Caitlin Moran ~ Official website of the bestselling author » Poof, indecison, be gone! Introducing ‘neuroses top trumps’ -By guest blogger LORELEI MATHIAS
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Author & blogger Lorelei Mathias reveals her cure for our ever increasing indecisiveness… (follow her @loreleimathias)

Has anyone ever suffered from the debilitating condition known as Indecision Paralysis? You know, you’re in a restaurant, all eyes are on you, it’s your turn to speak. But you look down at the menu and everything on it is dancing around, you’re trying very hard to concentrate but you can’t because Carbs and Salad are having a wrestle in your head, and you’re waiting to see who’s going to win.

Eventually you hear a voice say, ‘I’ll just have the salad’. But then, your friend orders the pasta. Next thing, you’ve called the waiter back because you know that there’s no affliction on God’s good earth worse than FOOD ENVY. Watching your friend chow down on some cheesy carby oily goodness while you fork another smug, joyless bundle of celery-based spartanism into your disappointed gob. No, far better to clutch the waiter’s lapels, look into his eyes, implore him to let you change your mind please if it’s not too much trouble please. ‘Please sir, give me a second chance!’

You might say, why not go for a compromise – a pasta salad? There’s only one problem with this. It’s NOT a salad! It’s not going to make you lose weight, it’s just a COLD VERSION OF WHAT YOU REALLY WISH YOU WERE EATING. It’s neither here nor there, neither vice nor virtue! It’s the SPORK of the dietary world. Surely, if you’re going to get fat on something, at least let it be HOT? Not yesterday’s leftovers?

Cases of Indecision Paralysis are most severe when you’re hungover. Me, I’m off the chart. On a bad day I’ll be stood, centre-aisle of a supermarket, arms laden with carb-based joy, knee deep in pesto and hummus and multi-buy garlic baguettes, when suddenly I’ll imagine something else totally different, and I quickly become stuck, at which point a friend (or carer) will tell me to abort the mission and for the love of god, GET OUT OF THERE. No, I’ve learned my lesson. When nurturing a Grade A hangover, stick to Locals, Expresses and corner shops. Enter supermarkets or – worse – department stores at your own risk.

As a partial sufferer of what you might say is ‘quirky, endearing indecisiveness, forward slash, infuriating scattiness’, I have begun to cultivate a method of survival. I present to you, the fool-proof way to quash your IP, like a high-grade chemical moth-spray (the kind you need gloves and a face mask to administer) to an evil mega-moth. I give you… Neuroses Top Trumps.

Do we all remember the iconic eightees card game? You know, where you’ve got a pack of cards all based on a theme – aircraft, dinosaurs, ninja turtles. Each card has some geekily compiled numerical data on it. The aim of the game is to try and out-trump one another’s cards. It feels pressing to mention at this point that this was way back in a time when the word ‘trump’ didn’t have another meaning synonymous with eating too many baked beans. I won’t lie, Top Trumps was never the most exciting game, but it DOES make for a fun way to make decisions in the noughties.

There are lots of real-life scenarios where you can play it – from house hunting, to shopping, to choosing what the heck to eat. All you have to do is, work out what the different things you’re currently stewing over, and what are the factors you’re weighing up. Then, give each one different values of importance. Then, try and picture them as little cards in your mind, then let the buggers trump each other out.

For example – in the mealtime scenario above there are various common neuroses at play. First up, the DIET card – a vague awareness that you should have a salad, or vegetable themed dish. Then, distinctly at odds with this, the FINANCES card, which rears its head to remind you that unhealthy food is always that bit cheaper. Then there’s the FOOD ENVY card, and we’ve seen where that can go. But trumping the ass of them all, there’s the HANGOVER card that tells everyone to fuck off and demands fat and carbs immediately.

Another sometime hurdle is when someone else is controlling the purse strings. Then you’re dealt the GUILT card (a.k.a. FINANCES BY PROXY) to boot. Recently my sister who lives in Zurich took my mum and I to a local Swiss spa. It was bliss. But taking us to a rooftop spa with a view of the Alps was not enough; she then said, here, have a drink and a snack, anything you like. So on top of all the usual trump cards I had the whole ‘Oh we’re somewhere fancy, wouldn’t it be lovely to have some Prosecco (The PONCE card), battling with the ‘Oh I’d better just have a tap water’ (The SPARTAN card). Suffice to say, my mum is just as remedial at decision-making as me, and this was all taking place Pre the-Top-Trump-revelation, so it took ruddy ages for us to decide and almost began to ENTIRELY undo all the good of the amazing spa. Ridiculous.

Anyway, so there you have it. Neuroses Top Trumps. Quite possibly, the modern day cure for being an indecisive fucktard. Hurrah.

So next time you’re over-analysing incessantly about whether to get the bus or the train, just turn it into an Eightees card game and have a play.

Your Comments

Fantastic! I’ll remember this trumps tactic next time I crumble with indecisiveness.

Posted on June 12th, 2013 at 12:52 pm by Sarah Cameron 

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Caitlin Moran, author of How To Be A Woman and Moranthology