One of the biggest differences about living in America vs. living in many other countries: choices. You want to go to the store and buy peanut butter? You’ve got 20 different brands to choose from. After you narrow down the brand, you now have to choose crunchy, creamy, extra crunchy, reduced fat, reduced sugar, reduced cream, reduced crunch, or reduced peanut. Indecisive people can spend 45 minutes picking out a bread spread.

The same goes with paint. When we lived in Turkey, we went to choose paint for our apartment. Unless you live in a giant city with a fancy-pants Home Depot type store, you can’t get color matching. So, in our town of 75,000, we had only the corner hardware store and their 25 color choices. Since 5 of them weren’t really good for indoor colors and 10 more were truly hideous (fluorescent peach, anyone?), that left me about 10 possibilities. It wasn’t too hard to choose from that. Light yellow for the living room? Well, there’s only one light yellow on the card. So, that’s it. A nice sage green for the baby’s room? Well, there’s a light green and a medium green. Is it sage enough for you? Because that’s what you get. Blues… well, there were three of those, so that took about 15 minutes to decide which one I’d like.

See how easy it was?

But here in America, the land of endless pointless unnecessary choices, we have approximately 6,837,938 shades of green to choose from. And if you don’t find one that is the perfect mix of grass and celery, then you can bring in a piece of grassy celery and they’ll match the shade exactly.

All of these choices have numbed my mind! I’d rather just step into this painting by Janet Hill and live in this room.

Since living inside a room on a painting isn’t exactly an option, instead I must decide if I want aqua or turquoise for the office. Then I have to go through dozens of hues, shades, and variations to find the perfect shade — all while considering the natural lighting, the artificial lighting sources, and the furniture for the room. Should I get it wrong and pick Tidewater when I should have chosen Drizzle, then my crafty creativeness will dry up, my family will become hopelessly dysfunctional, my dinners will burn, my marriage will become a hollow shell, and Martha Stewart will frown at me. I will, in short, become a failure. At least this is the frenetic message I get from all of those home decorating magazines I see….. mixed with my stress over moving….. and my tendency to be overdramatic and obsessive about unnecessary details…..

Picking paint can definitely cause heart palpitations.

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