ATG Mail: Too Many Choices

GENERIC: Wella hair products, Shampoo
Like to read other people's mail? Well, have at it. The Against the Grain inbox is open for your perusal. And by the way, this is not a blog.
Option Fatigue

Looks like folks agreed with my feeling that there are too many choices in modern day life. People seem to want things simpler, not more complicated. One viewer even offered some tips on how to handle the plethora of options out there.

Thank you so very much for daring to express this very un-American opinion. I congratulate you for being so brave.

As a German, I have felt the same about too much choice since setting foot on these shores. In Germany we didn't have to choose between 95 or more different kinds of cereals or shampoos or (insert your blank here). It made shopping easier, faster, and more fun.

What a chore having to compare price, nutritional values for cereal, or shampoo (what hair type; is it good for, curly, straight, colored, stressed, thin, thick, black, red, brown, blonde, frizzy, flyaway, with built-in conditioner, without conditioner, etc).

Having some choice is good; having too much choice is mind-numbing, and, for me, takes the fun out of shopping.

Merry Christmas (and Happy Holidays to all of those who don't celebrate Christmas),

Sabine Bandalan

Your choice article was excellent but there were so many choices on the website that it took me awhile to decide what to read first.

I believe the reason so many choices are proliferating is it is much easier to hide and/or justify higher cost. Choice in everything was supposed to provide for better competition and lower prices for consumers. Of course, that's not what has happened, just more and more choices and of course, it costs more to provide so many options to the consumer!

The only real choice we have is, "How would you like to suckered?"

Thanks and Happy Last Few Weeks of the Year!

Peter Rosendale

Loved your editorial regarding the large number of choices we as a society have to sift through. You're absolutely right.

Here's how I get through the day-to-day toil of "Buy Me! Buy !":

I have my Crest toothpaste that I've used for years. I've worn the same shoes for years (why fix what's not broken?). Kenmore has been a reliable oven since before I was born, so I bought one of those. I've bought 4 cars in my lifetime (I'm a little young still), and they've all been Saturns from the same Saturn Dealership, from the same Saturn Saleswoman. I'll even ask the guy in the grocery store if they have more of my brand of bread if there aren't any loaves left on the shelf. All this because I don't like sitting for minutes on end looking for choices. What results from this? Me getting stuck in a rut.

I was at the vending machine down in the basement of my office building looking for a snack, and was amazed at how much stuff they guy had put in it. Not because it was all good, but because none of it looked appealing at all. Pork rinds or Doritos? No thanks, you can keep them both.

I suppose we have to hand it to our economic system. Capitalism is all about making a living by means of competition. "I can make it better than him, so pick mine". The only problem is, everyone is saying that.

Joseph Plahitko

Having just returned from a strange, frightening, nether world in which I was on call for jury duty for three months, dealing with the criminal acts of drug use, drug dealing, child endangerment, DWI, and domestic violence ending in murder, I tried to pull myself out of a funk by getting re-grounded in the "real" world and concentrating on Christmas, only to find that, inexplicably, the "C" word is now an undesirable word, not to be foisted on our delicate sensibilities.

The people who spend their time drumming up this kind of silliness, under the pretense that Americans are incapable of thinking about the issues and deciding for themselves, are as scary as the criminal world. Where is it written that we must celebrate Christmas whether we believe in it or not? How do we learn to make choices if we are never exposed to anything we may not agree with?

It seems we are bent on destroying everything positive, while allowing ourselves to be inundated with the ugliest kind of garbage from the internet, the periodicals, and the TV, all under the guise of free speech.

I needed a laugh, so of course I turned to your column. "The Druid celebration of overcoming gum disease," Dick? I laughed. Now I've got to go out and make some choices. Thanks.

Glenda James

If you still want to send in an e-mail, you'll have to read a real column to find the address.