David and I have different ways of accomplishing the same task. We are frequently engaged in debates about how to perform seemingly simple tasks. When we catch ourselves in the midst of another debate about some mind numbing chore, one of us usually says, “You can go to Walmart, Kmart (sadly, that’s no longer an option for us), Target, or wherever you want.” This statement stops the debate because it reminds us of the same type of debates David’s dad, Herman, would get into over the smallest of details. For example, when we drove from Pompano Beach to Jacksonville, Herman used to ask which way we were coming. Were we driving all the way north on I-95? Were we coming up the Turnpike, then crossing over to I-95 on State Road 70 in Fort Pierce? Were we coming up the Turnpike, then crossing over to I-95 at the Jupiter exit? Had we checked to see how traffic was moving on both the Turnpike and I-95? Had we considered taking a more scenic route, for example, driving part of the way on U.S. 1? Did we think we might want to drive up U. S. 301 through Lawtey, Waldo, and Starke? Had we considered all the options, including where we would be stopping for lunch? This type of exchange was common with Herman, regardless of the subject, sometimes to the point of hilarity! We got into the circular discussion about the virtues of Kmart and Walmart at a time when Kmart was still a worthy competitor of Walmart. Given that both of these stores sold the same type of merchandise, I usually went to the one closest to my location. Not Herman! He weighed the options, such as which one had the desired item on sale, how close each store was to the gas station currently selling gas for the lowest price, and a host of other variables, all of which were exhausting to me. Yes, there are many ways to chop a bell pepper, depending on how it will be used, but I’d prefer not to discuss it for too long!
The good news is that it usually lightens the mood when these discussions ensue. Or I should say, it now does. My Dad’s tendency in this regard sometimes got irritating in that he questioned so many trivial items. This includes debating in which parking space I should park when taking him and Mom to dinner or an appointment. “There’s one,” and, “there’s another one closer…”. You get the idea. Though I’ll never hear that from him again, it is not something I’ll miss much. The old adage about there being more than one way to skin the cat is a similar thought. Though, I have no idea why people would skin a cat, and don’t anyone try it on Rex! But, there are often alternative choices, sometimes there are pluses or minuses to the choices and it is that debate that becomes our Walmart, Kmart, Target discussion. I try to keep my suggestion of alternatives to a minimum because, when Melissa has made up her mind, it is usually best to let her do what she’s planning. I’ve learned that the hard way. Nonetheless, sometimes it slips out and I make an alternative suggestion that resonates. It’s not a contest, just our way of doing what we consider the best thing, whether for clients, the company, or ourselves.