Posted by Marianne hill
I have been indecisive for as long as I can remember. Anyone who knows me even very slightly will be aware of this, and they may even have possibly shared in an experience, perhaps more than one, in which I have struggled to make even the simplest of choices. It has been known for me to stand in front of the jam shelf in the supermarket for a considerable time faced with a wall of different jams, unable to move, frozen by my inability in deciding which flavour to buy. Eventually forcing myself to settle on one I will usually walk on a few steps before hastily returning to the same shelf to possibly change my mind but then again I may possibly stick to my original choice. Stepping hesitantly forwards and backwards, putting jars back and picking up new ones before returning to my original choice and so on until I either settle on one or just give up and leave the decision for another day or if I am shopping with somebody else they will often make the choice for me, tutting and giving off a strong aura of impatience. At best my indecision can be annoying, at worst it can be literally painful.
I am well aware that only recently I wrote about the stresses and worries involved in me catching a train, and that by writing now about my problems with making decisions people could possibly be lead into thinking that I have ‘issues’ but obviously this would be far from the truth.
I was recently reminded (not that I ever actually forget) of this particular problem by my friend Carrie, with whom I have just spent a few days away. We were going to a concert, along with two of her friends, who incidentally also quickly picked up on my indecisiveness. Initially it looks quite harmless, in this case emerging as we all met up in a bar and I was asked if I wanted a drink. Yes I did, but I didn’t know what, so my safety net is always to ask others what they are having and all being well I can just go along with that. This worked fine and I successfully escaped detection. The first sign of trouble came later on in the evening when we all went out to Pizza Express. I don’t do well in restaurants generally as the task of deciding what I want can be all too much. Unfortunately this was the case here. Looking at the menu there were far too many pizza possibilities. There was a seemingly endless list of toppings. How on earth was I to decide? Did I want a regular pizza or a Romano one? And what is a Romano one? How is it different to a regular one? Would I like it? Is it nice? My stress levels rose as my companions quickly made their choices, but also, rather unusually by the fact that in the whole of the dimly lit restaurant I found myself sat right under a very bright spotlight! I felt like I was being interrogated when I was asked if I had decided. No I hadn’t! How could I decide? The light was so bright! The heat emanating from it was stressing me out even more. I asked the waiter if he could possibly turn the spotlight off but he said short of us throwing things at it to break it we were stuck with it. Someone suggested moving the table forwards a little so that I wasn’t wholly illuminated in the glare which definitely helped, but I was so busy thinking about how everyone else had already decided that I kept forgetting to try and choose myself. Sensing my indecision my friends tried to help by answering my questions – Have you ever had this one? Is it ok? Would I like it? I’m not sure whether I want this one or this one. What are you having? Is that nice? Would I like it do you think? I tried to focus on the menu but out of the corner of my eye I could see the waiter approaching! Oh, but I still hadn’t chosen! The whole episode was far too stressful and I had made myself look rather pathetic and laughable (yes I know, it’s most unlike me) and it was only the first night. Unfortunately I continued with my struggle to make independent choices over the weekend and I built myself quite the reputation as being indecisive.
The evening of the concert proved quite a challenge. What should I wear? What was everybody else wearing? Sleeves or not sleeves? Should I take another top just in case it got cold? Should I take my phone? Was anybody else taking their phone? Where should I put my ticket? Might it fall out of my pocket? What about my money? How much should I take? How much was everyone else taking? Were they planning on buying a t shirt? Should I get a t shirt? How much are they? Could I afford one or was it too frivolous? Which pocket should I put my lip balm in? Should I put everything in a different pocket so that things don’t fall out when I reach in for other things? And so on. The decisions were endless. Eventually we managed to get out and headed off, stopping at a shop first to get something to eat on the way. What should I have? What was everyone else having? Shall I have this one? Or this one? Maybe this one? Which one have you got? Which juice should I get? Which juice are you getting? Should we get a bit of cake? Are you getting a bit of cake? It’s reduced to 40p. That’s not too bad for a bit of cake is it? Are you going to get a bit of cake? I finally made my choices and Carrie and I joined the queue to pay. We both got served at adjoining tills at the same time. As my things were scanned the shop assistant asked me if I wanted a bag. I looked at Carrie. Are you having a bag?!! For goodness sake, now the shop assistant was looking at me sympathetically! Even with something as simple as being asked if I wanted my things put in a bag I couldn’t decide by myself.
So yes, I am definitely indecisive but I like to think that it adds to my charm. Although I’m not sure. Does it? What do you think?………