It’s never too late to work on your perceived flaws. Not the least of mine (or maybe it is. I can’t decide) is my tendency to waffle. Waffling is defined as “wordy, vague, or indecisive talk or writing.”
I have a problem making petty, day-to-day decisions. Roast beef or chicken? The red sweater or the green jacket? This restaurant or that one? Jeans or capris? I weigh the pros and cons of these trifling matters as if it were as important as weighing grams of gold dust until I am bogged down in a quagmire of inaction.
Local restaurant servers hide when they see me coming. They ask, “Are you ready to order?” and the waffling begins. I might answer by explaining, “I don’t usually eat lunch this early, but I had breakfast at 5 am. I had terrible insomnia last night, probably because my arthritic hips were bothering me. I prefer eggs, but I’m trying to watch my cholesterol, so I had cereal. I wanted a banana with it, but they’d turned brown. I hate that, don’t you? Maybe I’ll have the chili, but it will probably give me heartburn. Is there a lot of onion and green pepper in it? Would you say it’s spicy?”
Early in this transaction, the server patiently awaits my order. Several minutes later she begins tapping her foot and mumbling to herself. After a few more minutes, her eyes roll back in her head, and she is in danger of falling to the floor in a coma.
Oddly enough, my most monumental life-affirming decisions were made with relative ease.
After high school, I accepted the first job I was offered.
Whenever I shop for a car, I buy the first one I test drive.
I bought the first house the realtor showed my husband and me, without ever looking at another.
At the age of 19, I married my first serious boyfriend, after dating for only a few months.
I can only explain these snap decisions by saying that some basic instinct told me, “This is the one.” Ironically, these big, easily-made decisions worked out beautifully.
I met my husband on that first job.
Every car I bought gave me over 100,000 miles of dependable service.
I’m still in that first house, after 48 years, and I can’t imagine living anyplace else.
As for my quick decision on my husband’s proposal, when he stands close to me, my face flushes, I get heart palpitations, and I lose my train of thought. It’s either love or malaria; I’m not sure which. I know that sometimes when our lips meet, there is a slightly painful and audible crackle of electricity.
“Aah, after over 50 years, we’ve still got ‘it.'” This usually happens in the winter when I walk across the carpet in my wool socks and touch the metal doorknob. It’s either love or static electricity. I can’t decide.
Last night we met at the door as usual. “Hi, Honey.” Kiss, crackle, ouch!
“What’s for supper?” he asked.
“Nothing,” I said. “I was going to make sandwiches, but I couldn’t decide. Turkey or roast beef? Cheddar or Swiss? White, wheat, or rye? Toasted or untoasted? Then I thought maybe I should order pizza delivery. Pan style or thin crust? Sausage or pepperoni? Alfredo or tomato sauce? Breadsticks or garlic bread? I can’t take the pressure.”
“Would you rather eat out?” he asked. “Where would you like to go?”
“Hmm. Burger joint or steakhouse? Seafood or Italian? Chinese or Mexican? Fried chicken or barbeque? It’ll have to be someplace where the servers don’t recognize me.”