I finally took down the Christmas lights that were hanging on my house.
Yeah, I know I’m a bit, shall we say, tardy, in doing so, what with it being April and all.
The only reason I took the lights down was because this weekend was my son’s 4th birthday this weekend and we were having people in from out of town.
My plan was to keep the lights up year round simply to avoid having to put them up again next year. They were white, so it’s not like they really stood out as much as colored lights would. However, I don’t want to be the owner of that house. You know, the one that the neighbors point at as they drive by every say, “Are their lights STILL up?”
Although, considering it’s April, that ship might have already left the docks.
Keeping Up With The Joneses
Having lights up all year would be one thing if I lived in a trashy neighborhood where Christmas lights would be competing with cars on blocks, couches in the yard, and all manner of eyesores. But I live in a decent suburban neighborhood and to make matters worse, two of my neighbors have recently undergone rather extensive outdoor landscaping projects which have made their yards seem like something from the front cover of a magazine called Nicer Homes Than You Have.
And while my house and yard don’t like like the one on Malcolm in the Middle, we don’t have a perfectly-manicured lawn, rock garden, or any of the other things people do to make their homes look nicer. For one, having a nice yard is expensive! And for two, it involves a lot more work than I have time for.
But as the neighbors are making their homes look better, I’m kind of feeling a psychological push to do similar.
It’s almost as if I can feel them saying, “Come on, dude, do something with your lawn. Or hell, at least take down your lights!”
So I went out today and yanked the lights down, rolling them up for next year (sigh), and my new neighbor came out of his house — the guy who just planted a huge tree and some other landscaping. I stared at the ground, not wanting to make eye contact at all, hoping he wouldn’t notice that I was (finally!) taking my lights down. But as I did my best to become invisible, I could feel his eyes on me. Mocking me.
And I’m not sure, but I think I heard him mentally clapping sarcastically at me.
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