Tuesday, January 22, 2008


When Buttercup was young her parents separated and began ferociously battling for custody. Because she was twelve, she was allowed to choose which parent she would live with, and because the courts would not separate siblings, she would also make that choice for her four-year-old sister. She did make the choice, she had to, and maybe she even enjoyed, if only a tiny bit, the power everyone told her she had, but the years that followed were filled with drama and tears, painful separations and recriminations. By the time I met her as a young adult, she panicked reading a menu, and when the waiter finally disappeared to fetch her selection, she immediately began regretting her decision, because if she had made the wrong choice, of course everything would be ruined, it would be all her fault, and when the food was placed in front of her, she would wail, I knew I should have chosen the other. As she had more practice at being an adult, her indecision was more easily camouflaged, but she could still be ambushed at times by the need to make the right choice. For example, if she were on vacation, and could either go horse-back riding or take a scheduled tour, she would have to call her sister to ask her what to do.

Buttercup told us she had the opportunity to buy a video business. What did we think? Netflix, over 90,000 selections without ever leaving your comfy chair, we said, it’s hard (because we were being gentle, we didn’t say impossible) for an independent bricks and mortar operation to compete.

But I want a person I trust to tell me what's good, she said, dismissing mail-order movie rentals all together, I would never rent a movie without recommendations.

Point taken. The idea of 90,000 choices might be a tad too many for Buttercup.

It's easy for me to see the repeating pattern in Buttercup's life, but in mine? Surely not. Surely I'm making my decisions on the facts, m'am, the present situation, not on some mental quirk I picked up while scrambling for a foot hold years ago.


Nicole said...

I hope you are because I KNOW I'm not, and I would like to know that you are safe from it all.

In the past year, I realized that I learned (from a certain parent or two or three)to make the choice of the thing I least liked because it was more practical and/or less expensive. Like everything, everywhere, all the time.

I didn't ever think I was worth the cute girly shoes, or colored underwear, or the bedroom set that make me sigh in the presence of its beauty.

Yeah, I bought cute girly shoes, colored underwear, and a bed that makes me sigh this year, and now I can see how many more sparkly decisions I get to make! There's lots of work to be done, but, as "they" say (and "they" can be so right sometimes, can't they?), knowing is half the battle.

After that battle, it's all about having FUN in life. (Yep, learned I never chose FUN either...sigh)

Sorry...looks like I should blog this and get out of your comment space! :)

Love ya!

Lisa said...

Thanks for coming over to my long neglected blog. I read your review of Eat Pray Love and saw the you-tube interiew. I loved both. I have such wanderlust right now. I need a trip. Glad you're keeping up your blog these days. Lisa

Mrs. G. said...

I honestly wish that someone would point out my less than stellar life patterns. I know a couple, but it's much easier to find someone else's.

Still, I have serious doubts about competing with Netflix. But what do I know?