God. There have been so many I don’t even know where to start. I’m not talking about the life altering decisions we make which we spend days mulling over and which then turn out to be bad. Like buying a house just before the crash, or taking a new job and finding out your boss is a bully. I’m talking about the tiny decisions we make every day, the ones we know are bad decisions but we make them anyway out of some misguided wish to be rebellious and not do what we are supposed to do. I’m saying we a lot here because I really hope it’s not just me who does this, but if it is I apologise – you are all better people than I.
The bad decisions I’m talking about are things like drunk dialling, getting off with a random, having one more beer or getting the night bus home – wait, these are all drink related bad decisions which we can hardly be held accountable for – I’ll start again. Things like wearing uncomfortable shoes when we know we’re going to be standing up all night, having a pizza when we know we’re going to have to run to the loo immediately after, or messing around on Facebook when there is work to be done. I like to think I’m quite sensible, at least I’ve got my head on my shoulders, I know right from wrong, I give out advice all the time, but when it comes to my own life it’s almost like I purposely want to mess things up…all the time.
Luckily my bad decisions don’t have any impact on anyone else. I am single, I don’t have any dependents so if I decide to go to the pub (drink-related again, I know) instead of re-writing my screenplay, I’m not hurting anyone except me but I worry that as I get older and if I do end up having responsibility for people, my desire to rebel and the ease with which I make a bad decision, could impact on other people and have far reaching consequences. With age, life takes on a more routine pattern and our lives are more settled, so the desire to do bad things becomes suppressed. We have finally reached a point of contentedness so why on earth would we want to mess that up – to screw with everything we’ve worked so hard to achieve? The thing is at this point the bad decisions get even worse. We’ve given up smoking, we hardly drink any more so with contentedness I imagine there can be a tendency towards boredom and maybe this is why people have affairs. This is possibly one of the worst bad decisions you can make, to break the bond you made when you committed to someone else and whereas in the past you were open about the bad decisions you made, and found them almost funny, when the possibility of hurting people that you love arises, the world becomes filled with secrets and lies. Surely it would be better to be upfront about your desire to make this bad decision and to talk through that desire with your loved one? I can’t imagine many people do that though. Call me naïve and I am sure there are a gazillion reasons for an affair, not just boredom and rebellion, but I am not sure there can ever be any justification. Anyway, I digress – maybe it’s the 3 margaritas I’ve had this afternoon.
I’m not entirely sure what makes bad decisions so attractive. Sometimes if we vocalise what we are about to do it makes us feel better about it, as if someone might tell us to stop and we would obey, which of course would never happen.
My latest bad decision may be a sleeper hit. Things are going pretty well with my writing and theconversation.tv seem to love what I am giving them. So I have written, and submitted, a fairly controversial piece about being an atheist. I even talk about the poppycock of creationism. Now, in the UK I wouldn’t have a problem with delivering this kind of article, but the US has a different attitude to religion. And I don’t know enough about it to gauge what kind of reaction they are going to have. They have told me that nothing is off limits, and I’m certainly not ashamed of anything I have said, but for some reason I have made the decision to push the boundaries to the limit, to find out how far I can go. So let’s see if they publish it. And if they do, whether I can handle the inevitable backlash. I’m fine with putting myself out there, but I don’t really want any death threats.
Back to the day job tomorrow then, with a determination to run there every day, eat only porridge and salads and not even check my personal emails during the day. So I’ll see you on Facebook at about 12:30, while I’m eating my fish and chips and wishing I’d looked harder for my trainers tonight. That’s just the way I roll so I better get used to it and as long as I continue to be honest about it, it’s really not that bad.