Too many choices

It starts in the

Toothpaste aisle.

I round the corner with my nearly-full cart.

Kinda frazzled.

Eyes starting to bulge from the

Lights and

Colors and

Sounds.

Almost done.

Just a few more things.

Here we are.

Toothpaste.

And then

I stop,

And gape at

All the

Boxes,

And I

Seize up.

Red,

Blue,

Green mint

Fresh crystals

Baking soda Colgate Crest Aquafresh Arm & Hammer Tom’s small medium large tube upright screw on cap flip top…

Finally, I break out of the

Trance,

And just grab

Something,

Anything, and

Flee to self-checkout.

This is

Consumer

Choice

For me.

You know those people who have a certain

Brain injury that renders them

Incapable of

Making

Choices

And they’ll stand in the cereal aisle for

Hours

Until someone just puts something in their cart?

That’s me.

The best day was when I  found a

Grocery store that sold

All

One

Brand,

Limiting my choices to mere

Product-type.

Some types of choice are fun,

Like thrift-store shopping.

But even at my favorite thrift store,

After 40 minutes

Of paging through the racks

And making hundreds of

Small decisions,

(Yes, no, no, no, yes, no…)

I fade.

I buy whatever I’m holding,

And make for the nearest

Ice cream shop.

All these

Choices

Force me to be an

Expert

In everything I

Buy or

Use.

I don’t want to be a

Toothpaste connoisseur.

I don’t want toothpaste that’s tailored to

My

Special teeth and enamel and saliva pH and gum issues.

I just want to be an

Anonymous

Generalized

Consumer

Who buys only the Acme brand they use in Looney-Tunes cartoons.

That would free my

Limited

Mental

Faculties

For things like

Interacting with human beings, or

Writing, or

Working, or

Any number of more

Relevant

Mental activities than

Contemplating

Toothpaste.

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