It never dawned on me that I was unconsciously being overwhelmed by choice until I had to shop for a trash can for my kitchen. Yes, a plain trash can. I moved into a new place in May and I’m still using a bucket for a waste bin (a bucket on the other hand was a fairly easy purchase). But why Vanessa? You may ask. For starters, Amazon alone has 64,315 results for “trash cans”. Sixty-four thousand three hundred and fifteen.
I mean don’t get me wrong. I can understand how sometimes, more choice can mean more freedom and I’m all for it. Love freedom. Hate dictatorship. But I’m talking about the trivial things in life here. For instance, my friend and I decided to stay in on Saturday and watch a movie. Simple, solid plan. We wasted an hour aimlessly navigating all the different streaming platforms, ensued by the genre debate: “Movie or series? Drama? Comedy? Rom-com? No, documentaries are for Mondays. Wait, let’s go to the liquor store first to get a bottle of something.” And don’t even get me started on the liquor store. Too hot for red wine, too pretentious for rosé, too old for vodka. I don’t really like Gin anyway and I had Saké two nights ago. White wine it is then. Great, at least that’s settled! Woohoo. Wait, but which one?
You get my point so I’ll spare you the impossible twists and turns of the food ordering process. Needless to say, we chose a movie that all of us had already seen before (Lalaland). I fell asleep 20 minutes into it and I couldn’t tell you what we ordered if my life depended on it. (The wine however was fantastic!)
So I’m curious, do you guys also feel overwhelmed by all the endless possibilities? Am I the only one missing the bygone era of the three looping tapes on a walkman? Having one, maybe two types of milk you can drink with your coffee in the morning? Do you also have 23 other open tabs right now?
P.S: Barry Schwartz calls it the paradox of choice. I personally would’ve called it inevitable purgatory. Creative differences aside, you should read his book or watch his talk about it here. It’s really interesting!
P.P.S: I’m not the only one affected by this. Nat texted/slacked me over the course of 2 weeks to get my opinion on her future bedroom curtains. We saw everything: white, grey, blackouts, pompoms, yellow… She eventually went for beige.
P.P.P.S: Open to any trash bin recs!