There are moments in life — many moments, if we counted them — in which we have clear choices. We almost always have choices, of course. Coffee or tea? Dog or cat? Cable or network? Blonde or brunette? Talk radio or music? Love or logic?
There are moments in life — many moments, if we counted them — in which we have clear choices.
We almost always have choices, of course. Coffee or tea? Dog or cat? Cable or network? Blonde or brunette? Talk radio or music? Love or logic?
In the old days, for example, a newspaper reader generally liked Ann Landers or Dear Abby. That reader might have encountered both advice columnists, depending on the number of newspapers to which he subscribed, but generally a strong preference was harbored for one or the other.
Today, we have alternatives in late-night talk shows on TV. We perhaps watch them all at one time or another, but no doubt we have our favorite. Walk into someone’s home after 11:30 at night and likely you’ll more often see either Jay Leno or David Letterman on their set, and there may be some Conan O’Brien converts now that he has been thrown into the time slot.
But many of the decisions in our lives don’t even leave us that many options. Our choices already have been made.
Baseball: Designated hitter or pitcher hits?
Toilet paper: Roll from the front or roll from the back?
Peanut butter: Creamy or chunky?
Ice cream: Chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate: Dark or milk?
Peanuts: Salted or unsalted?
Bathing: Shower or bath?
Coffee: With cream or black?
In bed: Sheets tucked in or left out?
Computer: PC or Mac?
Clothing: Boxers or briefs?
Eyewear: Glasses or contact lenses?
Soda: Diet or high-test?
Shaving: Safety razor or electric shaver?
Politics: Democrat or Republican?
Condiment: Ketchup or mustard?
OK, those last two may be decided on a case-by-case basis, with our preferences influenced by the nature of the candidate in the election or the kind of sandwich we are fashioning. But, all things being equal in the voting and the eating, I’ll bet you lean one political direction or the other, and I’m guessing you are pretty particular about the condiment you put on either a hamburger or a hot dog.
So, it’s pretty obvious to me that we all have made clear-cut choices in our lives. Some, such as whether we are right-handed or left-handed, are seemingly hard-wired into our psyche. Other choices — between Miracle Whip and Hellman’s, for example — are made for whatever undetermined childhood or adult issues that might influence our critical salad dressing or mayonnaise decisions.
And I, for one, am glad these decisions already are made, whether it be by habit or higher power.
I already waste far too much time deciding that I want a baked potato with my steak, instead of french fries –– I don’t want to be debating all night whether to butter it up or slather on sour cream.