Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Never-Ending Popularity Contest

As if the latter half of November did not offer so much to love in other ways, such as bare trees and mountains of leaves piled atop every conceivable surface, just for shits and giggles this year here in the State of Concrete Gardens we have added temperature fluctuations of thirty-plus degrees in spans of less than forty-eight hours.  Nothing says "Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!" quite so well as bringing the gift of bronchitis to Aunt Edna's table.  

The Missus and I took advantage of the oddly warm temperature on Sunday to put up our outdoor Christmas lights.  But for one brief test - once darkness fell - to see how they looked and what type of adjustments we needed to make - they were kept off and shall remain so until after Thanksgiving.  We cast an eyeball on the long-range forecast for Thanksgiving weekend and - at least from the vantage point of Sunday - it looked to be at best a mixed bag.  We decided that the better course of action was to hang them on a day when hypothermia was not an option than to wait until after Thanksgiving.  

We applied the same theory, in reverse, in January when we took them down to signal the end of the 2014 Christmas season.  As Margaret napped on New Year's Day and a large percentage of the planet attempted to recover from the first hangover of the new year, I worked outside on a fairly temperate day, took down the lights and put them away for the year.  More than a few of my neighbors looked at me as if I had punched Santa Claus in the mouth in the course of sleigh-jacking him.  When the "Polar Vortex" swept into New Jersey in mid-January and took up residency until late March, my actions seemed to make a lot more sense to more than just a handful of them - standing out there as they were dismantling Christmas displays in brutal weather conditions.  

As WPK, Sr. once told me when I was a boy, "Life is not a popularity contest.  And if it is, we are not winning."  Those words were true when he spoke them and remain so almost three and one half decades after his death.  Truth be told, much like my old man I gave up trying to win a long, long time ago.  

Life is a decidedly smoother ride when you have no soul.

Take my word for it.  After all, I am a lawyer...


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