Someone making decisions for me
文章来源:未知 文章作者:meng 发布时间:2010-07-07 01:02 字体: [ ]  进入论坛

These days, there are so many choices to labor1 through, from the most basic, such as paper or plastic at the grocery(食品杂货店) checkout2 counter, to the nearly suicide-inducing, such as the friends-and-family plan or unlimited3 texting.

In these tough times, the abundance of life-changing decisions—finances, health care, career moves—can be overwhelming(压倒性的,势不可挡的) . But don’t take it from me. Ask the guy who wrote the book The Psychology4 of Judgment5 and Decision Making. That would be Scott Plous, a psychology professor at Wesleyan University. “There’s no question that we have more choices than ever before,” Plous agreed. “And decisions are generally harder and more time-consuming when there are lots of alternatives.”

Even Steve Jobs, whose technology allows us the misery6 of 18,000 music selections in our pockets, has to counteract7 so many choices by wearing the same outfit—blue jeans, black turtleneck(高领翻毛衣) , New Balance sneakers—every single day of his life. With every move you make, you’re bombarded with predicaments(窘况,困境) from the banal8 to the extraordinary, and you obviously can’t trust yourself to make the right decisions anymore—look where that’s gotten you.

I know I’m not alone in this. We’re all feeling a little needy9. Whom can we turn to? Friends and family always have their own agendas; therapists are useless. So, who’s left?

Strangers, of course. They’re everywhere.

“Excuse me,” I said to the woman behind me one morning in the queue at Dunkin’ Donuts. “I’m currently asking strangers to make all my decisions. Would you mind picking out a dozen doughnuts(甜甜圈) for me?”

“I’ll order two, but then you’re on your own,” she said.

“Never mind.”

Everyone knows the first two doughnuts are the easy ones.

“I’ll do it, but you’ll have to tell me what you like,” a gangly(身材瘦长的) woman who had overheard theprevious exchange said.

“Thanks, but that kind of defeats my purpose,” I responded. “As long as you’re paying,” a thick-armed guy shrugged10 at me just as it was his turn to order.

He attacked the chore with glee(快乐,欢欣) . His choices were a blur11 of glaze12 and frosting. He stopped only once, looked back at me and said, “Sprinkles, two sprinkles,” and they fell into the box with the majesty13 of a fireworks grand finale.

It was a win-win, a successful random14 act of indecision(优柔寡断,犹豫不决) (RAI). And I was striking a blow for science. “Your experiment will reveal how much pleasure in a dessert comes from it simply being a dessert, rather than a dessert that you would have chosen,” Plous had observed. “In many cases, the difference in benefit between two choices is smaller than we’d guess.”

This may be the best idea I’ve ever had. For two weeks, I relinquished15(放弃,放手) control over my decisions. I turned the reins16(肾脏,腰部) over to perfect strangers.

At a Starbucks, I was perspiring17(流汗) heavily from a bike ride when I started to ask the woman beside me what I wanted to drink. She cut me off midway through my spiel(流利夸张的讲话) about how I was conducting a social experiment and whatnot(放古董的架子,不可名状的东西) .

“Just have a water,” she said, snatching a bottle from the front case and thrusting it at me.

She herself ordered something that took the barista(咖啡师) 11 moves to make, but I was suddenly a model of simplicity18: a sweaty man drinking cold water.

Moments later, I asked a man at the newsstand if I should become a night shaver instead of a morning shaver. I always wanted to be a night shaver—go to bed cleanly shaven and wake up with sexy stubble(发茬,须茬) that would be alluring19(诱惑的) until at least noon and...

“Absolutely not,” the gentleman said.

I’m sure he’s right.

Later in the day, when I asked a sandy-haired woman at Old Navy to pick out a shirt for me, she quickly devoted20 herself to the cause.

“I want you to have a crisper(保鲜盒) , cleaner look,” she exclaimed.

I was still feeling crisp and clean when I stopped at the library. The mission: to give a stranger the chore of selecting a book for me to read.

“You sure? Picking out a book... that’s kind of an intimate decision,” the chosen one said. She was sitting at a tiny table with a little boy and looking up at me as if I were one more irritation21 in an already long day. But once I said I was positive, she popped up as if she’d just adopted me.#p#分页标题#e#

“Follow me,” she said. With the little boy in hand, she cut across the library with the supermarket stride of a mom who just realized she’d forgotten the Fruit Roll-Ups two aisles22 back. We were headed deep into the bowels23(内脏,同情心) —past the self-helps, beyond the reference books, even. Then she stopped, pivoted24(转动的,回旋的) , dropped a 4-pound book in my hands and said,


I thanked her profusely25(丰富地) , but I’m not sure it even registered. She just mentally checked me off her list and was on her way. The whole encounter—in fact, the entire day—was astonishing. By dusk, my new life’s course had been set by an entire team of people whose names I didn’t even know.

I was almost giddy(头晕的,眼花的) .

When I told a friend about my experiment and how much I was getting accomplished26, she posed an interesting question: “What if you can’t stop?”

In fact, the question was so good that I’ve decided27 there is no good reason to shut down this adventure after just two weeks. Random Acts of Indecision is not a social experiment. It’s a lifestyle.

As I write these words, I am sitting in a pizzeria eating pizza toppings—mushroom and sausage—chosen by the frail28 man I had held the door for on my way in. I am wearing a striped shirt picked out by a meticulous29(一丝不苟的,小心翼翼的) woman and, between sips30 of iced tea, glancing at a book.

The old adage31(格言,谚语) “You have no one to blame but yourself” doesn’t apply to me anymore. In 2010, when things go wrong, I will have no one to blame but each and every one of you.


1 labor P9Tzs     
  • We are never late in satisfying him for his labor.我们从不延误付给他劳动报酬。
  • He was completely spent after two weeks of hard labor.艰苦劳动两周后,他已经疲惫不堪了。
2 checkout lwGzd1     
  • Could you pay at the checkout.你能在结帐处付款吗。
  • A man was wheeling his shopping trolley to the checkout.一个男人正推着购物车向付款台走去。
3 unlimited MKbzB     
  • They flew over the unlimited reaches of the Arctic.他们飞过了茫茫无边的北极上空。
  • There is no safety in unlimited technological hubris.在技术方面自以为是会很危险。
4 psychology U0Wze     
  • She has a background in child psychology.她受过儿童心理学的教育。
  • He studied philosophy and psychology at Cambridge.他在剑桥大学学习哲学和心理学。
5 judgment e3xxC     
  • The chairman flatters himself on his judgment of people.主席自认为他审视人比别人高明。
  • He's a man of excellent judgment.他眼力过人。
6 misery G10yi     
  • Business depression usually causes misery among the working class.商业不景气常使工薪阶层受苦。
  • He has rescued me from the mire of misery.他把我从苦海里救了出来。
7 counteract vzlxb     
  • The doctor gave him some medicine to counteract the effect of the poison.医生给他些药解毒。
  • Our work calls for mutual support.We shouldn't counteract each other's efforts.工作要互相支持,不要互相拆台。
8 banal joCyK     
  • Making banal remarks was one of his bad habits.他的坏习惯之一就是喜欢说些陈词滥调。
  • The allegations ranged from the banal to the bizarre.从平淡无奇到离奇百怪的各种说法都有。
9 needy wG7xh     
  • Although he was poor,he was quite generous to his needy friends.他虽穷,但对贫苦的朋友很慷慨。
  • They awarded scholarships to needy students.他们给贫苦学生颁发奖学金。
10 shrugged 497904474a48f991a3d1961b0476ebce     
  • Sam shrugged and said nothing. 萨姆耸耸肩膀,什么也没说。
  • She shrugged, feigning nonchalance. 她耸耸肩,装出一副无所谓的样子。 来自《简明英汉词典》
11 blur JtgzC     
  • The houses appeared as a blur in the mist.房子在薄雾中隐隐约约看不清。
  • If you move your eyes and your head,the picture will blur.如果你的眼睛或头动了,图像就会变得模糊不清。
12 glaze glaze     
  • Brush the glaze over the top and sides of the hot cake.在热蛋糕的顶上和周围刷上一层蛋浆。
  • Tang three-color glaze horses are famous for their perfect design and realism.唐三彩上釉马以其造型精美和形态生动而著名。
13 majesty MAExL     
  • The king had unspeakable majesty.国王有无法形容的威严。
  • Your Majesty must make up your mind quickly!尊贵的陛下,您必须赶快做出决定!
14 random HT9xd     
  • The list is arranged in a random order.名单排列不分先后。
  • On random inspection the meat was found to be bad.经抽查,发现肉变质了。
15 relinquished 2d789d1995a6a7f21bb35f6fc8d61c5d     
交出,让给( relinquish的过去式和过去分词 ); 放弃
  • She has relinquished the post to her cousin, Sir Edward. 她把职位让给了表弟爱德华爵士。
  • The small dog relinquished his bone to the big dog. 小狗把它的骨头让给那只大狗。
16 reins 370afc7786679703b82ccfca58610c98     
感情,激情; 缰( rein的名词复数 ); 控制手段; 掌管; (成人带着幼儿走路以防其走失时用的)?;ご?/td>
  • She pulled gently on the reins. 她轻轻地拉着缰绳。
  • The government has imposed strict reins on the import of luxury goods. 政府对奢侈品的进口有严格的控制手段。
17 perspiring 0818633761fb971685d884c4c363dad6     
v.出汗,流汗( perspire的现在分词 )
  • He had been working hard and was perspiring profusely. 他一直在努力干活,身上大汗淋漓的。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • So they "went it lively," panting and perspiring with the work. 于是他们就“痛痛快快地比一比”了,结果比得两个人气喘吁吁、汗流浃背。 来自英汉文学 - 汤姆历险
18 simplicity Vryyv     
  • She dressed with elegant simplicity.她穿着朴素高雅。
  • The beauty of this plan is its simplicity.简明扼要是这个计划的一大特点。
19 alluring zzUz1U     
  • The life in a big city is alluring for the young people. 大都市的生活对年轻人颇具诱惑力。
  • Lisette's large red mouth broke into a most alluring smile. 莉莎特的鲜红的大嘴露出了一副极为诱人的微笑。
20 devoted xu9zka     
  • He devoted his life to the educational cause of the motherland.他为祖国的教育事业贡献了一生。
  • We devoted a lengthy and full discussion to this topic.我们对这个题目进行了长时间的充分讨论。
21 irritation la9zf     
  • He could not hide his irritation that he had not been invited.他无法掩饰因未被邀请而生的气恼。
  • Barbicane said nothing,but his silence covered serious irritation.巴比康什么也不说,但是他的沉默里潜伏着阴郁的怒火。
22 aisles aisles     
n. (席位间的)通道, 侧廊
  • Aisles were added to the original Saxon building in the Norman period. 在诺曼时期,原来的萨克森风格的建筑物都增添了走廊。
  • They walked about the Abbey aisles, and presently sat down. 他们走到大教堂的走廊附近,并且很快就坐了下来。
23 bowels qxMzez     
n.肠,内脏,内部;肠( bowel的名词复数 );内部,最深处
  • Salts is a medicine that causes movements of the bowels. 泻盐是一种促使肠子运动的药物。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The cabins are in the bowels of the ship. 舱房设在船腹内。 来自《简明英汉词典》
24 pivoted da69736312dbdb6475d7ba458b0076c1     
adj.转动的,回转的,装在枢轴上的v.(似)在枢轴上转动( pivot的过去式和过去分词 );把…放在枢轴上;以…为核心,围绕(主旨)展开
  • His old legs and shoulders pivoted with the swinging of the pulling. 他一把把地拉着,两条老迈的腿儿和肩膀跟着转动。 来自英汉文学 - 老人与海
  • When air is moving, the metal is pivoted on the hinge. 当空气流动时,金属板在铰链上转动。 来自辞典例句
25 profusely 12a581fe24557b55ae5601d069cb463c     
  • We were sweating profusely from the exertion of moving the furniture. 我们搬动家具大费气力,累得大汗淋漓。
  • He had been working hard and was perspiring profusely. 他一直在努力干活,身上大汗淋漓的。
26 accomplished UzwztZ     
  • Thanks to your help,we accomplished the task ahead of schedule.亏得你们帮忙,我们才提前完成了任务。
  • Removal of excess heat is accomplished by means of a radiator.通过散热器完成多余热量的排出。
27 decided lvqzZd     
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
28 frail yz3yD     
  • Mrs. Warner is already 96 and too frail to live by herself.华纳太太已经九十六岁了,身体虚弱,不便独居。
  • She lay in bed looking particularly frail.她躺在床上,看上去特别虚弱。
29 meticulous A7TzJ     
  • We'll have to handle the matter with meticulous care.这事一点不能含糊。
  • She is meticulous in her presentation of facts.她介绍事实十分详细。
30 sips 17376ee985672e924e683c143c5a5756     
n.小口喝,一小口的量( sip的名词复数 )v.小口喝,呷,抿( sip的第三人称单数 )
  • You must administer them slowly, allowing the child to swallow between sips. 你应慢慢给药,使小儿在吸吮之间有充分的时间吞咽。 来自辞典例句
  • Emission standards applicable to preexisting stationary sources appear in state implementation plans (SIPs). 在《州实施计划》中出现了固定污染的排放标准。 来自英汉非文学 - 环境法 - 环境法
31 adage koSyd     
  • But the old adage that men grow into office has not proved true in my experience.但是,根据我的经验,人们所谓的工作岗位造就人材这句古话并不正确。
  • Her experience lends credence to the adage " We live and learn!"她的经验印证了一句格言: 活到老,学到老!
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