother almost wore a hole in the family Bible from erasing and rewriting it. It’s perfectly clear that my indecisive nature was pre-ordained by the turbulent history of my moniker. Really, what chance did I stand in the face of such early uncertainty? None. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Unless I come up with a better one. You know what, let me get back to you on that.
I know people like me are frustrating. I do try to be better about it when I can. I just don’t like being the person calling the shots in a social situation. No matter what, my brain always tells me I’m going to choose wrong.
Sure, you may say you’re good to meet up whenever, but what if you’re secretly rooting for one time and I pick another and suddenly you’re not as excited about going out as you were because now you realize you have to rush to meet me from another thing and you won’t have time to swing by the post office like you were planning so you’ll have to wait another day to pick up that package that finally came in with that thing you’ve been waiting for forever…*deep breaths*…do you see how irrationally exhausting my mind insists on making things?
I had to plan a friend’s bridal shower once and it almost killed me.
And yes, in case you were wondering, I’m just as hopeless at deciding things when I’m the only person affected. I’ve spent the last two weeks trying to decide what length to cut my hair, and I still haven’t made the actual appointment with my stylist because that means I have to call the salon and then they’re going to make me pick a time, and we all know how that’s going to end, i.e. with the destruction of Earth.
But here’s my dirty little secret. I may hate the part of the decision-making process where I actually have to settle on something, but I honest to goodness love the bit where I get to sit around weighing all the options. Maybe that’s the real reason I find it so hard to make a simple choice; I just don’t want the window shopping to be over.1
This is how menus became my guilty pleasure.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a new restaurant or an old standby where the staff knows what I’m ordering before I do. Even if I could rattle off the bill of fare by heart, I’d still look the whole thing over several times, most likely both online and then again in person, savoring all the delicious possibilities.
Nutty Hubby is well aware of this quirk. We have dinner plans tonight, in fact, at a steakhouse we frequent whenever we can manage it. Dedicated creatures of habit, we order the same appetizers and the same entrées every time we go. And yet Nutty Hubby knows full well that the second we’re seated, before he can so much as reach for a warm sourdough roll from the bread basket, I will have my nose buried in that gloriously weighty tri-fold menu, gazing at dish descriptions with all the greedy rapture of a child watching a fresh batch of cookies rise in the oven.
It’s a culinary placebo effect, pure and simple. Even though I will never order 99.9% of the meals listed, I still feel a sense of nourishment having read them. It’s like pinning recipes online, or watching cooking shows with no intention of ever making any of the dishes yourself. You nod along with the instructions in sage agreement, thinking yes, it is indeed important to get a good sear on the meat, but when the show’s over, what are the chances you’ll actually go out to the store and purchase all 19,042 exotic spices and farm fresh greens on the ingredient list and then go back home and make the thing? Not good, I’m guessing. But the leftovers you nuked in the microwave instead still somehow taste twice as delicious after you’ve been watching that Iron Chef lobster battle, don’t they?
Or not. What do I know? I am The Nut here, after all, maybe it’s just me. Maybe my super power is gaining sustenance from the mere idea of food.
Huh. That could be a pretty useful ability to have on a desert island.
At any rate, you’ll have to excuse me. There’s a 3-page PDF concerning steak that desperately needs my attention.
1 Told you I’d come up with a better one.