Day 5: Letting a Complete Stranger Choose for Me

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Sometimes it’s nice not to have to make your own decisions. Today, while standing in line for my coffee, I started to feel overwhelmed by the choices. Really, couldn’t it just be small, medium or large …and regular or decaf? I realized this was an opportunity to try something new.  I turned to the elderly gentleman behind me and confessed that I just couldn’t make up my own mind.

“Would you mind choosing my coffee for me?” I asked.

He responded–quite loudly– “EH? WHAT’S THAT MISS? NO MORE COFFEE?”

I probably should’ve approached someone who had put in his hearing aids, but once I made him understand what it was I was after, he gladly accepted the challenge.

He ordered me a “Ho Ho Mint Mocha” (more accurately, he bellowed a HO HO MINT MOCHA) but not because he’d had it before and liked it. He chose it simply, he said, “‘CAUSE I LIKE THAT CRAZY NAME.”  I ponied up the money, paid the cashier and went to the end of the counter to wait for my drink.

As I stood there, I realized it felt kinda freeing to let someone else make the decision for me.  I didn’t have to think about anything…someone else did all the mental heavy lifting.  I pondered for a second what it might be like to have a total stranger make a more significant decision for me… say, select what kind of new car to buy or where I should go on vacation.  My coffee came and I took a sip.  It was…unbelievably…DISGUSTING.  It tasted like a mixture of stale wintergreen chewing gum and Milk of Magnesia. With a splash of chocolate Ovaltine.

“WELL, HOW IS IT?” The man yelled. “DID I DO OKAY?”

“Delicious!” I said through gritted teeth. As soon as he shuffled out the door I tossed it, got back in line and ordered a medium regular coffee, room for cream.

On second thought, maybe I’ll make my own choices about cars and vacations.

It’s not taking the plunge and springing for a ticket to Iceland, but still, letting a complete stranger order for me is a first. Another day, another experience.

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Each day of 2014, I’m forcing encouraging myself to have at least one new experience (and chronicling it to keep it real). If you’re interested in why–though I can’t for the life of me imagine anyone would be that bored–check out the “about” page. 

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