Call Me (anything but) Maybe


You must have lived under a rock if you managed to escape Carly Rae Jepsen’s 2012 breakout hit “Call Me Maybe.” This catchy ditty quickly escalated into a pop culture phenom that spawned scores of clever parodies. Co-written by Jepsen herself, the lyrics tell the story of a coy girl sharing her phone number with a boy she just met and inviting him to call her (maybe). In the throwaway world of pop music, the song struck a collective nerve.

Although I join the bulk of humanity in celebrating the eventual decline of this overplayed anthem, I'm grateful it planted a seed that would become my official 2013 New Year’s resolution.

Miss Jepsen reminded me just how often I use the word "maybe" to delay or avoid making a decision.

For those of us who struggle with the demon of indecision, "maybe" buys us precious wiggle room to avoid making a wrong choice – whether it involves a simple social event or a pivotal life decision. It’s the polar opposite of a knee-jerk declaration.

I've convinced myself it’s wise to consider all possible scenarios and their potential ramifications before putting a stake in the ground. But if I'm being honest, what I’m really trying to do is hone in on the SAFEST option – the one least likely to inconvenience me or lead to eventual regret (or, heaven forbid, public humiliation).

Sometimes, my lack of a definitive decision ends up becoming a decision as various options evaporate. Sure, this can lead to disappointment and missed opportunities, but it also lets me off the hook from having to make a deliberate choice.

And so, at the dawn of 2013, I resolve to banish – or at least curtail – my use of "maybe” (along with its cousins "perhaps," "possibly" and "we'll see").

Instead, I will strive to live more decisively.

Will this lead to poor choices that may come back to bite me? Probably.

Strike that.


PeopleMike PlotnickComment