Wishy-washiness can stall good intentionsPublished 9:09am Monday, February 25, 2013
Column: Something about Nothing, by Julie Seedorf
I am wishy-washy. I take that to mean I can’t make up my mind and I am always changing it about some things.
When I looked up the definition in Webster’s Dictionary, I found it means lacking in strength and character. So I will put it this way: I am wishy-washy when it comes to deciding whether to make a decision to go out to eat and where to dine.
Usually I say that I don’t care, when I inside I actually do care, but I want to keep the peace in group situations. Or occasionally I feel that where I want to go or whether I want to go shouldn’t matter. Then there are the occasions that I really don’t know my own mind.
For instance, Valentine’s Day, I received beautiful flowers and my spouse wanted to know if I wanted to eat out in the evening. Now, I had been eyeing the valentine dinner at the Wildcat Bar & Grill in Wells. It had advertised Valentine’s Day entrée choices such as shrimp, steak and something else I can’t remember. It came with a salad bar, dessert and a bottle of wine. It was where I really wanted to go but didn’t want to ask because my husband doesn’t drink, and it would take a little bit of a chunk out of his checkbook, and I had already received flowers.
At 11 a.m. that day, I said we could stay home. At 2 p.m. the conversations started. I said, “Maybe we should go out of town. It would be nice to get away even if it is only McDonald’s.” At 3 p.m., after taking multiple business phone calls and working on some tough computers, I said, “Let’s just do Subway. We can bring it home and relax.” At 4 p.m. after thinking about the fact it was Valentine’s Day, and we should do something special I said, “Let’s go out. We can head out of town and see where it takes us.”
At that point my valentine said to me, “Make up your mind. If we are going out of town I will get ready.” I made my decision.
After thinking it over and being tired at 5 p.m. when we were going to leave, I said, “Let’s just forget it and stay home. We can do Subway.” At that point, since he knows me so well he asked, “Do you want to go to the Wildcat Bar & Grill? It’s Valentine’s Day.”
At that point I immediately said, “Yes,” and proceeded to make myself presentable. It really was what I had wanted to do. I just didn’t communicate that fact because of the above reasons. Actually what I really wanted was to go somewhere with atmosphere and music playing, dimmed lights and candlelight. It had been a long time since we had been somewhere like that. But I also wanted good food so I decided the thought of broiled shrimp at the Wildcat won out.
What I didn’t know was that the candles would be on the table, there would jazz music playing, the lights would be turned down low and I had the experience that I had been wishing for. It was an excellent evening with excellent food.
I might have not had that wonderful Valentine experience had my spouse let the wishy-washiness in me prevail. The decision we made for our Valentine’s Day dinner was the one I had wanted to do all along. I had looked longingly at the menu in the paper and the sign outside the restaurant but had kept those desires inside of me. How often do we fail to communicate our desires because we are afraid of the answer or we feel we don’t deserve to want those desires?
My wise daughter has told me recently that when we are all together as a family I need to make my desires known rather than always saying, “Whatever you decide is fine; it doesn’t matter to me,” when it occasionally does. She has told me to speak my mind and make my desires known.
I had a great Valentine’s Day. It might have worked out differently if I not communicated what I really wanted to do. My valentine was willing to take me to the restaurant of my choice, but it wouldn’t have happened if he wouldn’t have known me so well, and known that underneath my wishy-washy mind there was a desire I wasn’t communicating.
Maybe the definition in Webster’s Dictionary does apply to me. I am lacking in strength and character when it comes to communicating what I need to nourish me and keep me going through the ins and outs of my days and of my life.
Where are you in the wishy-washiness of life?
Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send email to her at email@example.com.