The Art of Decision Making

  • The Art of Decision Making
    The Art of Decision Making

We’ve been married a really, really, really long time, maybe too long. The reason I say this is because we’ve been married 48 years and still can’t make a simple decision. The following conversation between David and myself comes up almost every year. It started around our 30th anniversary.

“What do you want to do this year?” David asks.

“For what?” I answer while playing ‘Spite and Malice’ on my laptop.

“Valentine’s Day,” he answers back, placing the Queen on the King while playing solitaire on his laptop.

“I dunno.” Dang it. He made me take too much time on that last move. Now my score will be really low. He should know better than to ask me questions while I playing a timed game.

“How about dinner at the Club?” he suggests.

“Not at $65 per person for the frou-frou food that new chef likes to come up with. She should know we Okies like our food plain, fattening and covered in gravy. I’d sooner eat a bear claw, and I’m not talking pastries here, bucko.”

After several more minutes of scintillating conversation it was finally decided. Valentine’s Day was spent lying about in our recliners, wearing pajamas, playing card games on our laptops, eating pizza and watching old television programs all day while glancing out the window to observe the snow falling, secure in the knowledge that we don’t have to be out in it if we don’t want to.

All of this was just a prelude to the more serious decision-making process of deciding what to do for our anniversary which falls 10 days after Valentine’s Day. When we got engaged I thought we’d have a nice June wedding, indoors. Getting married outdoors in June is popular among many for some reason although I never really knew why. Not me. I don’t like to sweat. If I’d known then what I know now, I’d have INSISTED on a June wedding. There are no giftgiving holidays (for me) in June. I know Father’s Day is in June. I said for me.

Anyway, in my teenaged mind, I needed to set the date away from Valentine’s Day so I’d get two days (translation: double presents) to celebrate in one month. Sounded logical at the time.

We do have plans for our golden wedding anniversary. Kinda. Sorta. Maybe. As you may have deduced, we tend to have issues with making long term plans. I know I do. I hate making the commitment that planning ahead requires. What if one of us gets sick? Or both of us? Or our car breaks down? Or we get lost? Etc., etc. and the trip is nonrefundable? I get high anxiety knowing that, as we are barreling down the highway or running to catch a plane, we might not arrive at our destination until way past our reservation time and well end up sleeping in our car or a lobby somewhere after they’ve given away our room or our plane takes off without us and there’s not another one heading that way for two days unless we’re willing to take two shuttles, layover in a onepropeller airport, and walk a few miles between gates. How in the heck did I ever get through a wedding? All I can remember is if my sister hadn’t taken over we probably would have gotten married at the courthouse.

For this special anniversary, we’ve decided to stay landlocked, so to speak, and pick a domestic destination. Now we’re trying to decide between a river cruise or a cross country train ride. We love riding trains in areas we’ve never explored but we’ve never been on a river cruise. We went on a cruise to the Caribbean for our 25th which David was not too fond of. Endless days on open waters was not his idea of a good time I think either one would be fun IF we can make a decision on which mode of transportation we want to take, what part of the country we want to see, how much we want to spend (as little as possible), and when we want to go. I guess we could flip a coin. Heads for a river cruise, tails for the train. That’s probably the fastest way to get a decision out of either one of us.

Surely this dadgum pandemic will be long gone by then and we’ll once again be free to roam the land as our forefathers intended—in an air conditioned ‘wagon’ equipped with padded heated/cooled seats, sunroof (which we forget is there), satellite radio, GPS and plenty of snacks and drinks.

(Addendum to last week’s column: David surprised me with a dozen red roses and some kind of blue plant I haven’t been able to identify, the fink.)