A true fact (as if there could be any other kind of fact) a trip to the deli is a wonderful experience. The warm homey aroma of wonderful home cooked food, the cases filled with luscious desserts, the seemingly endless list of sandwich variations, the pickles sitting all sliced up and ready to be put on the tables for appetizers for hungry guests.
All part and parcel of the deli experience. If you like tuna, this is the best ever, If you like sliced cold cuts piled high to the ceiling on fresh rye with a dollop of mayo or deli mustard as a garnish, on toast if you like. Or maybe just a bagel with a schmear of cream cheese or some latkes. Virtually endless amounts of tasty treats to delight the eye, the nose and the palate.
One of those experiences not to be missed if you can help it. A truly miniature version of heaven right here on earth.
So let’s consider a trip to the deli for a minute here and see if we can figure out what the fabulous attraction is. Just what it is exactly that makes it so going to the deli is almost a spiritual experience.
Could it be the friendly service, nice people working there who always have smiles on their faces and are ready to bring you the deli creation of your dreams.
Could it be the other patrons of the restaurant, happily crunching their dill pickles and wolfing down superhuman servings of sliced deli meats and cheeses?
Could it be that the main attraction is the beautiful display of desserts waiting to tempt you when you walk into the front door, beckoning to your with their chocolate eyes for you to choose them for your meal or carryout.
A definite possibility.
All nice things; but still there is something that supersedes those wonders and makes a trip to the deli a wonderful adventure.
A Lot Of Choices
A veritable plethora of choices, actually. Maybe even 2 plethorai, there is so much choice.
Or Maybe Not So Many Choices
But what if it wasn’t that way at all, what if you took a trip to the deli, there was no choice at all.
Or worse yet, what if you went to the deli and the guy that was seating you at your table was polite, friendly, made sure the table was wiped off, and as you sat down at the table, instead of handing you a menu and taking your drink order, he looked at you and said,
|Welcome to our deli, let me tell you what you will be eating tonight. Since you are seated at table 6, you will be having a grilled salami sandwich on a hard roll with mustard, mayo and catsup. With a side of garlic French fries and coleslaw. Please enjoy your meal.|
Sounds kind of strange, doesn’t it?
What About The Truth
But the truth is, if you had grown up with the idea that when you go to the deli, that it was somebody’s job to tell you what you were going to have to eat, you wouldn’t think it was a strange thing at all. You would simply accept the fact that someone else was making choices for you as the way the world is in a normal sort of way. That would be the truth of how your life was supposed to work when you went to the deli.
And that would be all there was to it. That was how the world is, and there isn’t any other way or anything to say about that. No choice for you, and that is the normal way to live.
But what if you lived in this world where other people told you what you were going to have to eat every time you went out and one day everything changed. A new deli opens up and when you go there expecting the maitre d’ to seat you and tell you what you are going to have for lunch and instead of doing that, he hands you a menu and asks you what it is that you want to have for your meal?
“Houston, we have a problem”
This is different, this is wrong; this is not the way life is supposed to be. I don’t care if this is something new and different and interesting and all kinds of other adjectives, I don’t want this new sort of complication in my life. I just want someone to tell me what to do. I don’t like this, and other assorted sorts of whining kinds of words and sounds.
It’s different and different usually means bad. You had your life all figured out, you knew when you went to the deli that somebody would pick something for you to eat, sometimes you liked it and sometimes not so much, but it was the job of someone else to choose for you and now, Holey Moley, buddy, this is not what I am used to doing with my life.
This choosing business feels weird and uncomfortable.
But then you think, we’ll since I am here already, I might as well play along and pick something to eat for myself, just this once, and you do.
And you like it. As a matter of fact, you like it a lot, the choice you’ve made. A pickle and Swiss cheese sandwich on a toasted whole wheat bagel with Russian dressing. Yummers, you think, this is a good choice I've made.
And right then and there, you discover how powerful the idea of choice is to bring you things you want in your life.
Yes, true enough, at first the idea that it is OK to choose something is a bit off-putting.
And yes, the secondary thought of “Man, I have no idea if I have the ability to make a good choice for myself” can rear its head up in a heartbeat.
And the third thought of “Oh Oh what if I chose wrong?” comes along and can play havoc with your life for a short while.
But truthfully, you find that you like choosing for yourself. And once you get used to this process, you get pretty good at it. So you look around for a few more situations where you can exercise your new-found skill of choosing. And you fill your life with choice.
Then after a while you find yourself wondering how you could have ever lived your life any other way. And now you don’t have to.
You can have any kind of sandwich you want. Yum.