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.
“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.”
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.
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.)