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The Balcony Of Shame And The Grinch That Stole Halloween

You know those people who still have their Christmas lights up in April? Yeah, that’s always annoyed me… But I’m afraid that I’ve recently been reminded of the old Muslim proverb: “Don’t point fingers because three will be pointing back at you.”

My exasperation level has reached a creschendo and I think I’m going to have to take matters into my own hands. My husband has been keeping rotting organic material on our balcony, and it is a source of growing embarrassment.

Exhibit A

Exhibit A: Rosemary bush from Christmas ’07. This little bush was purchased by my husband in an effort to bring the “holiday spirit” to our household last year. I had previously argued that killing trees was not part of the true meaning of Christmas and that I didn’t relish the idea of sweeping up pine needles for months. Besides, we don’t have kids, so why get a tree at all? So he got me a rosemary bush and decorated it with items from my jewelry box. It was amusing at the time. But the bush is still alive (albeit barely) and on our balcony in time for Christmas ’08.

Exhibit B

Exhibit B: A pumpkin that was carved by my husband in late October, 2008. He found the vegetable at our local farmer’s market and asked me to participate in creating a Jack-O-Lantern. He insisted that my “considerable artistic talent” could be applied to the pumpkin with great effect. I responded that since our balcony faces a series of rooftop fume hoods, I doubted that the proud display of such an effort would be appreciated by more than the local rodent population. So hubby carved the pumpkin himself (using a simple stencil) and placed his work directly in front of my office window. It made me chuckle, but little did I know that he planned to allow the pumpkin to “degrade naturally to fertilize the bamboo” after it had served its holiday purpose.

I suppose that these two balcony dwellers serve as a reminder of my own “Grinchly” ways. Nonetheless, I’m coming to the end of my rope and am poised with garbage bag in hand to start the 2008 holidays with a clean slate. Would you agree that it’s time to remove the exhibits? With whom do you relate more: the organic-matter-hording husband, or the curmudgeonly wife?

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