The Un-Decider

Today is Decision Day — and I don’t even know what I’m supposed to be deciding.

In general, decisions are not my best thing. Like breathing, we humans (and lots of other creatures) make tons of decisions without even noticing: when to get out of bed, which room to walk into, what to do next; we also make a lot of decisions we don’t (usually) spend much time on: what to eat, what to wear, what mode of transportation to get to work (a no-brainer for some; others of us stand in frozen indecision trying to justify driving versus the bicycle). Then there are Big Decisions: Which person to hire for the open position, whether to get married or not, whether to buy a new house or not.

As we can see with the transportation illustration, I dither a lot, sometimes on small decisions, sometimes on big decisions. Often my decisions get made for me by the passage of time: I have two choices, and the action one is time-sensitive, so I mull and mull (and mull) — and then the deadline is gone. There. Decision made for me.

And then there are the decisions I make that I endlessly question. The decision has been made and is long overwith, no going back, and I still spend way too much time wondering if it was the right decision. This doesn’t happen all the time — I’ve made many Big Decisions with no regrets.

But sometimes — most recently with the most expensive piece of equipment I’ve ever bought at work — I question the wisdom of that move on a daily basis. So, mindful of that, I’m not feeling very trusting on my decision-making ability, even though I am surrounded by tons of good decisions I’ve made.

Enter house-building, which is nothing but a year of decisions so far, with probably half a year — and most of the decisions — to go. And so far, I’d say I’m only about 50 percent in the Good Decision pile. The one I’m regretting the most so far is the bathroom window that I agreed could be an octagon instead of round. I very much like the shape of circles, and I don’t really care much for octagons, and I think that was a bad choice — although I’m still not willing to spend five times as much to get the circle.

Actually, I think every decision so far on the bathroom has been bad: it’s too narrow, it’s too short, the cabinet is too narrow.  I’m still okay with the plan to go with a pocket door, but so far that’s the only one in the good column.

And this is the room where I am making some number of decisions by today, perhaps even before I finish this post. But I don’t know what I need to know.

There are two bathrooms in this house; one will be used by Lynn and the other by me. Lynn has been planning her bathroom for months, if not years, although she is still doing some dithering of her own, mostly on the length of the soaking tub she wants. (She wouldn’t be doing this dithering if the interior dimensions had matched our intentions.) But she’s been fairly well planned out.

Me? I figured: it’s a bathroom, what do I care? When I moved into our current house, around 25 years ago, the upstairs bathroom had god-awful wallpaper that I just ignored for easily a decade. Then I decided to paint, and the bathroom was going to have a pirate theme, but I — ready? — couldn’t decide, through two different painters. The wallpaper came off, exposing beige paint daubed with other colors, and that remained until it got primed white until I could decide on a color. It’s still white.

The light feature is nothing I would in a million years select, but I’ve just let it ride for 25 years, doing nothing more than de-bulbing two of the three lamps. The white (!) carpet (!) stayed until last year.

So when Dusty was talking bathrooms, I figured I could just find things similar to the fixtures I have in this one. So far, I haven’t been able to, not that I’ve put a lot of effort into this.

This is a tract house I live in, but apparently what was “tract” in the 1960s point toward “high end” finishes fifty-plus years later. The bathtub-shower area is tiled. Sixties ugly beige tile, you understand, but tile. But the bid for a non-tract, expensive (to me) house comes with the most basic white cheap bathroom fixtures: a one-piece fiberglass inset shower-tub and basic toilet.

I know this much: I want a comfort height, dual-flush toilet, and every color offered for toilets is ugly beyond belief, although I really am not a fan of white. And I like the vanity I have: the natural wood color with two doors and four drawers. Those turn out not to exist anymore, and I’ll have to make do with one six inches smaller than the one I currently have.

But I’m not clear — and Dusty never answered my e-mail from earlier in the week (it was too long to text, and I always think it’s better to have a “paper” trail) — if he needs to know about the toilet or the vanity today. I don’t know what decisions he needs for the shower area.

The one decision he assumed was automatic was the one I overrode: he was just getting a basic Delta one-handle water temp control. That I vetoed immediately: every time I visit a relative or stay in a hotel, figuring out how to get hot water is an exercise in frustration. I just want two handles, one for hot and one for cold. I know how to work those, and so will my guests.

I saw my friend Bryan yesterday, and he lives in a house built for him by Dusty, so I asked if he knew what decisions I might need by today’s deadline. He said the shower went in long before the toilet and vanity, but then he offered this piece of advice: once we get past drywall, decisions are going to be made fast and furiously, and while he and his wife thought they’d made a lot of them beforehand, that wasn’t so much the case. Make as many decisions as fast as possible, was his counsel.

So far the only unit I’ve found — in the five minutes I can devote to a search before the choices overwhelm me and I turn to one of my news sites or card games — that piques my interest doesn’t really meet any of my criteria. But it looks space-like and has LED lights, and makes everything else look completely drab by comparison.

Dusty, who will need whatever answers in order to keep our house moving along on schedule, won’t care that I’ve been belaboring this all week, because I’m no farther along than I was on Monday. Step-in tub? “That’s expensive.” No tub? Insert that looks like tile? LED lights uber alles? Cheap fiberglass that can always be replaced later, for much more money than if I’d gotten it right the first time?

Whatever decisions Dusty has to have today are likely to end up in my default mode: wait until the deadline has passed. There. Decision made for me. And I will have a cheap, low-end fiberglass shower/tub enclosure. White, of course.

kokssThis bling-y steamshower unit is the only one that’s caught my eye, but the heads and handles aren’t what I want; the tub is taller than I’d like, it drains on the wrong side . . . but it’s glowy blue and has an FM radio. How can I say no?

Update: I did, yesterday, take a picture of the courthouse lobby, should you want to see what Empty looks like. You can find it here.

4 thoughts on “The Un-Decider

  1. This shower unit would be really hard to keep clean… the added surface area of all the parts and pieces requires a separate day of maid service – And three 60″ high glass panels??? If you don’t squeegee each one every time… well… …almost nothing requires more cleaning than hard-water.


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