Aaarrrggghhh! The paradox of choice.
We all want choices. A car that works for me probably won’t work for you. I need dependable transportation for two. You might need a car that can shuttle a bunch of kids to soccer practice. If car manufacturers only made mid-sized cars, you’d be screwed. If car manufacturers only made minivans, I’d be screwed. But since car manufacturers make mid-sized cars and minivans, we both win. I get my old-man Camry and you get your Sienna.
But what happens when there’s too much choice? I can wrap my brain around three manufacturers producing five types of cars each. But 30 manufacturers producing 20 types of cars each? With that many options, it’s impossible not to second-guess yourself.
“Did I really choose the best car for me?”
“How does the cost of ownership compare to other cars in its category?”
“And what about compact cars? A Fiesta, Civic, or Corolla would work for us too.”
Some people can deal with the uncertainty and move on. Others can’t. They are haunted by the possibility of making a “bad” decision. So rather than make a bad decision, they refuse to make a decision at all. They analyze…and analyze…and analyze.
Groovy Ranch Drama
Mrs. Groovy and I don’t give a rat’s ass about cars. In 2008, we were looking for something used and dependable. Since my grandfather was the family car expert, and he loved Camrys, we went with a 2004 Camry. No paradox of choice involved. [Mrs. Groovy here: Good thing for you I know NOTHING about cars.]
Now, however, we want to build a house. And Mrs. Groovy and I care deeply about our future home…aka, the World Headquarters of Groovydom (sorry for the moniker appropriation, Fritz)…aka, the dining and restroom facilities of Groovypaloosa…aka, the citadel of calmness where I can peacefully sit on my aging butt and watch inane YouTube videos. [Mrs. Groovy here: Don’t tell me we’re back to that again!] And because we care deeply about our future home, we fear the prospects of choosing badly. Hello paradox of choice.
There are so many damn options. Bungalow? Yeah, love it. Cottage? Count us in. Craftsman, farmhouse, and ranch? Love those too. Heck, we even like the idea of a shipping-container house, a shed-roof modular, and a freakin’ Quonset hut. [Mrs. Groovy here: Wait, wait! Hold on a sec! I just saw a barndominium plan I think you’ll love!]
And regardless of what style you choose, you will not escape the mocking tentacles of the paradox of choice.
“It’s cheaper to build up than out. Go with two stories.”
“At your age, a one-story house is your best friend. Trust me, your knees will thank you.”
“Do you want an attached garage or not?”
“And what about size? Will you be more comfortable in a 1,500 sq ft home or a 3,000 sq ft home?”
“You got to check out the house designs in Southern Living.” [Mrs. Groovy here: And don’t forget Architectural Digest and Dwell.]
“And if you really want some great design ideas, you’d be foolish to ignore Houzz.”
To say our heads were turning into spinning heaps of pink goo is a gross understatement. But we pressed on. The land had been purchased, after all. The Rubicon had been crossed. There was no turning back.
Finally after two months of “that sucks,” “hate it,” “you’re nuts,” and “I don’t know,” we found a two-story floor plan that met 95% of our needs. It was suddenly go time. The dream of Groovy Ranch was becoming a reality.
Or was it?
Foyer, Thy Name is Lucifer
I’m not going to rehash the demise of our two-story floor plan. You can read about it here. Suffice it say that Mrs. Groovy had some legitimate reservations.
So it was back to turning our heads into spinning heaps of pink goo. The only constraints we imposed on ourselves were these: Groovy Ranch had to be one-story, and it had to be less than 1,500 sq ft.
Happily, after a few days of poring over floor plans, we found one that again met 95% of our needs. The only sticking point was that Mrs. Groovy hated the foyer.
And, frankly, I was flummoxed.
I can see the kitchen being a deal breaker. I can even see the size of the closet in the master bedroom being a deal breaker. But the foyer? Really? To me, that was like saying, “I love this car. It’s perfect. But I can’t buy it because the spare tire sucks.” [Mrs. Groovy here: Seriously? You never heard of curb appeal? It’s the same theory. I don’t want to walk into my house and the first thing I see is utterly repugnant.]
Aaarrrggghhh! Why did I marry a beautiful redhead from Brooklyn who possesses pit bull tenacity? [Mrs. Groovy here: Well, I am a Taurus after all.]
So, yes, we had our fifth fight regarding Groovy Ranch, and, yes, Mrs. Groovy kicked my ass as usual. I spent two more days crafting a foyer to her liking. [Mrs. Groovy here: Lucky for me I married a man who has an eye for design and can sketch.]
Mrs. Groovy drove me crazy over the foyer from hell. But in all honesty, her instincts were spot on. [Mrs. Groovy here: That’s the first time I’m hearing that. I thought you were just humoring me.] The reconfigured foyer that I came up with really improved the overall design of our new, this-better-freakin’-be-it, Groovy Ranch. [Mrs. Groovy here: Never say never. We still may need to find another designer since the one we met went AWOL. Was it something we said? Anyway, who knows what the next guy or gal will fill my head with.]
Okay, groovy freedomist, that’s all I got. Once we have the final floor plan of Groovy Ranch in our hands, I’ll post pictures. Peace.