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i am the decider
unless i'm not
by mike julianelle

I often have a difficult time pulling the trigger.

Unlike Plaxico Burress! BOO YA!

I'm obviously not talking about literal triggers; I've never fired off much more than a BB gun (and some sick ass one-liners). I'm not some anti-gun nut, though. Guns don't kill people, being shot kills people. So relax. The triggers I can't seem to pull are purely figurative. The whole phrase is just a metaphor for my indecisiveness!

I'm not as bad as some people I know. For instance, I don't need to consult everyone in shouting distance to determine whether or not I should wear a jacket to the bar. But I do occasionally struggle, just not on minor stuff. I'm more likely to defer to someone who actually gives a shit. Should we go out or stay in tonight? It's up to you. Do you want Thai or Italian? Either is fine. Red or white? Whatever kind of mood you're in tonight.

There's a difference between indifference and indecision.

If I'm dealing with a minor choice I actually care about, I hardly need any deliberation at all. Blondes or brunettes? Yes please! Pepsi or Coke? Dr. Pepper, actually. "The Daily Show" or "FrankTV?" You're dead to me.

My indecision tends to rear its head only on really important, deadline-sensitive issues. The big ticket stuff. I've sought assistance from a variety of dubious devices, including coin flips, magic 8-balls, Jack Daniels, Jesus...unfortunately I still haven't figured out a system that works. Those things might give me answers of some sort, but they're hardly binding. They serve more as starting points for the debate.

When things get really desperate I turn to my wife or my friends or - God forbid - my parents. Sometimes their input is helpful, sometimes it's not, most of the time what they say hardly matters. It's what I say that does.

The catharsis that comes with discussing my dilemmas out loud can make all the difference. It makes me wonder if therapy might be worthwhile for me, except that I have a hard enough time admitting my anxieties to myself let alone sharing them with some smug prick with a notepad and no solutions.

When confronting big decisions, people often suggest writing out the pros and cons. Let's try that.

PRO: Seeing things on paper can be helpful. CON: Making lists is a huge pain in the ass. Thanks, I think I'll pass on that.

I am far more likely to put the decision off until it's made for me, during which I pass the time by waking up in a cold sweat, trying to figure out if my anxiety is natural or a true indication that I'm leaning in the wrong direction, then staring at the ceiling for a while. Then I go back to sleep, provided I can, wake up the next morning and get back to putting it off. Success!

In the past I've procrastinated my way out of some great opportunities (but maybe I'm just being a wuss. It's never too late for that first acid trip!), and I've also powered through the nerves and taken some chances that ended up paying off in spades (bidding on those garden tools on eBay really worked out). But I still don't know how to go about following my instincts, especially since I can't read them very well and they usually result in me finishing last in fantasy football. I wonder if I'll ever get to the point that I not only know what I want but trust myself enough to follow through.

The one thing I've learned is that you need people around that can help you make sense of yourself, even if it's just by listening. It's a well-worn cliche that keeping things bottled up can be toxic, so air that shit out. Even if you need to talk to a battery-powered fortune teller or a bunch of patient people on your monthly email list or that friend that is always forcing you to do car-bombs, it's better than giving yourself an ulcer trying to figure things out on your own. Especially when you're drunk most of the time.

So, thanks for letting me vent, it's been really helpful. I think I will get my tubes tied after all!


Let's get real here. You don't want to know about me. You want to know about "me".

more about mike julianelle


bummed out
brother, spare me the whine
by mike julianelle
topic: humor
published: 5.26.06

you don't know jack
an opinion piece
by mike julianelle
topic: humor
published: 11.21.01


rob julianelle
12.8.08 @ 12:58p

Haven't decided if I'm gonna read this yet...

sandra thompson
12.8.08 @ 3:59p

You need arrogance training. When one is as arrogant as I decisions are EASY. I'd send you a brochure for my arrogance training course but I haven't decided if I'm gonna offer it yet.

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