Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Scene at a Redbox kiosk:
Widdle: “What movie do you want?”
Me: “I don’t know. Which one do YOU want?”
W: “Doesn’t matter. You decide.”
Me: “I always pick bombs and then we don’t remember them two days later. You pick.”
W: “Oh. Okay. What about—no, never mind. Really, you pick.”
Me: “No, seriously. YOU pick.”
And so it goes, until the people waiting behind us are ready to bust out a shank.
Widdle and I cannot, canNOT make a decision together on anything. The Publix vs. Bi-Lo question requires at least an hour to resolve. Deciding where to go for Sunday brunch can literally take two days.
Separately, we’re good. I have confidently selected complementing wallpaper, bathroom fixtures, mirrors and paint color in 20 minutes flat. By himself, Widdle can pick out a new truck in 24 hours, bada bing, bada boom.
But put us together, and something unholy happens. We dither. We sputter. We turn helplessly in circles, wringing our hands and bleating like goats. (Okay, that last part is just me. But still.)
When it was time to buy a new vehicle for me awhile back, Widdle and I anguished for weeks. I had no idea what I wanted. He had no idea what he wanted me to have. Finally I blurted: “Tell you what. You buy it and I’ll drive it.” That was at 7 p.m. on a Monday. When I opted out he promptly decided, and a car was in the driveway at 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Widdle claims we can’t make joint decisions because we’re both Sagittarians, whatever that means. I think we’re just sick of making choices. Think about it: From the time your eyes open in the morning, you have to choose: Sweatpants or jeans? Coffee or juice? Baseball cap or ponytail? Don’t even get me started on what errands to run, which rooms to clean or whose emails to answer.
Back to the Zodiac. Widdle doesn’t follow his horoscope, but he tends to think some signs share certain traits. Example: Most sources say Sags love adventure, travel and philosophy. For me, it’s no, sometimes and never. Travel is fun but I lack the boldness gene; risking a splinter is about as far as this daredevil goes. And the one class I hated in college was philosophy.
We Archers are also supposed to be incurable optimists. Wrong again--though I’m not quite a pessimist, either. I’m happy I have all my teeth, and don’t expect much more. Widdle tends to be more upbeat. He believes that life unfolds exactly as it’s supposed to, and the results are usually fine. I believe you work hard, pay your bills, and die.
Maybe it’s genetic: My Welshman dad was also an atypical Sagittarius: He was quiet, brooding and hated to travel. My beloved brother, T-Bob, is a Cancer. They’re supposed to be proud and somewhat prickly; handle with care. But you won’t meet a kinder, more generous soul than T-Bob.
Just for grins, I Googled my Zodiac sign a few minutes ago. The first entry said: “Others enjoy being with you when you are outgoing and joyful, but you can become sullen if you feel your wings have been clipped.” There you go—I never realized I had wings, let alone that they could be clipped.
It seems like a shame when you don’t live up to your sign. It sounds like I could be a lot of fun.
Julie R. Smith, who’s not interested in archery, either, can be reached at email@example.com.