Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Tricky Thicket of Temptation

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored" on a spectacular autumn day! Oh my goodness, the weather was gorgeous this weekend! And thanks to Snobville's munificent Leaf Retention taxes (see below) the colors here are still at their peak. Lovely weather for strolling ... around the flea market.

Remember the good ol' days, when swap meets and flea markets were the only Ebay? Well, near our house there's a flea market that tries gamely to retain some of that old-time charm. Today the whole Johnson family went there, and I bought a magnificent tie-dyed shirt from a grizzled old hippie who hand-dyed it, took it to the laundromat, and washed and dried it to perfection. I'd never seen this dude there before, and now I have a real, REAL tie-dyed shirt, not the neon kind you see in my pictures.

I also got the items I went to the market for: toy dinosaurs, a small seasonal decoration for my teacher desk, dried catnip, and Italian seasoning. I could have had a huge bag of ground-fall apples for six bucks, but they were too heavy to carry. Here in New Jersey they call them "deer apples!" Never heard that term.

You would think that a long morning at the flea market would scratch my spending itch. But when I got home from the market, I remembered that I had to pick up a birthday card for a friend. So I drove to the nearest pharmacy, walked in ...

For the love of fruit flies.

The seasonal aisle was perfectly arranged with everything one could ever need to turn one's home into a Crazy Christmas House. Surge protectors. Indoor-outdoor lights. Hooks. Gilded snowmen that light up. Lamp post decor. Front door wreaths.

My breathing got shallow. I started to perspire. Everything was there! Everything that even the most clueless electrically-challenged idiot (me) would need to stage a brilliant display with minimal hassle!

And outside, at that very moment ... a spectacular autumn afternoon with three hours of daylight left to it.

Temptation! Temptation! My trembling hands reached out for the boxes of multi-colored garland lighting ... 200 bulbs per box ... 9 feet of lighting ... pre-season sale ... I was doing the math. Ohhhhh. To have a house lit up like Vegas! One of my few unrealized lifetime goals!

I am proud to say I left that store with the birthday card I went to buy, and nothing else. I took a walk around Hoppy's Pond to cool off, but I just couldn't stop thinking about that perfect display of outdoor lights. Heck, I'm a working woman now! I have a little bit of disposable income (well, not really with one kid in college and another on the way).

What saved me from this tricky thicket of temptation was the remembrance that spring will come, and with it the East Coast Vulture Festival. Gotta hold onto the ducats in order to rent the buzzard costume! (Saved, again, by the Sacred Thunderbird. Thanks be to Thunderbird.)

When I got back from my walk, my neighbor down at the end of the block was outside. He was draping his bushes with holiday lights. He already had two dozen big light clusters hanging in his trees. While his daughters scampered around him, he pulled lights from carefully-packed duffel bags and began to outline his house. I stopped long enough to praise his effort to the skies and tell him how glad I was to have him as a neighbor.

The moral of this sermon is simple: When you feel a temptation coming on, watch your neighbors. Chances are, one of them is already doing it. Save yourself the trouble, and just live vicariously through that person. No one is worse for wear, and no upholstery gets stained.

Starting The Great Gatsby this week at the Vo-Tech. Wish me luck.

4 Comments:

At November 14, 2010 , Blogger Hecate said...

I love you.

 
At November 14, 2010 , Anonymous Mama Kelly aka Jia said...

There is an advantage to not decorating outside. It allows us to tell the pizza guy that its the hosue without the lights. Makes it so easy for them to find us. LOL

 
At November 14, 2010 , Anonymous Alex (ex-hanger of lights) said...

One day I hope to resist as well the temptation to spend money I don't have. Giving up X-mas since becoming pagan has nudged me a little bit closer to that goal.

 
At November 14, 2010 , Blogger Davo said...

Hi again Anne, am re-connected at long last. Um, dunno about his 'watch the neighbours' notion. Has various interpretations. One of them here seems intent on developing some sort of "feud" with me - so er, your previous nomination of "Honorary Appalachian" might have been somewhat prescient .. heh.

Anyhoo, Best Wishes for your forthcoming Festive season. We'll send Phoebus back your way sometime near the end of next month. Thanks for lending him to us.

Cheers,
Davo.

 

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