You Can Have Your "Pie" And Eat It Too: A Lesson In Comparison

You Can Have Your "Pie" And Eat It Too: A Lesson In Comparison

Why saying "I'll have what she's having" leaves us feeling unfulfilled

I’m taking too long to decide. My eyes are darting around the table trying to compare everyone else’s order. I really want the homemade salted caramel pie but the rest of the table wants the white chocolate cheesecake.

There’s nothing about white chocolate that I enjoy.

The waiter walks over and in a moment of panic, I quickly blurt out I’ll have what she’s having!

A few moments later, the waiter returns with a tray of white. No richly flavored, light brown, salt-flecked pie in sight.

There’s no pie in sight because I didn’t order the pie. I ordered the cheesecake, like everyone else. Rookie mistake.

As the cheesecake is placed in front of me and while everyone is diving in with their mmmms and aaahhhs, I reluctantly take a bite and think to myself this would be so much better if the white chocolate was salted caramel and if the cheesecake was pie.

I’m going to venture to say that in one shape or form, we’ve all experienced an “I’ll have what she’s having” moment. Whether it was when you were grabbing lunch with your salad-obsessed friend and you ordered a bowl of measly, leafy greens when you knew that all you really wanted was the featured sandwich that had smoked turkey with homemade walnut pesto, fried green tomatoes, topped with goat cheese and panini-pressed between two pieces of freshly made ciabatta bread. And you love crispy ciabatta bread.

Or, maybe your moment was when you decided you wouldn’t go to your dream school because that’s not where your parents “could see you going.”

We look to the left and look to the right only to realize that we’re alone in wanting the item we want or wishing to do whatever it is that we really wish we were doing.

We feel ashamed, maybe embarrassed or less than. To alleviate this discomfort, we imitate, compare, copy and sacrifice.

We take whatever the other person is “having” and try to bully it into being our own. We neglect the truth that most (if not all) of life is not a one-size-fits-all situation. Life is a situation that is messy, wild, nonsensical, exciting and way too short to spend time subjecting ourselves to decisions that are not our own when we often have the ability to do otherwise.

The saying that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” has always bothered me, especially when placed next to the saying “comparison is the thief of joy.” I believe that comparison leads to imitation which often leads to self-disappointment and suppression of our intrinsic wants and desires. When we push aside what’s best for us and replace it with what someone else has decided is best for their individual desires, we are compromising a piece of ourselves. This isn’t a small piece either. We are compromising a piece of individuality that has been earned through years of cultivating character and experiencing moments that lead us to understand what is and isn’t best for us.

When the rest of my table ordered the white chocolate cheesecake, they ordered it because they knew it would make them happy and they loved what that cheesecake had to offer. I ordered the white chocolate cheesecake because I didn’t like the idea of being the only one to order something else. Heaven forbid that I draw attention to myself for rewarding my stomach with what I knew it really wanted. Isn’t simply recognizing and accepting what you truly want (despite the influence of others) in any situation an achievement on its own? I think so.

This “cheesecake situation” is merely a vehicle for a much larger conversation. Instead of deciding to order whatever it is that our stomach may want, we go against our gut and blurt out I’ll have what she’s having to avoid an uncomfortable situation.

Ultimately, we experience more discomfort after we make a decision to ignore our internal desires than we do when we make a decision to listen to them. By ignoring these desires, we end up unsatisfied and uncomfortable. When we choose to listen, although we may still heed some degree of discomfort, we are satisfied and pleased that we listened to our gut and gave it what it wanted.

Next time you find yourself saying I’ll have what he/she is having, just remember that you can (and should) have your “pie” and eat it too.

Cover Image Credit: Sophia Winter

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14 Fraternity Guy Gifts Ideas, Since He Already Has Enough Beer

Frat boys are a species of their own and here are some exciting gifts they will be ecstatic to receive!


What more do frat boys love than alcohol, partying, and just acting stupid? Here are some gifts that help fulfill all of those needs for the frat boy in your life!

1. Beer holster belt

Whats better than one beer? Six beers! This fashionable camouflage accessory can be used for tailgates, beach days, formals and everything in between.

Price: $8.49

2. Phone juul holder 

You know those cardholders everyone sticks on the back of their phones? Well, now a Juul holder for your phone is on the market! This will save your favorite frat boy from ever again losing his Juul!

Price: $10.98

3. Animal house poster 

This Animal House poster is a classic staple for any frat boy. This poster will compliment any frat house decor or lack thereof.

Price: $1.95

4. The American Fraternity book

Does the frat boy in your life need a good read for Thanksgiving or winter break? Look no farther, this will certainly keep his attention and give him a history lesson on American fraternity heritage and tradition.

Price: $28.46

5. Beer pong socks 

These snazzy socks featuring beer pong will be loved by any frat boy. As for the way to any frat boy's heart may, in fact, be beer pong.

Price: $12.00

6. Condom case

This condom carrying case will not only protect condoms from damage but also make frat boys more inclined to practice safe sex, which is a win-win situation!

Price: $9.99

7. Frat house candle

Ahhh yes, who does not like the smell of stale beer in a dark, musty frat house basement? Frat boys can make their apartment or bedroom back home smell like their favorite place with the help of this candle.

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8. "Frat" sticker

Frat boys always need to make sure everyone around them knows just how "fratty" they are. This versatile stick can go on a laptop, car, water bottle, or practically anywhere their little hearts desire.

Price: $6.50

9. Natty Light t-shirt 

Even I will admit that this shirt is pretty cool. The frat boy in your life will wear this shirt at every possible moment, it is just that cool!

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10. Natty light fanny pack 

This fanny pack can absolutely be rocked by any frat boy. The built-in koozie adds a nice touch.

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11. Bud Light Neon Beer Sign 

A neon beer sign will be the perfect addition to any frat boys bedroom.

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12. Beer Opener

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13. Frat House Dr. Sign

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14. Beer Lights 

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Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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How Am I Supposed To Feel About Graduating? (I Really Don’t Know)

Feelings you have when filling out your grad apps…


It has already been six months since I took that walk across the graduation stage, and time has done precisely what it did while I was a student… it has flown by. I made the biggest mistake one can make in life: I blinked. I closed and opened my eyes and four years had passed in between. It is truly hard to believe, and harder to accept. I got asked how I felt many times, and each time I did not know what to say. As I would tell them, I always did not know how to feel — I felt everything and nothing at the same time — but if I had to choose and emotion, I would choose sadness. While I have come more to terms with my life now, it still hurts. It is still scary. It is still anxiety-inducing. Yet, it is still… kind of exciting.

This all starts (at least at JMU) with filling out your graduation application. Here, I will try to explain it using the seven stages of grief…

1. Shock.


It hits you out of nowhere. You have the right conversation, see the calendar for the first time in a while, get that email about application deadlines or ordering your cap and gown… and you cannot believe that it is already time to think about this.

2. Denial.


You deny it. You choose not to accept it. You are like, "No, no, nope… no way. I am not graduating. I will FAIL a class on purpose. I am not leaving!" (But underneath, you know that this is ridiculous… but it is what you really feel).

3. Anger.


You start to reflect back on your years and experiences in college, and you aren't happy… You can't seem to find the joy and pride in your work, only the shortcomings. The unfinished business. The failures. And you wish you could go back in time and fix what went wrong. Make things better. Change the past. To be better. All of the bottled up emotions runneth over, only because you don't know what else to do.

4. Bargaining. 


You jokingly talk about failing a class or whatever, so that you can stick around for another year… but you know that is not a real goal. Underneath, you really do wish that you could find a way to stay… but you know that it is all in vain. The time comes and goes. It crawls by, and yet passes in the blink of an eye.

5. Depression. 


This is the point of no return. Rock bottom. You know the future to come and that it is inevitable. You grieve for the time that has passed. You bask in the memories of what has been. You cry for the ghosts of days gone by.

6. Testing. 


At this stage, the tears have rolled and things have sunken in. The emotions have flowed (and continue to), but you are now in a clearer state of heart and mind, Now… you start to focus on what lies beyond, or what may lie beyond. You plan. You dream. You start to feel the excitement. You start to feel joy. But most importantly… you dust yourself off, you finish that grad app and turn it in, and you go buy your cap and gown.

7. Acceptance. 


The journey is done. The time has come. The adventure is over… and a new one awaits. You hear your name, you take the walk, you turn the tassel. And for a moment… you are not afraid. You are alive. You are new. You are free.

Now, you have a life to start living. SO LIVE IT!

You only get to do it once, so make it a great one.

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