Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Odds

With the Triple Crown horse races in the news, I've been thinking a lot about odds and betting. As a chronic worrier, I always see the infinite possibilities in any situation, and therefore the infinite consequences that may arise.

For instance, we like the house to have a pleasant smell for showings. How best to do this? I stand at the grocery store shelves, perusing my choices for odors. Lilac? Cinnamon? Fresh Rain? Rose? Gardenia? Vanilla? Apple? It looks like if you can grow it or eat it, there is a room freshener out there somewhere extolling its virtues.

But, of course, the house is huge. Many, many rooms. I'll need more than one plug-in. It is at this point my anxious mind goes into overdrive. Here's my thought pattern: OK, I'll get the cinammon for the whole house. But what if the client doesn't like cinnamon? What if she hates cinnamon? I will have turned her off forever, because the whole house will smell like cinnamon! So, then maybe I'll get some cinnamon and some rose. Yeah, that will do it. Unless....

....that means I have just upped my chances for losing.

Do you understand? I think the same way with airplanes. Once my kids were talking about the idea of both of them and their families flying to Tennessee on one plane. Yikes! What if that plane crashed? I would lose my whole family! So I asked them if they could take two different planes. That way, if one crashed, I would still have one kid. BUT - and this is a big but - by taking two planes, haven't they increased their chances of being involved in a crash? They've changed the odds. Now instead of 1 out of whatever, it would be 2 out of whatever. The two-plane solution would have decreased the odds of losing both kids in a crash, but would have increased the odds of losing one kid in a crash.

So if I use both cinnamon and rose, I have decreased the odds that someone will hate the whole house because it smells like cinnamon, but by adding rose, I have upped the odds that someone else might not like rose. It's kind of like "betting the farm," "putting all my eggs in one basket," or whatever other cliche you can think of. All or nothing. Or should I spread out the risk?

Do you see the anxiety this provokes in me?

I have never been a lottery participant, and you can see why. I just can't make up my mind in petty decisions or large ones.

I can't even make up my mind where to end this post. Oh, for heaven's sake...THE END.


Tif said...

Everybody likes to eat. Bake bread in the oven. The smell will permeate the whole house. Even low-carb dieters can't resist that smell!

Or do chocolate chip cookies. Then leave some out for the prospective buyers.

RJB said...

Oh my...so that's where I get it.

Malakela said...

Wow! I think you need a lasso to take some of those thoughts captive! I have been accused of thinking too much I surely do believe you have me beaten!!
Be blessed,
Miss Meg [GA]

PS BTW boiling a little vanilla in water smells like you've baked apple pie. But then every one would be anxious to leave so they could go get something to eat... :>) MM