The Schmooze

Choosing When to Fly Home and 10 Other Things That Aren't a 'Sophie's Choice'

In analyzing the presidential race, former Mitt Romney strategist Stuart Stevens was quoted in today’s New York Times as saying, “Every day in a campaign is ‘Sophie’s Choice,’ And that’s the hardest thing. You’ve got to decide where you’re going to live and where you’re going to die.”

The phrase “Sophie’s Choice” comes of course from William Styron’s 1979 novel in which a woman (played by Meryl Streep in the 1982 film version) has been forced to decide which of her children will be allowed to survive. But it has come to mean any choice in which there is no optimal outcome. Which led us to wonder just what else people are using the phrase “Sophie’s Choice” to refer to. Turns out that it’s a real “Sophie’s Choice” to pick the least appropriate way the phrase “Sophie’s Choice” has been used lately. Here are eleven:

1) Deciding who will be included in this season’s college football playoffs.
Relevant quote: “Arkansas miracle spared College Football Playoff committee a Sophie’s Choice”

2) Choosing whether to see “The Revenant” or “The Hateful Eight”
Relevant quote: They aren’t identical movies, but demanding that a moviegoer choose on Friday, January 8th between Hateful Eight and Revenant is a kind of “Sophie’s Choice.”
Source: Forbes

3) Picking a favorite computer.
Relevant quote: “Let’s play Sophie’s Choice. Well, Moore’s Choice, in this case. You’re forced to ditch all of your devices, save for the one you cherish most. Choose wisely. Which one is it?”
Source: Tech Report

4) Figuring out which player contributes most to the success of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Relevant Quote: “It’s a real Sophie’s Choice, or should I say “OKC’s choice? Point being, just because you don’t want to be without one or the other doesn’t mean that if you had to make a choice, you wouldn’t find a rationale. Westbrook and Durant, when they’re at the best, are arguably two of the five best players in the world.
Source: Today’s Fast Break

5) Deciding which Carly Rae Jepsen song should have been remembered by the nominating committee at Grammy time:
Relevant Quote: “Having to pick a favorite Emotion track is like Sophie’s Choice for pop music fans. With not one clunker in the bunch, the candy-coated album’s exclusion from this year’s Grammy nominations is inexcusable.”
Source: USA Today

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6) Choosing the right Lego block to donate to Ai Weiwei:
Relevant quote: “Among the Lego donators is Ai’s young son. ‘I told him: ‘Anything special don’t give it to me; I just need the simple blocks.’ But it was still such a difficult choice for him.” With every decision the child was swamped by remorse, the ‘Sophie’s Choice’ of six-year-olds. “He had a lot [of Lego] but finally he only gave me a little.”
Source: The Guardian

7) Picking the right medication to cure your hangover:
Relevant quote: “Wallet hurting more than your head? Maybe just go for the Jump Start package, which for $140 gives you the IV hydration and vitamins B and C, but you’ll have to make a Sophie’s choice between headache medication or anti-nausea medication.

8) Deciding if the time is right to stop watching “Arrow” to see if the new “Batman V. Superman” trailer: has dropped.
Relevant quote: “If you live on the East Coast, you’re in the clear (but probably very tired). But if you’re a West Coast-er, and you have to see the trailer right away, you face something of a nerd Sophie’s choice.”
Source: Forbes again

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9) Picking your favorite Dame on “Downton Abbey”
Relevant quote: Apologies for not being patriotic, but I know which Dame I’d pick if there was a Sophie’s Choice to be made out of the Dames of Downton Abbey.In Prime’s Thursday night special, Bafta Celebrates Downton Abbey, there were two on display – Dame Maggie Smith and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, the latter resplendent in a purple pink frock, as our national treasure let rip with a right royal warble. But I’d still opt for Dame Maggie.

10) Deciding whether to defend against LeBron James or the Cleveland Cavaliers as a whole:
Relevant quote: “Teams have to make the Sophie’s choice of letting James pick them apart with his offensive game or let him distribute them to death with the array of shooters the Cavaliers have. This is the way it has been for more than a decade in the NBA. There is no sense it is slowing down.”
Source: Hardwood

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11) Choosing whether to fly home for Thanksgiving or Christmas:
Relevant quote: “If you’re a broke young person living in New York—paying some of the highest rents in the country along with your student loan bills—the holiday season is an air travel Sophie’s Choice: Do you fly home for Thanksgiving or Christmas?”
Source: The Kernel Mag

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Choosing When to Fly Home and 10 Other Things That Aren't a 'Sophie's Choice'

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