Life Lessons from the Library: You Can Have Too Much Input.

I need a new pair of glasses since my prescription changed. So tonight I drove over to Costco with three of my colleagues from the library. I am never sure about what frame looks good on my face, so I was excited about having input.

And that excitement lasted exactly through one pair. I put on a light-brown frame. “How does this look?” I asked. Emily nodded. Charles and Pam simultaneously said no. This is how it went through every pair I tried on, although the make-up of the disagreement continuously changed. Charles didn’t like certain rims. Pam didn’t like the fancy sides of any of the frames. Emily pointed out that some of the colors were too dark for my vampire-pale skin. But the three of them could never agree on any one pair of glasses.

About five pairs in, it became clear that there was no way that I was going home with a pair of glasses that night. I fully admit that when it comes to glasses, I have almost no confidence in my ability to make a choice that makes me look Tina Feyish and not Harry Potterish.   But I learned a valuable lesson. One person’s input can be helpful. But in any decision there comes a point when others’ opinions become not only unhelpful, but the equivalent of the Tower of Babel. Tonight, that number was three.

But it was not a totally wasted night. I learned several important things:

  • Only one person will accompany me on such trips in the future.
  • Charles and I will never agree on eyeglasses.
  • Pam will never make up her mind.
  • Emily is the best person to take on such a mission, but somehow I doubt she’ll ever go back to Costco with any of us again.
  • But most important, I’m going to learn to trust my own judgment just a little bit more.

Because after all, despite all the opinions, in the end, the glasses are going to live on my nose.



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