Indecision 1971-2006

so, i consider myself a forthright, seize-the-day, let's-get-this-show-on-the-road-NOW kinda girl. i believe those who know me would say that i have a tendency, for better or for worse, to barrel forth with certain decisions regardless: move to america to a place i pronounced miTchigan??? never been, but get me on that plane, baby! make a decision to take up the best part of a decade of my life on a doctorate??? bring it ON!

let's get married, let's get a new car, let's have a baby, let's buy a house, like, NOW!!!!

big decisions, i seem to handle ok (for the most part). but when it comes to decisions about the relative minutae of life, and specifically the purchase of the relative minutae of life, i disintegrate into this person of immobile inaction the likes of which you may never have seen. my husband refers to solo expeditions to the grocery store as a trip to "joyland." i can stand in an aisle and stare intently, jaw-agape, at two different brands of whole wheat pasta or oatmeal for disturbing periods of time. i will examine the price, (do i have a coupon? when do i ever have a coupon?) what's the fiber, protein, sugar, content? (hmm, this one has 2 grams of fiber per serving, but this one has 3. hmmmm). and i reserve this behavior for batteries, cottage cheese, yoghurt, and don't even get me started on birthday cards. can't find joy? send in the search parties, and check the card aisle first. (ah, there she is, slackjawed, with spongebob card in one sweaty hand, and elmo in the other. she is muttering, and jerking erratically, so approach with caution...)

i remember when i was a small kid, there was a sweet-shop on the corner of my street. one of the big treats in my week would be to go to the shop (on my own) to get my mother a pack of fags ("twenty number six, pleeease. s'for my mummy) and to spend the 10 pence i would be paid for the job. this was one of the old school sweet shops that had a whole array of penny sweets in the front counter (and some of these sweets were actually 1/2 p). gummy false teeth, asteroids, cola bottles, milk bottles, sherbet sachets, bazooka gum, licorice pipes, and (how fitting) packs of sugar cigarettes. i remember being absolutely mortified, when the man behind the counter having had it with my internal agonizing over "weeeell, if i get this gobstopper, it lasts longer, but i can get two fizzy worms for a penny" finally snapped and said "'ERE! take 'em ALL, why doncha??"

fast forward a couple of decades, and picture me on a beach in mexico, pouring over the handmade and ridiculously cheap jewelry an old woman and her grand-daughter are selling to the tourists. "hmmm. this white one is soo pretty, but i don't have much of a tan yet and i am sooo pale; on the other hand, i have sooo much turquoise stuff. hmmm... hmmmm.." picture same old woman getting increasingly twitchy, and my dear friend rescuing her and saying "for chrissakes, buy 'em both. i'll buy them for you" as she snatches them out of my hand and presses notes into the poor old gal's hands. and let me say, this is not about the money. it's about having to choose. (and i do wear them both, thanks very much)

so, anyway. this brings me to my point. my husband has, for about the 50th time, said "so what DO you want for your birthday??" he knows, you see, that i think i want a sewing machine. but i am not a hundred percent sure yet.... part of this indecision stems, no doubt, from mild sense of internal horror that i would ever be actually asking for one of these contraptions. (if you remember about a month ago, i linked such desire to the indisputable fact that i am becoming my mother). but the indecision also stems from a complete lack of knowledge over what to buy. should i go relatively inexpensive ($130 or so) and get a simple machine, or is this a tremendous gaff? akin to buying a laptop without wireless or a CD player with no MP3 capacity? should i go more expensive and more bells and whistles? button-holes, and fagotting, whatever the fag fagotting is. if so, should i go second hand? and if i get this machine, does it mean i don't get to have this??? coz i really, really want it.

advise me, crafty friends, for i am lost wandering the symbolic aisles of my sad-sack indecision. tell me what to do, i beg you!

ok, i am now off to purchase about $100,000 of digital equipment for my research center's audio-visual lab. see if you can help me with the sewing machine thing will you?? (pur-lease).


puppytoes said...

you're actually my sister, aren't you? for she is one of the most brilliant women i know, and yet she can absolutely agonize of some of the silliest stuff ever (not that a sewing machine is silly, mind ya, but still...)

here's what i think (since you asked...) sewing machines are lovely, for those of you who can actually use one, but is that the be-all-end-all birthday gift? i think not!! it's practical. is useful. two words that do not go hand in hand with the concept of a present.

i say get the t-shirt... and ask for a girlie day at a spa (then ya don't have to decide cuz you can do it all! facial, manicure/pedicure, massage... mmmmm.) the one thing i would heartily caution you against is having your honey take you to a nice restaurant. because--and i'm only guessing here--you'll never get to eat! (in the spirit of full disclosure, i have to confess i don't do well with too many good choices on a menu, either!)

by the way... when's your birthday? (or did you already mention that? wouldn't surprise me if ya had, sometimes i speed read, and i tend to miss stuff!) : D

Anonymous said...

Get the fancy-schmancy sewing machine. Even if you never use it, just knowing that you have the possibility of doing "faggoting" (not that there's anything wrong with that), why that's a POWERFUL reason right there to go with the sewing machine.

"Oh, that shirt (pants, blouse, coat, whatever) needs some faggoting. I can do that!"

Anonymous said...

I say go for the deluxe machine. You never know when elaborately button-holed jeans will become all the rage and then you will be fully prepared.

I can so relate to the indecision thing. Our last car? Saw a commercial for it and decided it was the one. WE BOUGHT IT WITHOUT EVEN TEST DRIVING ONE.

But choosing between small curd or regular curd cottage cheese? I practically need to take to my bed with indecision.

Anonymous said...

I got one of the target $99 special singers a couple of years ago with my Xmas money, and I am proud to report that in that time I've made a total of one (1) craft project: a blue gingham, vaguely gingerbread-man-shaped doll and matching tiny pillow for my younger son. I have ambitious plans, but alas, none of them have been realized yet.

Anonymous said...

What the fag is wrong with you?

gingajoy said...

thanks for the feedback all. w.v. you speak to an un-uttered truth in this whole thing. the knowledge that, like the ab roller and the easle, and the fondue-set before it, the sewing machine will speak of promise, and then gather dust...

hmmm. if only i could get MIL to *give* me hers. so she has 3 daughters who would kill her. SOOO???

zinalasvegas said...

Yeah--I'm thinking the sewing machine is a skip-item. Get one on eBay, then you won't feel guilty if it becomes a clothes stand!

I think jewelry is better birthday feng shui. Because I am Very Shallow that way.