Avoiding Bike Shed Issues

I dislike people who say “people never change” and I try to use myself as an example whenever possible.  3rd party examples always seem to involve tragedy but when I can use myself as an example with trauma and when I was about 23-24 I made a change.  I stopped standing against the insignificant when making decisions and if the difference between the two options were less than some percentage of the while or didn’t pass some fixed cost barrier, I’d yield to any preference.  This was about the time I started saying “I don’t feel strongly about the matter” because conversationally I never found a way to say “this is my opinion but my preference is weak enough that what ever you want wins” easily.

Sometimes this causes difficulty:

Dad: I think we should get a new refrigerator.  What kind do you want?
Me: One with a frost-free freezer and a vegetable crisper.
Dad: They all have that.  I want an ice maker.
Me: Ok, what kinds have integrated ice makers?
Dad: Almost all of them.  Do you want an internal or on-the-door ice machine?
Me: I don’t feel strongly about the matter.
Dad: What color do you want?
Me: I don’t feel strongly about the matter.
Dad: Side-by-side or freezer on top?
Me: I don’t feel strongly about the matter.
Dad: Where do you think we should get it from?
Me: Craigslist.
Dad: I refuse to get a refrigerator from Craigslist.  There has to be some way to pick.

After a time, I’ve come to realize that “what do you want?” is another way of saying “I don’t care either” so I’ve had to come up with tie-breaker mechanisms.  One is the skip-x-then-go method.  I don’t remember why the skip is important but I remember reading an article ages ago on how people would have better spouses if they skipped the first n marry-able people.  For some reason, things seem to go down better if I propose an n of at least 3.

Me: Let’s go to the Sears Outlet in Franklin Mills and buy the 5th one we like.
Dad: Ok.