The Coin Toss


The Coin Toss By Kimberly Manky

About 12 years ago I was in a quandary. Not a quarry: an open-air pit from which minerals or rocks are excavated… but a quandary, which is a state of perplexity or uncertainty, with regard to knowing what to do about a particular dilemma or situation.

I digress.

I had a decision to make, and I was definitely in a state of perplexity or uncertainty (not a rock pit). A state being a condition of a person or thing, not a territory of the United States: like Kansas or Maine.

I had to decide whether to: a) stay in my home town in Northern Canada FOREVER and work part-time in a paint store and keep doing the same old, same old and live with my mom and dad FOREVER… OR, b) pack up all of my things, put them in a vehicle, drive my things somewhere else, and then unpack and live there.

There were pros and cons for both choices.

I knew that choosing “a” meant that I would have to be home every night by 11pm, and that my “love life” would be hindered by the fact that “going back to my place” meant watching Everybody Loves Raymond with my parents, Stan and Linda. *It also meant that I had the love and support (financial) of my bill-paying parents.

“a” was safe, and a little scary.

I knew that choosing “b” meant that I would have to find a new job, find a new place to live, make new friends, and pay for my own utilities. *It also meant that I could invite people “back to my place” without Ray Romano being involved.

“b” was exciting, and a little scary.

I felt like I really couldn’t make the decision on my own.

Some people consult good friends, family members or a clergyperson about major life decisions. They talk it through, discuss the pros and cons, and listen to outside opinions. Some people seek advice from a horoscope, or a Magic 8 ball. Some people “listen to their gut”, which doesn’t even make sense because your gut is in your stomach, and it has nothing to do with your subjective, unconscious reasoning.

I decided to flip a coin.

As I threw the coin in the air I vowed that whatever happened, whatever side it landed on, however this went down… that was that. There was no looking back!

I don’t remember whether it was “heads” move to Vancouver, or “tails” stay in the comfortable nest of my parent’s home forever. I just remember that the decision was made.


And so I quit my job, and kissed my parents and financial stability good-bye.

I found a new job and a new place to live. I managed to make some new friends.  I paid for my own utilities. It was exciting, and scary. *And let’s just say, Everybody Loves Raymond never cramped my style – with regard to inviting people “back to my place” – which to be honest, usually just meant sharing a frozen pizza and awkward over-the-shirt contact.


Fast Forward:

I attended a BBQ last week and met a guy named Jeff*. We conversed briefly, first about trivial things (weather, celebrity sightings, allergies), and then (after a margarita) I asked him what brought him to Los Angeles.

$@%# got real.

Jeff* said the year was 2001. He was in a quandary (not a rock pit), with a decision to make: whether to stay in Philly (not the cream cheese, the largest city in Pennsylvania) or make the big move to Los Angeles.


With that one phrase, Jeff* not only confirmed and affirmed every decision I’ve ever made more easily with the flip of a coin, but he also gave validation to future decisions made by flipping a piece of metal stamped and issued by the authority of government for use as money.

Thank you Jeff*. And, a really big thank you to coins.


*I think his name was Jeff.

NOTE: The husband has asked what kind of coin it was and I HAVE NO IDEA. I also forgot to ask Jeff* what kind of coin it was.


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