DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a problem with my best friend, and to a lesser extent, my husband. Whenever we have to make a choice of what restaurant to go to or what movie to see, they say, “You decide.”
Both are very vocal if they don’t like my choices, saying that was a horrible movie or a terrible restaurant -- nothing against me for choosing it, but it still makes me feel bad.
To me, their company is more important. So unless there is something really wrong with the meal, I am usually content.
I hate making decisions for them, and I try to get them to at least narrow down their choices, to no avail. Chicken or fish? “Black Panther” or “Mary Poppins”?
When I was with my friend at a high-end restaurant that served eight-course dinners for two, I saw one that didn’t appeal to me, but the rest were all fine, and I said so. My friend said, “You decide,” and refused to even help narrow it down. I tried to get him to eliminate at least one, but he wouldn’t. That led to an argument, which put a damper on the evening.
Both my friend and my husband say they don’t care, but can’t understand why I don’t necessarily care either. I am just out for the experience, and it is ruined when I spend the whole time worrying about their reaction and if I made the right choice.
Why don’t people realize it is just as selfish to say “you decide” as it would be to choose everything for me without any discussion? I want things to be a mutual decision. I will give my opinion, but I want them to give theirs, as well.
GENTLE READER: Next time you are asked to make the decision, say good-naturedly, “Oh no you don’t! I’m not falling for that one again. One of you must decide this time, and from now on we take turns. Or we decide together.”
Miss Manners then cautions you against showing your dissatisfaction, however tempting it might be, if you hate their decision.