Tuesday, August 4, 2015

"I'll Have the Pork Chop."


I have come to a sad realization about myself: I have absolutely no ability to make important decisions. This is a character flaw that I have always suspected, but this summer, while trying to make choices about a bathroom and kitchen remodel, I've spent gut churning hours worrying and fretting about tile and toilets. In fact, these feelings of panic have had a disastrous effect on my art making.

If decisions are quick and critical, there is no problem. I've got it covered. I'm good in a clutch. One of my employees at Macy's, severed his wrist in a terrible food processor related accident (he was putting up a display in the housewares department). No problemo. I joked with him, and helped to make him comfortable, while the first responders wrapped his arm and staunched the blood flow. I even kept him calm, while we drove a short distance to the emergency room of a nearby hospital. Another employee, leaned over near a basket of floral arranging sticks, skewering her face and eye. I kept her calm, and drove her to the emergency room of a nearby hospital. I will admit, that I had a difficult time looking her in the eye, once we had arrived in the emergency room. My brain was imagining the very worst, since she had her eye covered. During this past year, an elderly classroom volunteer passed out, and I handled the situation pretty well. I comforted the kids, and the volunteer, and did some common sense first aid. Life or death decisions are a piece of cake. I am calm and reasonable. This is because there are limited options.

But, any decision that requires reviewing numerous possibilities unglues me. In fact, even ordering a meal is sometimes difficult. For a while, at every restaurant, I just ordered a pork chop if there was one on the menu. It was easier. So, the phrase, "I'll have the pork chop," is kind of shorthand for ending a dilemma. I want it to be easy, without all of the hand wringing. I want there to be less dithering.

There have been a lot of decisions in my life which have been agonizing. Some of them, I've made quickly, without pondering. In some ways, I knew that pondering would be futile. The biggest one of these was the decision to say "no" to a marriage proposal back during my college days. I approached it like a gut decision, and made my choice quickly. I have spent years since, thinking and fretting. This young man was attending law school. He was handsome and kind. A surfer. Through the miracle of Facebook, I can see that he is now just as successful as I thought he would be. And, he has aged very well, like Cary Grant, with graying at the temples. Maybe, if I had taken more time, I wouldn't be bumping along solo on this road less traveled. Sometimes it feels like spending my life on my own is so hard. In so many ways, I have to live with the implications of that decision. 

Maybe if we had married, I could have actually afforded the handcrafted ceramic floor tiles that I've pictured here, instead of the tiles that I had to buy to stay on budget. But, I probably wouldn't have become a teacher. My life wouldn't have been richly blessed by the many children I have met. And, I maybe wouldn't have been able to feel the passion that I do for making things.

So, soon I will have the toilet that I selected. It is very handsome. Do you know how many toilets were in the catalog? Over one hundred. And, I only looked in one catalog. Thank heavens for helpful plumbing contractors, eh? Bless you Molly!


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