Too many choices?

Posted: September 14, 2009 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,
You must choose, Neo. Ecstasy or Special K

You must choose, Neo. Ecstasy or Special K

So I wrote a tweet the other day about choice being the ultimate luxury. And I think it’s true. I would trade the freedom to take a nice afternoon nap for a lot. Granted, I may not choose to take the nap since there are other things that are pressing sometimes, but just to have the option is awesome. I got a response back that I thought was really interesting. It said, “except when you have too many choices.”

Now, me personally, I don’t believe there’s a such thing. When I’m in the mood for some mental masturbation and  get to the Porsche website and build my perfect GT3, I have many choices. I could pick Arena Red. Or Basalt Black Metallic. How about Paint to Sample, a $5,500 option? What color should I have the wheels painted? Do I want the Carbon Fiber package or the Alcantara/Leather option? Hmm. The $550 suede sun visors perhaps. See, I like choices. Choices are good. I’ll go with Carerra White, black wheels, Sport Seats and Ceramic Brakes, thanks. I know what I want. I look at the options, click the boxes that matter to me, and am flexible on those things that aren’t that important. Something to this effect (the fuck did I start with a base price of $112K and end up at $143,000? Damn suede ball-ticklers):

Come to Butthead.

Come to Butthead.

But this choice thing isn’t for everyone. To some people, there exists a world where there are too many choices. Too many options, too many unknowns. Too many opportunities to feel like you made the wrong choice. Probably why Henry Ford was so successful at selling Model T’s. “You can have any color you want. As long as it’s black.”

And to some degree, the same can be said of dating. The truth of the matter is, we may have too many choices. What’s that, you say? You just finished the 119th consecutive Essence article about the lack of marriagable black men, and then had that view confirmed by MSNBC and The Root? Pish-tosh. While I agree with my friend F-Peezy that there is certainly an imbalance in the playing field, I think it’s also a truth that any woman can find at least one man if she so chooses. Not saying it’s easy, just that it can be done.

But I can see why it’s harder to pick when there are so many freaking options. And the stakes are so high, especially as you get older. You want to pick the right person to spend what little free time you have with.

Now your Grandpappy and Nana, your ideals of black love, see they didn’t have the same options and diversions that you have. They got to date whoever lived in their little town at the time, was of age, and wasn’t of another race. That kinda narrowed the field down pretty well.  But now, you can date anybody. You can date white, black, latino, asian, an Eskimo if you can find one. And you can date anywhere. Thanks to the magic of the internet, I can date a girl I lost touch with from college in New York who just friended me on Facebook. Or the cute friend of a friend in Atlanta who thinks my twitter feed is funny. Or some random woman who just likes this blog and lives in Boston but travels a lot and finds her way down here every couple of weeks. The options are limited only by our collective ability to finance a long distance relationship and our interest in doing so.

We also have what we may think are BETTER options. Again, thanks to the glory of the internet, we’re all superstars now. Not content with who you’re dealing with now? Well, shucks, that Facebook friend of yours seems like he’s doing pretty well, what with all those pics of him in Paris and the Bahamas. And he likes kids, judging from the fact that he says he’s a mentor. He’s probably better than that boring schlep of a dude you’re dating now, right?

Fellas, your team letting you down? They can be replaced in the span of a week with newer, younger, women! Race, class, religion? Fuhgettaboutit! The lines have ceased to exist. You can have anyone, as long as they want you. And they’re easier to find now than they’ve ever been.They may be nicer than your current chick? Give head better? Got a great chick with a subpar rack? Her big titty doppelganger is out there somewhere!

So how does one settle down without feeling like they’re “settling?” Because the reality is, no matter how awesome your person is, isn’t there a better one out there? And at what point do you say, “You know what, what I have is good enough.?” Or at what point do you say, “This isn’t making me happy, I should go out and find someone new?” And how much of that choice is dependent on the depth of the options you have? The reality of the situation is that for upwardly mobile black men and good looking black women without stank attitudes, that options list is long and deep.

I wish I could f*** every girl in the world. Oh, wait, Why cant ?

I wish I could f*** every girl in the world. Oh, wait, Why can't

So how does one choose to be in a relationship with someone, taking all of these options off the table, knowing there’s so much out there? When things get rough, how do you put in the hard work necessary to keep what you have going versus just picking up another one? Maybe too much choice is a bad thing if used improperly.

Maybe lime green

Why settle for white, I'm green. Pick me!

  1. Fanta says:

    too much choice is taxing…i tend to agree. i read a book about this last year. check it out: “The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less” By Barry Schwartz. basically, he argues that people, especially americans, are more depressed and mentally drained these days because of the burden of having too many options.

  2. Reina says:

    Having too many choices is possibly what has, in the past, made me hesitant to commit. A plethora of choices in addition to indecisiveness and insatiableness will not make Reina a wife. LOL It’s easily maintained though. It may take me a while to make a decision, but once it’s made, I can & will commit.

    I do see your point, though. We are spoiled and have convinced ourselves that we are the best and are worthy of the best. Unfortunately, we aren’t intelligent enough to spot “the best.”

  3. taut7 says:

    i agree. i believe that as far as dating people have way too many choices. not as far as race or location because in that regard, i don’t feel like you should be limited by either.

    but as far as the choice of thinking you have a BETTER option. the grass is always greener on the other side. iPromise everyone has their flaws and baggage. i used to think that when i went from one realationship to another that i was in fact upgrading. now that i’m older (and a little bit wiser) i’ve realized looking back that i just merely replaced on face with another and in fact was making parallel movements.

  4. true2me says:

    wow..never thought about this point of view. thanks for the book reference Fanta..i’ll check that out. I think alot is mainly about being better and there being better. but Im a simple girl..just give me the three fs…one of them is to be funny…lol

  5. OneChele says:

    I’m a huge fan of choices, the more the better. I know what I want and what works for me so once I find that “click”, I’ve officially played the field enough to choose. Settling down becomes less like settling when you truly feel like though there are others out there, you’ll never find another just. like. this. Great post!

  6. this post struck a nerve with me. not in an awful way, just in the sense that it really hit close to home. if conjuring emotions is any testament to a well written piece, i’m crying as i type this reply. good job bruh

  7. The Lioness says:

    Yes, there are alot of choices and there will always be someone out there more attractive, smarter, and better in bed than the person you are with. The question is how many of those “better” people will choose you in return? They are thinking the same thing- that they have options. You can spend your life looking at the greener pasture but if they won’t let open the gate then you are wasting your time.

    And it’s only settling if the person you are with isn’t making you happy.

    • true2me says:

      settling down is settling in the sense that you are no longer looking for are settling for what you have..doesn’t mean that they aren’t good or great or can’t make you happy.

      There will always be others out there..but when you settle are necessarily saying “I’ll just take this…even tho its subpar” it means that you aren’t looking anymore…

      and I agree w the lioness that “better” person going to think you are the one lol..thats hilarious

  8. SoJo says:

    Thought-provoking! Must be something in the air. ForNot did another food-for-thought post about the fact that our generation will rarely live to see Golden Anniversaries the way that our grandparents did.

    We’re all shooting out ideas about why that is, and then I come here and it dawns on me that maybe we have generational ADD from having too many choices.

    I know that I keep telling myself that while I meet really good guys every day, I just want to make sure that the person I end up w/ is the perfect one for ME. Now thinking back, I don’t remember that even being a thought in my mother or my grandmother’s mind. They met, they dated, they mated – end game.

    Both of you have my wheels spinning today!

  9. WuDaMan says:

    too many choices are bad. I always try to keep it to three @ the most. And as the friendships progress. The track gets narrowed. too many choices is nerve wracking. We weren’t made for it. We were once a tribal people now we’re global. It could be good to be able to handle being global but @ what cost? Me I’m waiting for some in wheel electric motors I will be able to integrate on my 2000 lesabre. Sure I’ll probably have to swop out the engine, get some drilled and slotted rotors suicide out the doors and reinforce the roof but hey that’s my baby and nobody put’s baby in the corner rip Swayze.

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