I painted four near-identical rectangles on the wall, each a subtly different shade of grey. Stepping back to admire my handiwork, I called my husband into the dining room and demanded his opinion. He stared at me blankly.
'Well?’ I said.
‘Errrr… they’re all the same,’ he replied. A look of disapproval flashed involuntarily across my face. ‘Besides,’ he hurriedly continued, ‘I’m not really fussed. Whatever will make you happy.’
This is how most of the key decorating decisions have played out since my family and I moved into our new home four weeks ago.
When I rang Carl from the Ikea showroom in a panic, torn between buying a sofa in either rich charcoal or gorgeous pale grey, he remained unfazed. I, on the other hand, drew up an exhaustive list of pros and cons, dissected each point in depth and weighed up both options carefully. A few days later I spent an entire evening agonising over the merits of gloss paint versus eggshell. I eventually settled on gloss, but after a sleepless night spent regretting my decision, I contacted the supplier and amended my order. Earlier today I read that the average house renovation involves in the region of 15,000 decisions. Heaven help me!
My husband thinks I’m crazy. Perhaps you do too? There are plenty of ‘real’ issues in the world, far more deserving of my concern and attention. People make decisions of much greater importance every day, choices that have serious consequences and impact the lives of thousands of people. I am an intelligent woman, I know these things. I just seem to have a propensity towards indecision.
So sue me.
Maybe it’s not entirely my fault though? The era we live in is
epitomised by an abundance of choice. We celebrate variety. An infinite
array of options has become the norm in every sphere of our lives. As
consumers we expect, if not demand, choice. In turn, the choices we make
have become an integral part of how we define ourselves as individuals,
not to mention the image we present to the rest of the world.
me, wedding planning provided numerous opportunities for fraught
decision making. Replace the paint samples with fabric swatches, switch
sofas for shoes and compare my night of decor hesitation to the months I
spent agonising over whether I should wear a veil.
I’d like to think those of you that frequent the pages of Love My Dress
on a regular basis know what weddings are really about. We’ve all heard
the criticism levied at brides, and bloggers, who get hung up on the
details rather than the bigger picture. ‘Love is the thing’ they say.
And they’re right.
But I know that getting hung up on the exact
colour of ribbon used to tie your wedding bouquet isn’t necessarily a
reflection of your views on marriage or what it means. Just as the hours
I’ve spent worrying about window treatments and paint finishes doesn’t
mean I don’t know what really makes a house a home is the people you
share it with.
In many ways, the emphasis we place on these apparently insignificant decisions can actually be understood as an expression of just how much the ‘bigger picture’ means to us. Rightly or wrongly, maybe the choices we make have become part of how we show we care?
When we get hung up on picking one thing over another, seeking out alternatives, narrowing down the options and making those all important decisions, do we run the risk of sucking all the fun out of planning in the process? Were brides better off when there was simply less choice?
What’s been the most difficult decision to make while planning your wedding? Do you think you’ve fallen into the trap of over-thinking every little detail? What are your tactics for dealing with the array of options you face as a consumer?
More importantly, what colour should I paint our dining room?!