I envy decisive people. They make up their minds quickly and share their opinions without apology. I do not possess that ability. I am the eternal fence sitter. Whatever choice I eventually make, I have little confidence that it was the right one.
Here is a case in point. I need to buy a new wallet. For most people, this would be a fairly easy purchase. I, however, panic at the thought of all of the wallet options that are out there. Should I buy a leather one, a fabric one, or a tasteful-looking plastic one made to look like leather? Do I want an attached key ring or not? What about getting one that has a tiny pen tucked inside plus a little pad of paper for jotting down notes? Do I want the wallet to have a little calculator inside it or should I learn to use the calculator on my cell phone?
I take a deep breath and remind myself that I have only two primary criteria to consider. First, I want a wallet that is small, not one that is the size and density of a brick and will have to be pried out of my purse with a crowbar. Secondly, I want one with plenty of slots for all of the cards I carry and, in addition, places for a few photos, folding money, and coins. That’s it.
I approach the Accessories Department, trying to feel confident in my ability to make a good choice. The first wallet I pick up is made of black leather. It has the required compartments but appears to be a bit thick. Next, I consider a red paisley print one that also meets all of my requirements, in addition to providing every “extra” imaginable, including: a mirror; a plastic, reusable toothpick; tiny nail scissors; and a small square of satiny fabric for cleaning eyeglasses. Who doesn’t need all of those things occasionally? The third one I examine is made of cheap black plastic and has all the class of a Happy Meal toy, so I reject it out of hand.
In order to gain perspective, I open my purse and take out the wallet I currently own. It is tattered, was once white and could be pictured in the dictionary next to the word “ratty.” I compare my current wallet’s size and features to those of the black leather wallet and the red paisley print fabric wallet. Both potential new ones are good possibilities. Since I can’t decide between the two, I employ the scientific method and do eeny-meeny-miney-moe. Ah ha! The red paisley print one it is! I congratulate myself on the speed and efficiency with which I made my decision.
I browse through the purses and scarves that are also on display in Accessories. I try on a hat, hoping it will make me look like Meryl Streep in Out of Africa but the face I see looking back at me in the mirror looks more like the old woman in The Goonies.
I am heading for the register to pay for my new wallet when I hear my name announced on the loud speaker. The voice instructs me to go to Customer Service. What in the world? When I get there, a clerk hands me my old ratty wallet. “Another shopper found this in Accessories and turned it in,” she says.
That settles it. I am graduating to a fanny pack.