My youngest daughter goes to secondary school next year, and she gets to choose. We are lucky – the two nearest schools to us are Good schools (so Ofsted says) and there is a grammar school in the next county.
So where do we choose?
We went to Devon on holiday this year, and spent ages pouring over holiday cottages. Got it down to two – one in the middle of a town (too noisy? too busy?), one in the middle of a field (too remote? too cold?). What if we picked it wrong and spent the whole precious seven days wishing we’d gone to the other place?
Last year, we were given some money to buy a TV. It took us THREE MONTHS to decide on the model, the size, and the functions. (And just for the record, 3D is a useless gimmick).
The first time I remember being too spoiled for choice was twelve years ago when our fridge (actually my mum and dad’s old fridge) broke down. They coughed up the money for a new one as a Christmas/birthday present. It was the early days of the internet, so I didn’t have to go to actual shops, but could compare fridges online. It was impossible – did we want an ice-maker, or a chilled water dispenser, a fast-freeze function, a chrome and black finish or pristine white? One shop would give us free delivery, but was that as cheap as the other place where we would get a £20 voucher?
Alright, it is a nice position to be in, but wasn’t life much simpler when there was less choice? I don’t just mean the amount of time you would save, but the lack of personal responsibility you would have.If we get the wrong school, it is our fault for choosing wrongly, and we could never forgive ourselves – same with the fridge. Would I curse myself every summer for not getting one with a chilled water dispenser? (No – but I still wish we hadn’t bothered with 3D – all those stupid glasses falling out of the cupboard).
When my mum and dad bought the old fridge (we’re talking early 80s here) they got it from Kays Catalogue and had a choice of three, the price rising with the capacity of the fridge (and no chilled water dispensers). They bought the one they could afford, thought no more about it, and got on with filling it with Yorkshire pudding batter, beef dripping and Tizer.
I had no choice about the school I went to. It wasn’t the best school, but it wasn’t the worse, and either way there was nothing I could do about it.
Sometimes, it has to be simpler to just get on with the cards you have been dealt with instead of wishing you’d gone into a different casino.