Monday, 21 May 2012

a good year for olives

This crazy world is so overpopulated with choice don't you think?

It doesn't matter what you want, there's dozens of different options - colours, styles, sizes, brands, flavours, locations, whatever, to give us, supposedly, our hearts desires.

And it has become apparent to me of late, that the tragedy of this modern line of thinking, is that it's all to easy for it to apply to people as well.  Thanks to social media, its possible to find a friend who likes even the most obscure of hobbies.  Once you thought you were the only person in the world who had heard of a particular musician/writer/foodstuff - but suddenly you learn there are thousands of people just like you out there, just bursting to share their passion.

Which is all well and good, especially if you have a bent for unusual, but my take on this, is that with the constant explosion of choice, many of us have reached a point of inertia.

What do I mean by this?

Take the example of the phenomenon of online dating.  There is no doubt that for the novice it has a candy-shop quality - so many women! so much choice!  But just like the all you can eat buffet, eventually the appetite for overindulging becomes rather distasteful.  In fact, it's possible to become completely cynical, and decide (after date 63 and still no ''spark''...) that perhaps this whole idea of the world being a village, is in fact a cruel joke played by boffins in a faceless computer programming office somewhere, and in fact, you ARE the only person out there with a particular set of values or interests.

And so, just like the novelty of having two dozen different types of olives to choose from at the supermarket, or ten movies on offer at the theatre - it becomes easier, safer, to pick the option that''s closest and most accessible.

Thus, instead of making a rational choice, possibly with some imagination in it, but that might take longer, you take the fall back option - the default position - where making no decision is the easiest even if it might turn out to be vaguely disappointing.

As far as I can see, sometimes not making a decision is actually the decision.  Which is all well and good when you''re picking olives, but it's not a great start when you're choosing people.  I have made a conscious choice now.  I  choose NOT to be, nor settle for,  a fallback option. The default position.  The decision that doesn't need to be made yet.  The boring olive.

Have you ever chosen to NOT make a decision?  To settle?  To compromise knowing that ultimately it's probably going to be a sour olive, but the short term temptations outweigh the sensibility of waiting for a better harvest?  Why?

I have decided that it just might be better to avoid the delicatessen altogether, and get someone to recommend me a good harvest.


  1. I have settled in my last three, short term (about 8 months) relationships. Yes, they were thrilling and fun at the beginning, but it didn't last very long because they were the wrong men for me. Now I'm trying to be patient and wait for the right man. As my therapist said, "Wouldn't you rather wait a year to meet the right one, than to take the wrong one who's here now?" Yes.

  2. and of course the therapist is right, our rational selves know that. the trick is to convince the emotional self that the other bit is the sensible one!