The Platform Of Second Guessing- Rungs Two and Three of the Ladder

Thomas, my husband is great at making decisions. He evaluates the information, thoughtfully reflects, and makes a decision.  I am told that this is how most people operate.

My family, however, operates on a platform of Second Guessing.

Our first decision that had to be made was to choose the venue for the reception. We had done some research online, and had made appointments with a few locations.  (I used a lot of self restraint. I wanted to book nineteen appointments so we would have plenty of information, but I also wanted to shield Thomas from some of the crazy until after the “I Dos”.) We visited the first (Windows Off Washington for my St. Louis readers), and loved it. Thomas was ready to sign the paperwork and go have a beer. But, Thomas wasn’t making the decision alone. He was with Captain Information and Second Officer Second Guess. Sure, Windows Off Washington was great; it had everything we wanted, and we were perfectly satisfied… but… WHAT IF???

“What If’ is the second rung in the Non Decision Making Ladder.

WHAT IF… we liked the food at another place better?  …the dance floor was bigger? …was less expensive?

The possibilities are endless! Thomas politely listened to several rounds of this as he was trying to make a good impression on his Mother-In-Law To-Be (also he is extremely polite) and then spoke his piece.

possibilites The Platform Of Second Guessing  Rungs Two and Three of the Ladder

“I like it. Julia likes it. It has everything we listed. We can afford it.”  He paused. “I am not going to another place. You can go with your mother. I’m done”.


“I am not going to look anywhere else. I’m done.”

shut the front door funny signs The Platform Of Second Guessing  Rungs Two and Three of the Ladder

 The world stopped spinning. Time stood still. This man was willing to make a decision with only one option?! He skipped the first two rungs on the ladder! How was this possible?!  Would I live a life of regret that I could have had a better reception somewhere else?!  Would my family support such a decision, one made without 14,000 pieces of information translated into a Pro’s vs. Con’s Excel spreadsheet?! As it turns out, it was possible, we had our reception there and it was lovely. (I was the Most Beautiful Bride EverTM.)

And, there were many more decisions to make!

The third rung of the Non Decision Making Ladder is Attempting to Change Decisions That Have Already Been Made. We wanted to serve pork tenderloin at our reception. We had several debates utilizing the first two rungs of our ladder.  We actually made a decision, filled out the forms, and signed on the dotted line… and then my mother freaked remembered our Jewish guests.  Citing dietary concerns, she set out on a Mission To Change The Pork. I certainly want to be respectful and to honor people’s dietary choices, especially when they are driven by religion, but this was ridiculous because  we invited three Jewish guests…two of whom weren’t coming, and the third does not keep kosher.  She was Changing for The Sake Of Changing. 

She received extra bonus points for this move because of the timing as she made this announcement approximately three weeks before the big day. After several days of “discussion”, my mother won. She has many more years of experience at this game, but I hope I gave her a run for her money! A couple of weeks after the wedding, Thomas asked about dinner- why was he served chicken when we had decided on pork? I told him about my mother’s mission, and he thanked me for leaving him out of it. 

thanks deciding ecard someecards1 The Platform Of Second Guessing  Rungs Two and Three of the Ladder

I left Thomas out of it for a couple of reasons. Mainly, I wanted to make sure he was going to show up at the wedding! But also because he did not have the skills to play the Non Decision Making game. Today, though, I am proud to say that he is making progress, and learning to manipulate the rungs.

I am even prouder to tell you that I am learning how to actually Make Decisions!

note: Thomas gives things a once over before I post them… and he had NO IDEA about the pork. He thanked me for sparing him!  (My bestie Liz proofs all of my writing out of the niceness of her heart before I post. She is so amazing I cannot stand it. It takes a village, people.)

The First Rung of the Ladder of Non Decision

I love, LOVE to be organized. I actually enjoy cleaning out my sock drawer.  I look forward to Spring Cleaning Day the way most people look forward to Christmas. (As a direct result, Spring Cleaning Day is a holiday that occurs WAY more than once a year in our house.) I have embraced my OCD and prefer to think of it as an OCDo.

Other than my Costco addiction, I like to think we live a streamlined life. We regularly clean out our closets (I have an itty bitty house with doll size closets), organize our drawers, and sort through the overflow of junk very important, random pieces of paper that somehow end up in my kitchen.

more is more The First Rung of the Ladder of Non Decision

However, there is one area of my life where More Is More.  I am a Hoarder of Information.  There, I said it! I come by it honestly; I do not blame myself (I hold my family completely responsible). Hoarding information is a key step in the art of Non Decision Making, which is practically an Olympic sport in my family. When making a Non Decision, there are several steps one needs to take to ensure that nothing can be accomplished. I prefer to think of this process as a ladder, with several rungs. 

ladder1 The First Rung of the Ladder of Non Decision

The first rung of the Ladder Of Non Decision Making is the “hoarding of information”.  Thanks to the internet, the ability to execute this step is ridiculously easy.  The biggest example that comes to mind is wedding planning.  There are so many decisions to be made when planning a wedding that even “normal” decision makers can reach overload status and become paralyzed, so you can imagine the circus that my mother and I turned it into when planning mine.

Thomas and I got married in my hometown of St.  Louis, and because it isn’t exactly next door to Atlanta,  we had to make several trips during the planning.  Since we had a limited amount of time (more often than not just a weekend to spend), placing any sort of limitation on this already taxing process is not recommended; however, my mother said she was up for the challenge. This should have been my first red flag…

red flag The First Rung of the Ladder of Non Decision

Really, it could not have been more clear.

The first thing we saw when we walked into her house was the towering stack of bridal magazines.  I remember glancing nervously at Thomas and hoping that he was ready for the Uproar (a game my family plays that delays a decision as long as possible by being “nicer” than the next guy.) Let the hoarding begin!

Thomas operates as follows (I suspect that so do most people):

  • Utilize Google to gain information on different options.
  • Pick two.
  • Review choices in person. If the first choice is acceptable, there is no reason to review the second option. (This is unfathomable in my family.  This concept simply does not exist for us.) (It is actually difficult for me to even write it.)
  • Make decision.

As I have mentioned, this is not really the way my family works. For starters, it is WAY too easy…

tomorrow, we will discuss the Second Rung of the Ladder…