The Luxury of Choice

“Everyone has choices to make; no one has the right to take those choices away from us. Not even out of love..”  Cassandra Clare, City of Ashes

Vanilla, chocolate, or something else entirely? (Daily Prompt: 32 Flavors)  Yay, an ice cream question!  But it could just as easily be saying – Black or White, Right or Wrong, or a million shades of grey?

I am thirty-two flavors and then some

I am thirty-two flavors and then some (Photo credit: harry harris)

The minute we open our eyes in the morning we’re faced with choices – simple, complicated, life defining, meaningless.  Sometimes we think we don’t have a choice, but that just means we’ve already made up our mind about whatever it is.  And that’s our choice.  Other times the shere number of choices available is overwhelming and paralysing, so we cross our fingers, close our eyes and point, hoping for the best.

On the grand decision-making scale, which starts at wishy-washy and goes all the way to carved in stone, I like to think of myself as being somewhere in the middle with a fair and open mind.  (Hey, it’s my choice to believe whatever I want about myself, even if I’m wrong,  right?)  But I do think it’s important to listen to more than one side of a story, to consider sources, and to respect the choices that other people make.  None of us that I know of has reached the point in life where there is nothing left for us to learn.

I once read off all the flavours listed on the board at a Baskin-Robbins store at the request of my then five year old daughter so that she could decide what kind she wanted.    I thought she might choose oreo cookies and cream, pink bubblegum, rainbow, strawberry shortcake or cotton candy.  She was a little girl in love with hot pink, lime green, every shade of purple, and eating drink crystals directly from the package.  But what do mothers really know?  Not everything, that’s for sure.  Except it’s a given that their kids will constantly surprise them.  When I finished reading the long list I was prepared to make a shorter one to help her decide, but she only needed to hear it once.  I’ll just have vanilla, she told me.  (Really?  That’s the perfectly white ice cream with nothing in it, you know.)  I know, that’s the one I want.  And so that’s the one she got.

Baskin-Robbins Baseball Nut Ice Cream

Baskin-Robbins Baseball Nut Ice Cream

I suspect it was the one she knew she would be getting in the first place, and the recital of the ice cream flavour list was merely to satisfy her curiosity as to what else was out there.   Or purely to make her mother do something time-consuming and ultimately useless in the name of love.  Now she’s much more an adult of the “something else entirely” genre.  But still making her own informed choices and living with them.  It’s all any of us really want for ourselves.  My own ice cream choice has always been boringly predictable – chocolate in some form or other;  fudge brownie, jamoca almond fudge, tin roof, rocky road.   It’s lovely to have some chocolate choices, but it’s all still chocolate at the end of the day.

What a luxury it is for us, to live in a world where there are so many choices and where we are free to do what we want to do, and be who we want to be.  Even when there are limits imposed, no one can tell us how we must react, or make us feel any way other than how we ultimately choose to feel.  Maybe one of these days I’ll go way out on a limb and try baseball nut. or lemon custard.  Or maybe  I won’t.  It’s my choice.  And how wonderful it is to be able to make it.

Yakkety Yak

The title of my masterpiece:

Gone With the Wind
What do you mean, I can’t use that one? How about – Taken With the Typhoon?

If a question can be answered with one word, or a simple sentence, is it worth expanding upon ad nauseam?

The prompts I’ve ignored in the last 5 days, and my answers to them:

You can only eat either breakfast, lunch or dinner meals for the rest of your life. What’s your choice? When you say EITHER you are supposed to give a choice between two things, like either/or, not three. So the question irked me before I even finished reading the damned thing. I already said somewhere that I’d eat cob salad forever. But my answer here is fruit and nuts, so I’d have to say it’s snack time 24/7 for me.

What song must you always sing the lyrics out loud to? There is no song on earth I ever feel compelled to sing along with. Not even the national anthem. Not even at a karaoke bar. Perhaps especially not in that particular situation. Not even ‘goodness gracious great balls of fire’ inspires me to open my mouth and attempt to ‘sing’.

The phone just rang. Who do you hope is NOT calling? Hope is such a silly waste of time when the phone rings. Look at caller display and see who it is. Then you either answer it or you don’t. If the number is blocked, that’s an excellent reason for not picking up. Then later you can listen to all the blank hang up messages and delete them. Isn’t that what phones are for? And not for sitting around hoping things concerning them?

What are you competitive about? Not much. We live in such a competitive world it wears me out just thinking about it. Everyone wants to win. No one wants to lose. If we’re not in some kind of active competition in our own personal lives, we can watch a myriad of others competing for all number of things on tv. Take the Bachelor, for instance. All those crazy women lining up to get a rose. Have they even considered the ultimate prize at the end of all this? I think not. The bachelor is dangled in front of them like a carrot and the race is on. Such drama for no good reason. Kind of like real life actually.

You just signed a book deal. What’s the title of your masterpiece? A History of the Decline and Fall of the Plinky Empire: Gradual Disintegration, Prompt by Puerile Prompt.

HAHA – just kidding Plinky. I love you. Although some days more than others.

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