Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Picture frames and other decisions

I’ve made the biggest decisions of my life quickly and confidently. The house and the dog — I didn’t deliberate endlessly even though they were decisions with life-changing consequences. Maybe because, even though buying a house and adopting a dog both entail risk, they also require a leap of faith. I couldn’t possibly know the outcome of those decisions in advance, so I just had to trust myself. Also, because there are a limited number of houses and dogs, I didn’t feel like something better would present itself if I just looked harder.

The house and the dog have worked out just fine.

This weekend, I searched for a picture frame. Among all the decisions we make on a given day, that's a tiny one. But it was a gift, and if I wanted to put the photo in a forgettable wood or silver frame, I could just leave that to the recipient, right?

Off I went to World Market. No luck. Then TJ Maxx, which usually has nice frames. Also no luck. Then Marshalls, where I found almost the right frame. It was pale blue leather, but it had a white flower on it. Very small and simple. I asked a girl carrying a cute purse, “If you were a guy, how much would this flower bother you?” She said, “A lot. My husband wouldn’t like that.” I love when a stranger will tell you the truth.

After staying another half hour and deliberating about other frames, I found nothing that suited the photo. The problems with the others: too ornate, too plain, cheaply made, wrong color. And the worst ones became the focal point rather than the complement to the photo. I almost bought two frames as possible defaults, but I think the buy-and-return strategy is a waste of time. So, dejected, I headed to Target.

And found the perfect frame. Nice color, good style, and most importantly, it suited the tone and scale of the photo. I wrapped it up in recycled calendar paper and admired my handiwork.

Even though it wasn't a life-changing experience, I'm happy that I overanalyzed to find the perfect gift. And you never know how those small decisions will have an impact on the bigger ones.


summer said...

Naomi, I couldn't agree with you more. It's the small stuff in life that adds up to being your life. I was actually looking for a picture frame for my mother's day and came across You might want to try that next time, they have very nice frames at reasonable prices. Hope I can help!

Naomi said...

I like your observation that the small stuff adds up to being your life. So true.