two attractive offers

“So, to paraphrase, you are telling me I can continue to have my yearly pool party for my birthday after school lets out for the summer, or I can have a stack of cash money, dollars, greenbacks, placed in my outstretched hand if I don’t have the party?”


I honestly don’t remember how old I was when my parents gave me this choice.  But I do know that they were tired of the expense and the mess of having lots of children running around their house and backyard for a day.  The cake, gift bags, games, food – it all adds up and adds up quickly.  And, did I mention the mess?  All those dripping little bodies jumping out of the pool and running through the house…  One year we even accidentally tracked some blood through the house when one of the partyers cut their foot on the bottom of the pool and didn’t realize it.


So, they presented me with a different option.  If I gave up the pool party (and a party of any kind other than the one my immediate family would always throw on the occasion of my birth), they would pay me close to what it would cost them to buy the supplies, prizes, cake, etc…  Money to do with as I pleased: put it in savings, buy some new gizmo or gadget or action figure, put it in savings, spend it at the arcade, put it in savings, buy comic books, and, yes, put it in savings.

They may have strongly encouraged me to save, save, save from a very young, age, age, age…  Perhaps.

Anyway, I was presented with quite the dilemma.  Should I continue to have my pool parties?  They were something I looked forward to all year long.  Should I, as they say, take the money and run?  I did enjoy having money in my wallet (and bank account).

What to do, what to do?  I wanted both.  I even tried to angle for less money and only a small party, but my parents were wise to my game and they held firm on their one or the other stance.  (Rude, right?  Yeah, well, parents… so, what can you do?)  What to do, what to do?  It was a definite approach-approach conflict.  Perhaps the first such conflict of my life.

What would you have done?

Me?  I opted for the cash, after much deliberation and hand wringing…


I was promptless, and then Queen Creative showed up and I was prompted again:

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Approach-approach conflict is the psychological conflict that results when a choice must be made between two desirable alternatives

Suggested Prompts:

  • Give us an example of a time when you chose between two desirable alternatives
  • Write a poem about the psychological struggle of choice
  • Show us a picture about resolution, or decision-making, or approach-approach conflict
  • Tell us about your own decision making process
  • … or make up your own related prompt!

79 thoughts on “two attractive offers

    • That might have worked one at a time, but my parents are pretty smart they wouldn’t have gone for the “no, it’s not a party, I’m just inviting ten people over to go swimming” idea…

      • Sure, in small numbers… one or two at a time, but never in large groups at the same time. I’ve been having this same discussion with the queen – apparently she doesn’t understand either, as she was always with large groups of friends every weekend at one house or the other. That’s not the way it worked at my house though.

  1. I’d have picked the money, without much hand-wringing. Of course, I had no friends, so a party wouldn’t have cost my parents much anyway ….

  2. This is certainly something which was a huge deliberation for you back in the day, love how you’ve captured your approach-approach conflict here. I have a feeling your parents were extremely pleased with your decision… Hope you saved up for something very cool.

    • Saved up for a mountain bike… and the it was stolen out of my garage… saved up for a second mountain bike, and it was stolen again… Grr.. I think I bought a playstation after that. 😛

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