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FOMO* October 25, 2011

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

Like many, I sometimes suffer from fear of missing out. If I say yes to one thing, what must I then say no to? If I have an opportunity to do something, but don’t really feel like doing it, how will I feel if I don’t go and it turns out to be the event of the decade? Or what if two things that I really really want to do are happening at the same time? With either choice, I both win and lose. Kierkegaard would remind me that no matter what I choose, I will regret it either way. Of course, he may have been even more neurotic than I am.

Some months ago, as I was planning my twenty-fifth wedding anniversary trip, I was invited to the fortieth birthday party for my next-door neighbor—a party to be held in Mexico. I was thrilled to be invited. The photos of the hotel looked amazing. I loved the idea of hanging out with a bunch of women. And briefly, I thought I might go.

A couple of problems were obvious: first, that it arrived on the heels of my big, expensive trip, both money- and time-wise; and second, that I have that ever-present hate-to-get-on-planes-and-sometimes-get-sick-when-I-travel thing (although my track record on the sick thing has been better of late).

For about two days, another neighbor and I entertained the idea of a slightly shortened version of the trip (mostly because of my job and her 16-month-old daughter). We almost got to yes. Then Laura backed out, and my doubts roiled: Money. Time. What if I got sick and all these women had to deal with me in close quarters? What if I couldn’t keep up with them in the partying department? (This is a real concern: Despite my obvious love for martinis, I am not historically a night person.)

So I decided not to go to Mexico. All monetary focus turned to taking a great trip with my great guy. And what a great trip it was.

Soon all those gals will head off to Mexico without me. Mostly, I’m OK with it, but I also know there will be moments that I’ll be really sorry that I’m not there with them, celebrating with Lynda. I will be missing out. On the other hand, there will probably be a moment or two when I think, thank god I’m not in Mexico this week—that’s how these things tend to go.

Meanwhile, another dilemma has surfaced. Friends who got married by a JP back in 1995 who never had so much as a wedding reception are using the occasion of his work recently being acquired by the Renwick Gallery (that’s the Smithsonian, muthafuckahs!) as an excuse for a party: see the work at the Renwick on Saturday, go to a party that night, check out his studio (with demo!) the next day. The invitation is highly alluring: “Attire shall be smart casual, dumb formal, square transitional, rude mechanical, irritating chic, aging bohemian, sexy librarian, heartland confrontational, elegant fruity, hipster doofus, whatever.” I’ve been considering sexy librarian or heartland confrontational.

Unfortunately for Tim and me, the originally discussed date shifted a week, so what had been a weekend we could make it turned into one that is much more complicated.

Tim can’t go. He has to be in Portland on Sunday, and that’s too far from DC.

There was talk of my driving to Pennsylvania, meeting up with a friend to go to the festivities, and then driving on Monday to Portland (10 hours-ish) to meet Tim. That means two cars in Portland, and I’ve lost a day on what might be a very short Portland trip anyway. And I’d be about 25–30 hours in a car over the course of the whole trip.

Flying has its own complications that are too boring to detail, but even if I overcame them, we’d still have two cars in Portland on a short trip.

We missed the Portland shoot in September because we were on vacation. I miss Portland—the city, the food, my peeps there. Tim and I get some of our best time together in Portland—we’re not on vacation, but we’re not at home, and we’re not dealing with all the responsibilities and chores of daily life. We spend more time really together there. I don’t want to miss any of that.

I don’t want to miss my friends’ party either.

If I go, I won’t have a lot of time with them personally.

If I don’t go, I will be missing out.

Tim has openly stated his selfish desire for me to choose him. Maybe we can visit our friends over the holidays.

If things had lined up easily, this would have been a quick decision. But they aren’t lining up easily. That doesn’t necessarily mean I shouldn’t do it. Not everything worth doing is easy.

And so I waver, not deciding, wanting everything.

Maybe I could do sexy librarian in Portland.

*Fear of missing out.


1. Dona - October 25, 2011

Oh my. Decisions…decisions. I know, I could dress up as you and go in your place. They’d never know! 🙂

2. Mali - October 26, 2011

That’s funny Dona, because as I was reading about the birthday in Mexico, I was thinking “I could go for you, or with you even (not being a night person either)!”

Decisions. Sigh. (Could you go by train? Save doing all that driving?) I guess I’d look it that you always have Portland. But you might not get to be a Sexy Librarian again.

3. Eulalia Benejam Cobb - October 26, 2011

It’s called “l’embarras du choix.”

4. indigo bunting - October 27, 2011

Maybe you all SHOULD go in my place! Wear a hidden camera so I can watch in real time occasionally.

Train also won’t really work, Mali. Plane better (and cheaper) choice here. And I won’t always have Portland, of course. Not the way I have it now.

By deciding to not decide…

5. Mali - October 29, 2011

Exactly. I felt a bit guilty about possibly pressuring you to go, because one of the things I let myself do in my old age is to choose NOT to go to things, and NOT to feel guilty about it.

6. Bridgett - November 4, 2011

Ah this speaks to me.

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