One of the most common debates for married couples—right above whose in-laws are worse, and with arguably higher stakes—is “What shall we have for dinner?”
In less advanced marriages, this can spiral into an hour or more of “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” on and on until someone caves and forces an idea forth. Or stabs their partner—I don’t know how you resolve stalemates in your house. My point is, we don’t let that one get out of control around here because we have a foolproof system.
And I’m not even selling it.
We call our Decision-Making System of Compromise and Awesomeness: 5-2-1.
The method is simple:
STEP 1. Decide who is going first. If you honestly can’t even decide that… flip a fucking coin, Jesus.
STEP 2. First person chooses five options. In our example, five restaurants/dinner options.
STEP 3. Second person selects two options from that list, narrowing the field.
STEP 4. First person now has only two options for—in our example—dinner, and must choose. Again, if you cannot choose between two things flip a fucking coin. Then elect the coin President of your household, because it’s obviously in charge of you.
STEP 5. Oh, look! You’ve made a decision, yay. Now just pull up a menu online… no, I’m not helping you with that. You’re beyond help.
5-2-1 is our go-to method of decision making when the options are basically limitless; occasionally I’ll throw a spanner in the works by insisting the restaurant name contain the letter Z or something, but that’s some advanced level shit and what I’m offering today is the beginner’s course. This does, however, relate to a tip for the First person who is stressing the idea of coming up with five whole options when they couldn’t think of even one thing a minute ago: pick a letter and make that your theme.
ME: Should we talk about dinner?
HIM: Sure… you want to 5-2-1 it?
HIM: Want to go first?
HIM: Going first means going last…
ME: Fine. Let’s see…. Panda
ME: No, actual pandas. Yes, garden. And… Popeye’s…
ME: Because it also begins with P.
ME: … Pizza?
ME: You think of something?
HIM: No. I’m just really glad you’re in the mood for things that start with P tonight.