Ed and Freddy: The Illusion of Choice

30-30- William Ifeanyi Moore- elsieisy blog

Fred hit the send button on his cell phone. What started off as a flirt with technology had quickly grown into a full-blown addiction.

‘Bro, I don’t even know how I’m ever going to get married. Everywhere you go it’s like a candy shop full of women. How are we ever supposed to pick one?’ He showed his phone to Ed who had to take his eyes off the road to check out a picture of a girl neither of them had ever met.

‘I don’t know how you do it with Fiona. Don’t you feel like you’re missing out on the game?’ Fred said.

Ed smiled at the picture then redirected his stare to the road.

‘She’s not bad, but it’s all the same thing. You know when I was single your numbers weren’t touching mine.’ Ed joked.

‘Yeah, then that bitch came around and stole your balls. You even suck as a wing-man these days. I want my friend back.’ Freddy said in protest. ‘Dude we will only be in our twenties once, you will have the rest of your life to suffer from Onegina’

‘Very funny, never heard that one before. And if you couldn’t refer to my girl as a bitch that would be great.’ Ed said.

‘See what I mean? You’ve changed bro. Getting all proper and politically correct on me. Dude you need to jump on this app. It will change your life. And I mean for the better. How do you know there isn’t a better girl out there if you’ve already thrown in the towel?’ Freddy asked.

‘There very well could be, but it doesn’t matter to me. I’m already happy, and content. Why would I want to fuck that up?’ Ed said. ‘

‘I don’t get it. Like, I really don’t. Our grandparents would have killed for the opportunity to have the choices we have now. They could just about meet girls a walking distance or cycling distance from home, and they had to be out of the house as well. I can chat to girls in New York while taking a shit in Paris.’ Freddy said.

Ed shook his head. He wasn’t exactly surprised at his friend’s statement. It was very in line with the kind of guy Freddy was.

‘But our grandparents managed to keep divorce rates lower than we can ever dream of.’ Ed pointed out.

‘So what are you suggesting? That we are less satisfied because we have too many options?’ Freddy asked.

‘You ever heard of the paradox of choice?’ Ed asked.

‘No, but it sounds like something they would teach you in psychology school so I’m sure you’re about to teach me.’

‘Well, at least I’m not charging you.’ They both laughed. ‘Basically, the more choices we have, the harder it is to choose, and the less satisfied we become with our eventual choice because we would always second guess it.’

‘So, you’re saying…?’ Freddy asked.

‘You have this idea of your ideal woman in your head. And we all know that woman doesn’t exist, but you try to find someone as close to her as possible. The problem is that even if you found a ninety-eight percent match, you’d start thinking ninety-nine might be a profile away so you are never quite content.’

He noticed a thoughtful look on his friend’s face.

‘Think about it like cars. When there were like five cars to choose from in the world, you could drive the best car and know this is the best for you, period. You would never want any other car. Now you can find yourself in the world’s best SUV wondering if you would be happier in the world’s best sports car. Or like TV channels…’

‘I get it. It was easier when we had five channels to choose from. Now we just keep flicking through and never really watch anything.’ Freddy cut in.

‘There is hope for you after all.’ Ed teased.

They continued the journey in relative silence contemplating many examples of how the illusion of choice only left us in discontent.

Less is more, less is more…

by William Ifeanyi Moore

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