customization

In ALL, LIFE OBSERVATIONS by Stephanie Klein2 Comments

I’m a Libra. So now it’s out there. I don’t read horoscopes, won’t be more inclined to date a Leo or sprint from an Aries. But, I do believe in the general classifications and personality traits of the different sun signs. The visual representation of a Libra is a scale. A SCALE! Jeez, and you wonder why I have a weight nazi of my very own. Okay, so the scale represents diplomacy and indecision, not a lifelong struggle with your closet full of nothing to wear and stack of thin jeans. Libras are fair, and weigh things carefully. Okay, we’re downright indecisive.

Half my pleasure of dining out is derived from devouring the menu with my eyes. I can spend at least a half hour deciding what I want, admiring combinations, figuring out if I’d like an entrée as a half-order appetizer. I want the oxtail marmalade they serve with bone marrow at Blue Ribbon, but I won’t touch the marrow. Someone else has to eat the marrow… and blah blah, eat the marrow out of life… I’m sorry, I won’t touch the stuff. It’s right up there with foie gras, lamb fries, tripe, rocky mountain oysters, and sweetbreads. Glands and organs are just off limits, and that has nothing to do with those scales.

Just because I’m indecisive doesn’t mean I want someone to decide for me, and it doesn’t mean I want fewer options. I just need time. Right? But maybe I’m spending too much time deciding things. I’m the worst person in the world to play scrabble with… along with my lipstick and perfume atomizer, perhaps I need to fold an egg timer into my purse. What if decisions were streamlined, if life became a prix fixe menu with “no substitutions.”? It sure would make packing for the Hamptons a helluva lot easier. Uniform required.

When the girls came over for my “Calcium Night” there were too many decisions. Calcium night consisted of cheese and ice cream, just not together. We began with myriad cheeses fanned on a rectangular dish, flanked with fruits, crackers, biscuits… the usual suspects. Sure, gulps of wine, too. Then we switched gears, turned on Sex & The City and went to town. We laughed at bowls. Instead, pints of ice cream exchanged hands and laps. If memory serves, Key Lime Pie Martinis were shaken and sipped, graham cracker crust and all. I’m full and out-sweeted just thinking about it. Some things just don’t go together. Bad decision.

Jen and I headed to Cold Stone Creamery in Times Square to custom blend our ice cream. Manhattan is nothing if not affording its inhabitants the ability to customize. Customize your sneakers at Nike, your clothes, and now your menu… It began when Starbucks took over. I actually heard someone ask for their foam on the side today. “In a small cup.” Then establishments like Craft, Mix, and The Tasting Room begin to populate and accept reservations two months out, because that’s the next available reservation. You can taste it the way you want it. Suddenly you’re a mini Picasso, and all your eyes are looking in different directions. You’ve got to make decisions. You have to tell someone what you want, but with all the choice, you don’t want to have to decide. You don’t want to miss the really good thing, don’t want to be the one staring at someone else’s plate.

So with all this customization going on, just look at the Stepfords, it got me thinking, are we too picky? I’ve often said a lot of us would have settled down by now had we lived in Mississippi. Manhattan shows skin, flashes watches, and smells of curriculum and diploma ink. Everyone is looking at everyone else’s bowl full of pistachio ice cream, wondering if they should be green with envy. But, I’m holding out for Mint Chocolate Chip. But you already knew that.

Comments

  1. "Manhattan shows skin, flashes watches, and smells of curriculum and diploma ink."

    D.C. shows no skin at all. It demands expensive wrist jewelry and smells lushly of elite schools and hungry young resume-builders. Same affect, different geography.

  2. Foam on the side???? I hope you shot that person immediately. Good grief.

    … "are we too picky?" After that nibble of the day, I can confidently answer "yes."

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