Trial Balloon

Ask Dr. Heartlander

Posted at 6:00 AM on April 20, 2010 by Dale Connelly (37 Comments)
Filed under: Ask Dr. Heartlander

Radio Heartland has tickets to Eliza Gilkyson in concert at the Cedar Cultural Center this Saturday, April 24th at 8pm.

Enter the drawing.
Obey the rules.
Good Luck! Thumbnail image for Ann_Landers small.jpg

Dear Dr. Heartlander,

I have made plans to be entertained at a show this Saturday night, but another event came along that looks equally or perhaps even more entertaining than the first one. Still, I can't change my original plans since I already bought tickets. So now the first performer is going to have to be even MORE entertaining - she will have to overcome my blues at not being able to see the second performer before I can even begin to have a good time. If I'm still bummed out by intermission, I might ditch the first event and run across town for the second part of the other event. But if that turns out to be really good, I'll be terribly depressed that I missed the first part.

I'm feeling paralyzed by doubt. Maybe I should just stay home.

I picked you to give me some useful advice on this, Dr. Heartlander, even though Ann Landers has a much better track record. She's dead and somewhat more difficult to reach, but I considered trying because this situation has my stomach tied up in knots. Don't make me regret coming to you!

Suffering Second Thoughts

I told SST that "entertainment" is supposed to be "fun". If you're agonizing over the possibility that you won't enjoy the choice you made as much as the choice you might have made, you're missing the point.
Work causes stress. Entertainment relaxes. Don't get them mixed up!

But that's just my opinion.

What do YOU think, Dr. Heartlander?

Comments (37)

I only hope for the sake of the innocent that Suffering is going alone.

Otherwise, I suggest staying home (alone, don't make anyone else suffer), that way, you can be SURE of disappointment and not suffer from this ambivalence of what COULD happen.

Posted by catherine | April 20, 2010 6:11 AM

dear SST - in my experience, staying home is often the best option. send your tickets to Donna - one for her and one for Carlos.

when i was a teen i would save up my 99 cents to buy a 45 record and i agonized over those choices in the same way - always sure i bought the wrong one. in the long run your life will be fine anyway.

got a referral for a root canal on thursday; wanted to get it over with yesterday. so have pain pills that make me dopey (er) so i may milk the wrong end this morning.
Loki is fine although stepping a bit lighter

over and out

Posted by barb in Blackhoof | April 20, 2010 6:14 AM

Sorry to hear you are not done yet, Barb. Hope the meds actually kill off some of the pain. I'm sure the little darlings will let you know, should you err.

Wishing you a quick trip to Thursday.

Posted by catherine | April 20, 2010 6:23 AM

Good Morning Doctors,

At first I agreed with the advice to stay home from cathrine and barb. But we don't even know SST. What is really going on here? Of course this is only an advice service so we can't really provide therapy, but we might want to be fairly positive.

I think we could say that every one has trouble making choices. Some times it is hard to make the right choice. We are sorry you are having this problem, but some times life is like that.

Posted by Jim | April 20, 2010 6:33 AM

Saw High School Musical with my g[=kids this weekend. Message of that was you CAN have it all. So unplug one performance to freeze time. like they did and live in a Disney land.

Posted by clyde de cycin | April 20, 2010 6:42 AM

Dear SST,
What are you -- any only child? You make me sick! If I met you on the street, I'd slap you. You're the type who wants to make her cake and sleep with it too. The type who can't see the forest for the bear dung (no offense Bart). Just do everyone else a favor, like Catherine said, and stay home. And read the Bible!

Barb - I'm too young for a root canal, but I certainly empathize. I empathize with Loki too. That's gotta tickle! Thanks for the offer of tickets to me and my betrothed, but he's still in Europe at yeast conventions.

Posted by Donna | April 20, 2010 6:47 AM

It's hard to sympathize w/ SST... it's taking life too seriously to agonize over choices like which concert to go to. Of course, I've always been a quick decision maker and that's always seemed to work out fine. But I'm not much of a second-guesser either, so if it's not always the best choice, then I don't ever know, do I?

Posted by sherrilee | April 20, 2010 6:49 AM

"make her cake and sleep with it too"? Thanks for an image I will enjoy all day, Donna.

Like sherrillee, I am also a quick decision maker-dithering makes me nuts, especially when it is taking up precious fun time.

Posted by catherine | April 20, 2010 6:56 AM

i think you will discover that the shows (either of them) will pale in comparison to the angst you are feeling over the fear of making the wrong decision.
when you go to a show what you hope for is to feel an emotion in the essence of your soul. you have been able to acomplish this by thinking about going to the show. what could possibly come close. i think you should stay home and agonize about the thought that these could be the finest shows ever performed and here you are missing them because you are polarized. it is something you could build on for weeks months even a lifetime. how can you buy tickets to that?
then again you could go to the first one and then leave for the second and feel bad that the first one may have gotten better in the second half and then realize that the second one was the better and that you should have been there for the first half. the fun goes on and on.
have you looked at your calander for the following weekend yet? the possibilities are endless.

Posted by tim | April 20, 2010 6:58 AM

Dear SST,

Sounds like you've made a project of being entertained. Anytime you take a pleasurable activity and elevate it to a project, you also elevate your expectations, too. Flip a coin to see which event to attend, and enjoy the outcome.

Good morning, all!

Posted by elinor | April 20, 2010 7:02 AM

Donna, I don't know what to say. I was trying to be sensitive and see the problem as much as possible from the point of view of SST. How do you know that SST isn't really a very nice person who is in need of comforting?

Posted by Jim | April 20, 2010 7:02 AM

Dear In-sufferable,
Did the person extending the invitation KNOW that you already had tickets for something else ? Had you been BRAGGING about how you were on the inside track for Eliza Gikyson's performance, how smart you were to weasel the tickets out of your sweet, gullible sister, how your seats were pretty darn good, etc.,etc.,etc.? Well maybe you deserve to be suffering with indecision, paralyzed by doubt and overcome with the blues. I'd get a food taster if I were you, bub.
Signed, a close and somewhat gullible relative

Posted by Teri in Zimmerman | April 20, 2010 7:08 AM

Dale, did you hack into my computer yesterday? Bill & I were e-mailing back and forth about our concert plans for this weekend. We have tickets to see Eliza Gilkyson Sat night but found out yesterday that Peter Mulvey will be at the Ginko on Sat as well. We considered going to Zumbrota on Fri to see him but 75 miles one way after a long work week is not in the cards so we decided we will catch him next time.

Although I never considered not going to see Eliza so I don’t really need advice……..
Glad not to be SST people aren’t being kind to the poor thing.

Posted by Kate in Eden Prairie | April 20, 2010 7:23 AM

Jim - sometimes you have to be "cruel to be kind". Clearly, this woman is ignorant, immature and illiterate. We need to help her grow.

Posted by Donna | April 20, 2010 7:27 AM

Greetings! While Jim and Kate are being very kind and compassionate toward SST, I feel like the Evelyn Lundberg School approach might work better.

I can hear Evelyn scolding, "Life is full of choices. Stop whining and get over yourself."

"You can't have your cake and sleep with it, too." Priceless, Donna. Right up there with "Cirque du Jerk" from TGiTH yesterday.

Posted by Joanne in Big Lake | April 20, 2010 7:34 AM

Dear SST -

Put on your Big Kid Pants and understand that sometimes you can't be everywhere you want to be. Keep the tickets you have - or give them away and go to the other show. But for heavens sake, don't try to get to both. That would only annoy any companion you have for the evening. As Wesley says in "The Princess Bride," "Life is disappointment, Highness." So sit back, and enjoy whichever concert you go to - I'd suggest the one you already have tickets for so you don't spend more money and then regret that decision.

Posted by Anna | April 20, 2010 7:41 AM

Aaaah, you know a day is headed off in the right direction when Princess Bride gets quoted and we're talking about sleeping with cake. You all are my kind of peeps!

Posted by sherrilee | April 20, 2010 7:50 AM

Donna, i must take issue with your comments on only children. As an only, I wold never have the outrageous expectations for entertainment that SST seems to have. She strikes me as more of a youngest child, the one who expects everyone to cater to her and keep her happy so she keeps quiet so mom doesn't get mad. Only children are, as a group, very socially aware and gracious. I do like the phrase about the cake.

Posted by Renee | April 20, 2010 7:51 AM

Donna--love the point of view, albeit not a Disneyesque one. I am bothered by advice to read the Bible, considering who claims the Bible as the basis of these "truth" thse days, despite my pastoral background.

Posted by Cly de collare de chien | April 20, 2010 8:00 AM

Okay, SST might be a dificult person, but I have found that even dificult people do not respond well to heavy handed advice. I guess we can't be nice all the time, but I haven't had much luck with the "cruel to be kind" approach.

Posted by Jim | April 20, 2010 8:01 AM

laughing and smiling hurt. you folks are killing me this morning

Posted by barb in Blackhoof | April 20, 2010 8:04 AM

This could be a man or a woman. I can sympathize with them, because I am very indecisive. Only when I'm in a hurry or broke can I be decisive. Sometimes it helps to not have a set plan. Spontaneous activities can be quite fun :)

SST, I would suggest you go to the activity you already have tickets to. You can always see the other performer another time. I'm sure both concerts will be great! You're lucky that you have the options as well. Up here, there aren't as many chances to see performers like Eliza Gilkyson. I'm sure there are some good musicians, but I don't have a nice radio station to introduce me to them ;)

Posted by Alanna in MI | April 20, 2010 8:06 AM

Wow, Dale. You found just the right song from my point of view about being nice, but I do agree with Donna's "cruel to be kind" approach for most telaphone marketers

Posted by Jim | April 20, 2010 8:24 AM

Dear Suffering,
Indeed, you are aptly named for the complexity of your problem is palpable. I think you should pass this problem along to the performers. Send letters to them by registered post (so you know they get them) telling them your expectations and that you intend to hold them accountable for their performances. After all, aren't you just encouraging them to be responsible? Isn't that a good thing? And if either or both of their performances are sub-par, as far as you're concerned, then you'll be entirely justified in being a victim. It's a no-lose situation...for you. And isn't that all that ~really~ matters?

Posted by That Guy in the Hat | April 20, 2010 9:18 AM

Ah, I love this group! I think we are talking about "tough love" here.

Man, I could have written to us with this question:
In June I have to decide between a family reunion and Patti Lupone (one of my all time favorite performers) at Orchestra Hall. I saw The Family already last August, when I missed RH at the State Fair! Now I see that another opportunity to meet TBBers was provided, and my mom really wants me to take her to the reunion. So maybe I have to trust, SST, that there will be another opportunity to see Patti Lupone. OR that it doesn't really matter. (Hmmm, sounds kinda preachy.)

Posted by Barbara in Robbinsdale | April 20, 2010 9:48 AM

Oh, this is rich. I just got an email with details about the reunion, which sounds like a lot of fun. Thanks Dr. Heartlander, through reading all these responses, I will take our advice, and make the decision, no regrets!

Posted by Barbara in Robbinsdale | April 20, 2010 9:58 AM

This was going to be wry and funny, but I'm just not in that frmae of mind.

My Cake and Attitude, too

I run my AC and heat both at the same time,
I want government guarantees for all of my risks,
I expect my body to ever be in prime,
But a stairmaster not ever will I climb.

If my party the election it should lose,
If people do not agree with everything I think,
I get to carry guns and threaten I will use,
For democracy belongs to us with the shortest fuse.

If I get caught with my hand in the pot,
Or my foot tabs beneath another bathroom stall,
Then I have a wide stance or was trying to foil a plot.
I don’t owe millions for the units on my car sale lots.

For sports or singing I’ll take the fame, I’ll take the glory,
But if it’s found for improper pictures I posed.
Or if other offenses are reported in a news story,
With huge income or power in the balance, then I will say I’m sorry.

If we listen to ourselves and what is printed on the page
You would think we were not 233 but seven years of age.

Posted by Clyde in Mankato | April 20, 2010 10:04 AM

Well said, Clyde. Great poem.

Posted by Anna | April 20, 2010 11:12 AM

You're amazing, Clyde. Thanks for the great poem.

Posted by Dale Connelly | April 21, 2010 7:07 AM

see it works

Posted by tim | April 21, 2010 7:08 AM

I wish today's blog were fixed.....I miss seeing all the fun comments and I bet today would be full of fun entries.

Posted by Kate | April 21, 2010 8:00 AM

Hi Kate.... I just thought of checking another blog to see if those comments were working. As the minutes ticked by this morning I thought "gee, everyone must be too much in awe of us to comment". Nope, just a broken blog. Boy, you get something in print and your head just swells way up, doesn't it?

Posted by sherrilee | April 21, 2010 8:03 AM

so it isn't just me-
really loved today's entry and question-also wondering how Barb is doing.

ah technology, where would we be without it.

Posted by catherine | April 21, 2010 8:04 AM


Very nice blog this morning, you all did a nice job of recounting the adventure....

I wish I could have gone on Sat. The Textiles & miniatures would have been my focus....and of course the new friends and CUSTARD!

Posted by Kate | April 21, 2010 8:09 AM

Great work, field trippers! I wish I could have been there.

Posted by Jim | April 21, 2010 8:30 AM

Hello everyone - sorry about the posting problems for Wednesday's blog. Comments should be activated now for the Field Trip entry. Try it!

Posted by Dale Connelly | April 21, 2010 8:58 AM

i have a real live SSt today and decided to go with the more lasting effect, e.g attending the MN orchestra tonight or attending a fundraiser to defeat Michelle Bachman...i chose the latter!

Posted by Sue DeNuccio | April 22, 2010 5:10 PM

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