The Role of Ambivalence in the Decision-Making Process
I’ve got a decision to make. It’s one of those decisions that no matter which way I go—left or right, yes or no—chances are excellent I’ll regret it. I’d like to totally ignore it (as I do everything else I don’t want to deal with, under the impression that whatever it is will just disappear into irrelevancy), but I’d probably regret that, too. It’s a lose-lose-lose proposition in my mind, which means I just can’t win. And, if I can’t win, I may as well surrender – it’s just a matter of choosing the option I’m willing to regret the least for the rest of my days.
The life changing, do-or-die question is this: Should I, or should I not, attend my high school reunion?
Yeah, I know…that’s a toughy.
On the plus side, I wouldn’t have that far to go; it’s a relatively short drive from here compared to, say, Canada. But I wonder if five hours and the cost of a hotel room are worth subjecting myself to the possibility of ridicule, censure and/or total anonymity. What if the only three people who knew my name don’t show up, or worse yet, don’t remember me? What if it was all a nightmare and I just think I graduated…in the bottom half of my class? What if I’m the only person there who’s been divorced? Or failed to finished college? Or doesn’t own an island in the Pacific? What could I possibly have in common with these people, besides an English teacher?
The mature, pragmatic side of me says a lot of people there will be feeling the same way. It tells me that we’re all adults now, with spouses, children, and grandchildren. We’ve all had our tragedies, triumphs, successes and failures. We all look ugly naked. But, the insecure, childish side (really, the more discerning of the two) knows that the moment I hit the door I’ll magically morph into the introverted, socially gawky teenager I used to be, which will not be an attractive sight – I’ll be a 59-year-old girl with big hands, big feet, and acne. I’ll be intimidated all over again by the popular kids, the cheerleaders, the football jocks. I’ll feel left out because I never joined the drill team. Or ran for student council. Or got A’s.
So, I guess it’s just a matter of time, waiting to see which side of my ambivalent personality comes out on top. Of course, if I’m lucky, I’ll still be arguing with myself until it’s too late, which, come to think of it, is the one choice I could live with.
Which smells just like (dare I say it?) a win for both of me!