Posts Tagged ‘decisions decisions’

I am the kind of person who looks at a restaurant’s menu online before she goes out to dinner. I like to have an idea of what I’m going to order ahead of time, to cut down on the on-the-spot decision making.

I am a planner.

But I found out over the weekend that it’s much harder to plan your meal when you’re eating dim sum.

This particular meal made it on my 27 list mostly because Husband has raved about it, and I’m always up for trying new things.

And, to a degree, I knew what to expect: servers pushing around carts full of food that we could say either yes or no to.


What I didn’t know was how competitive/frantic dim sum could make me feel.

The first couple carts came around fairly quickly, and we enjoyed pork buns and sticky rice – two of the best dishes of the day.


But then there was a lull.

The next carts I saw were loaded with clams and shrimp and beef and chicken…but they were empty by the time they got to us. And I think that made me even hungrier. I know it added to this frantic need I felt to have to choose quickly (and a lot) once the server stopped at our table.


Which is why, when the dessert cart came around and we had a choice between custard pie and custard in a bun, I practically shouted, “The bun! The bun!” to Husband, as if there were a time limit on the decision. Or as if someone else would take it if we didn’t act NOW. (Even though there were plenty available.)

In my defense, the custard bun was fantastic – possibly the best dish of the meal.


But it probably would have been just as delicious if I’d been a little calmer about the decision.


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I’ve recently begun to feel that presidential campaigns and Election Day are going the way of Black Friday.

1) They both get earlier and earlier every year.

Sure, Election Day remains on the same schedule (as does Black Friday), but the preparation starts years in advance (or days, in the case of the sales). In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the (unofficial) campaign for 2016 started about half an hour after the results are announced tonight. And half an hour is generous.

2) They bring out the worst in people.

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a wave of Black Friday shoppers descend on one of the more popular sales of the day. Supplies are limited and these shoppers don’t mess around. There can be elbowing, shoving, and some definite boxing out. All on minimal sleep.

Leading up to an election, the elbowing, shoving, and boxing out is (usually) all verbal. I’m sure that people still have rational discussions about the merits of each candidate, but you wouldn’t know it from Facebook. I’ll be glad when status updates get back to sports, food, weddings, and babies.

3) Expect long lines and cold weather.

The lead time gets longer and longer, but that doesn’t make the lines any shorter, or the November weather any warmer on the day of. You could spend just as long outside waiting to vote for president as you could to buy a new winter coat. And the coat might last longer.

(No, that’s not an election prediction.)

4) There are lots of promises to get you in the door.

All of those circulars that you get in the mail promise the best sale you’ve ever seen on devices you didn’t know you needed until then. But you don’t see the fine print until you’re checking out. (Buy 1, get 2 free only applies if I get here before 5am?! I have to revamp my whole strategy!)

Naturally, there have been plenty of election promises this time around. And though I can’t fully judge if it’s any different from past years, I know that the fine print is just right around the corner.

5) Both days should be celebrated/concluded with a big glass of wine.

Or choose another beverage of your choice, but seriously, celebrate. The way things are going, there won’t be a lot of down time before the next one.

Election Day does beat Black Friday on sticker distribution.

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When I first moved down to the DC area, more than five years ago now, Cla and I lived in a spacious two bedroom apartment. I had two closets, two dressers, and more clothes than I actually needed.

When I moved into a studio in DC proper, I lost one closet, but still had my dressers (plus some under-the-bed storage), and saw no need to pare down my wardrobe.

These bad boys can hold an awful lot of clothing.

Nearly two years ago, though, I had to downsize a bit. I was moving in with Husband and had to consolidate everything into one closet and one dresser. (Don’t worry, I got dibs on the tall one.)

So Cla and BnB helped out, giving me the hard truth and convincing me to part with pieces that should have been gone years ago.

And that setup’s been working – aided by frequent “spring” cleaning.

But now, it’s time to downsize again.

In the interest of freeing up space in the bedroom, we decided (I say we – it might have been my idea) to consolidate two dressers into one.

As in, one shared dresser.

And we decided this about two months ago. Right around the time of that Ikea trip I mentioned, when Husband warned me that we couldn’t overstuff the car.

We didn’t overstuff (nothing sticking out the windows!), but we did get a dresser.

And two months later, we finally have it put together.

I’d be lying if I said that consolidating was easy. I have a hard time getting rid of things all at once, which means that I have an ongoing pile of clothes to donate (I might change my mind!) and some piles that just don’t fit in the drawers when everything’s clean. I’ve also had to find new ways to maximize my closet space. (Further suggestions on that are very welcome, by the way.)

But overall, I’d still say that the one dresser move was a good one.

For one thing, the bedroom already looks bigger. For another, having to weed through my wardrobe has uncovered hidden gems that I forgot I had.

Like the gray sequin dress I wanted to wear for New Year’s last year, but couldn’t find. Or the super comfy sweater that got tucked away in the depths of the closet. Or those leather pants that I haven’t worn since…freshman year of college.

On second thought, maybe some things are better left hidden.

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Last year in the weeks preceding March Madness, I decided that I wanted to care more about my bracket. In order to do that, I decided that I should have a college basketball team to root for and care about and follow (before the bracket teams were determined).

But who?

Hopkins had a fantastic team…but it was Division III. Not eligible.

Because I’m in DC, there were suggestions that I pull for Georgetown. But…I go to GW (even if I don’t follow GW sports).

I eventually settled on a hometown team. I chose a school who I’d grown up hearing about. I also have several friends who have gone there, at least one of whom was closely affiliated with the basketball program.

So I told BNF. “I think I’m going to go with Villanova as my team.” I explained my reasoning; it wasn’t because they’d been good that year, I just wanted someone to care about.

You can’t.”

I can’t what?

You can’t just pick a team. That’s not how it works.

But I just did.

No. You either root for the team where you went to school —

But you didn’t go to UCLA! You’re not following your own rules!

OR you root for the team that you grew up cheering for.

Well, I grew up hearing about Villanova. Why doesn’t that count?

Because it doesn’t.

So you’re telling me that if I don’t pick a team as a child, and I don’t go to a Division I school, then I never get to have a college basketball team?

Yep. Pretty much.”

So I caved. I lost my desire to care about the tournament and chose my bracket at random.

And this year? Well, I did the same thing (mostly out of laziness).

But I’m curious – is BNF’s logic sound?

Are there some sort of college-basketball-cheering rules that I just never knew about before? And what about all those kids (like me) who didn’t grow up cheering, and didn’t go to a UNC or Georgetown or Maryland etc?

Personally, I think his logic is flawed. But what do I know?

Besides, it’s lacrosse season anyway.

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Usually, once my Eagles are out of the playoffs (or never even make it), my NFL interest is limited to the Super Bowl. I can appreciate a good post-season game if it’s on, but I don’t especially care who wins, one way or the other.

But this upcoming weekend – Tebow vs. Brady – has piqued my interest.

For starters, we’ll be in Boston visiting friends. I should be rooting for the home team. Especially considering our host has pinned the fate of the universe on the outcome of this game.

The thing is, I just love me an underdog.

Throughout the season I’ve been fascinated, not necessarily with Tebow, but with the fact that people care so much what his motivation is. I suppose it makes for good press – or at least gives people something to write about each week – but it does get old after a while.

Because of all that press, though, I’d really love to see Tebow keep on shocking people. Starting with the Patriots.

I have nothing personal against the team. Except maybe the 2005 Super Bowl and the most recent Eagles-Pats match-up. But really. Nothing personal. I just want Tom Brady to be able to go and spend a little more time at home and with his kids. Is that so wrong?

So, while it definitely won’t be the popular decision in Boston this weekend, I’ll be pulling for an upset. (Sorry, friends.) Preferably one that ends like the Broncos-Steelers game, but you can’t plan for things like that.

Unless you’re Disney.

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This morning, bright and early, I registered for classes for my very last semester of grad school.

The current semester will be over in just 5 weeks, and in 5.5 months I’ll be completely finished and able to add “M.A.” after my name. That doesn’t seem so very long in the grand scheme of things.

Of course, that doesn’t account for the final papers, the presentations, or the foreign language exit exam (anyone want to practice speaking French with me?), which I’m sure will make the months feel longer, but there is an end in sight.

I never have to register for classes again!” I told BNF triumphantly this morning (or, at least, as triumphantly as I could muster before I’d had my first diet coke).

Yeah,” he said. “Just wait until you decide to get your PhD.

No way. I don’t even want that.

You say that now – but, that’s just 26-year-old Elizabeth. Who knows what 36 or even 46-year-old Elizabeth will want?

Now, I’m sure that he’s wrong. I’m sure that I’ll remember this feeling of being so close to done, and I won’t want to go back. But, just in case…

Listen up, future-Elizabeths:

You do not want your PhD. You do not want to be a professor or an academic. You don’t want to write a book that some poor future grad students are going to be forced to read. It’s not for you.

And when you think, oh, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to go back to school…just remember how much you love your free weekends.

Plus, think how OLD you’ll feel trying to pull an all-nighter at 46. If you can’t even do it now, there’s not a lot of hope for you 20 years down the road.

Stay sane.


26-year-old Elizabeth

There. That ought to do it.

Now – is it April yet?

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Outside of my family, I’ve only ever lived with two people.

Jus was my freshman year roommate, and we ended up living together for the next four years.

When I moved down to the DC area, Cla and I spent our first year living in Ballston.

Since 2008, I’ve lived in my own lovely little studio in the District.

But that’s all about to change.

At the end of this month, not only will I be moving to a new apartment, but it will be the first time I’ve lived with someone in two years. And it will be the first time ever that I’ll be living with a boyfriend.

More than anything, I’m excited. Scratch that. Ridiculously excited – like I get that stupid grin on my face when I think about it.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit nervous. My studio has accumulated a fair amount of stuff and as I’ve (only briefly, so far) started to pack, I find myself wondering how everything will fit in our place. And if it won’t, what do I have to get rid of? I’m my mother’s daughter in that sense; I don’t like throwing things out.

There’s also the matter chore splitting. Neither of us are what you’d call “cleaners.” I despise dusting, and gag when I have to clean the bathroom. I don’t fold my laundry immediately, and end up pulling outfits out of the basket. (Wrinkles add character.) So far our compromised is that I’ll do the dishes if he cleans the bathroom. So that’s one thing we can check off.

But those issues, while still important, aren’t half as much on my mind as the fact that I’ll get to come home every day to him. We’ll be sharing all these aspects of our lives – the fun, the serious, and the quirks – even more than we already do. And I just can’t wait.

When I told my parents, I asked my mom if she had any advice on living with a boy. She, being of a similar mindset when it comes to chores, told me that she hired someone to come once a month or so, especially while both she and my dad were working. Wonderful idea, and duly noted.

And now I’m asking you: for anyone that’s ever lived with a significant other, what words of wisdom do you have for a first timer?

I know that compromise will be the name of the game, and that we’ll figure things out as we go along, but I’m just looking for a little heads up.

And while we’re at it, any cleaning service recommendations?

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