I should just move.

I said this wouldn’t happen.

I said that she didn’t do anything extreme at Christmas.

I was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Wrong as a baby-t on Joan Rivers.

Imagine the easement space in front of your house.

You know, that strip of soil between the sidewalk and the street?

The space where no one can actually grow anything unless you own a terrifically swanky house where someone ran plumbing under the sidewalk. (And if you live in that house, don’t tell me. It won’t make me kindly disposed.)

NO ONE does anything interesting in that space.

That space is for juniper bushes that could grow in a lunar orbit on a wayward asteroid.

That space is for leggy white trash flowers that are really weeds in bad spandex and blue eyeshadow that can survive on the trace moisture in car exhaust.

Or, for god’s sake, that space is for rocks.

It is NOT meant for anything charming, interesting or needy enough to require any more attention than you would typically give the tray under your refrigerator.

Let alone electricity.

But leave it to her.

Yes, indeed, people, leave it to her.

We drove past her house the other night and…and…and…

I’m sorry. Words fail me.

I have to resort to pictures.

Punky, as she will forever more be known because that’s the name my mother used when she harassed me on my blog by posing as the Pumpkin Tramp, has put lights on the shrubs in her easement.

And not tacky, strung from the house like a lame-ass clothesline and obviously linked together with sagging lengths of cord, lights either.

No. Cause that would be how normal people do it.

Each little shrub is a stand-alone, illuminated, frakkin’ Christmas miracle of twinkliness.

In contrast, here is the front of our house:

There are some subtle differences in the decor.

As we drove by the house, I started freaking out. And by freaking out I mean yelling, hair-pulling (mine, Himself doesn’t have any), pressing my face up against the car window and flattening my not insignificant nose against the glass and moaning.

“What is the issue here?” Demanded Himself. “Why are you so upset about that?”

“Because I don’t know how to do it!!” I wailed.

Yes, people, I am a special sort of crazy.

Is it any wonder to anyone that it took two tries to find the husband capable of coping with this particularly awesome brand of nutso?

I am not off-the-rack, baby.

Not in any way, shape or form.


    1. I have no idea.

      But Hope might be on to something with the solar lights.

      I am SO AGGRIEVED!!!

      And yes, I am CERTAIN that soul-selling has occurred.

  1. LOL….thank you for the giggle so early in the morning! I can totally relate, I have someone who, if I get something, she gets one even bigger or better…always! If it is an easement, that must mean that it is pretty close to the street…gee, I hope a group of up-to-no-good teenagers don’t come by and mess with her decorations, that would be sad!

    Oh, and also, I think you should award yourself +2 points for your little comparison drawings above :)

    1. If they’re battery powered, don’t you have to remember to turn them on and off?

      I can barely remember how many kids I have!

      I can’t take the pressure!

  2. OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!! THEY HAVE SOLAR POWERED CHRISTMAS LIGHTS?!?!?!?!!?! That’s fraking GENIUS! And I’m deducting about 1 million Martha points from myself for not knowing that. Way to go, Hope. You do NOT live up to your name, all my hope is crushed now. Thanks.

    (sitting in the corner, rocking quietly, a lone tear trickles down my cheek…)

    1. Ok, I knew about solar powered lights, but I really thought they needed to be at roof height to actually get sun.

      How is she getting a solar charger to work UNDER A BUSH???

      Evil evil evil.

      1. The nicer battery powered lights have a sensor in them so they can tell if it’s dark and then switch on automatically. The cheap lights I bought stay on for 6 hours after you switch them on, stay off for 18 hours and then switch on again.

        If her lights are solar powered, there’s a little stake that she would have to put in next to the bush that has a solar panel on top. So, really, they’re not entirely perfect. ;)

    2. If Hope is right and there is a stake…..you just have to send someone over to get the stake. Problem solved. I wonder who you contact about that? The mafia?

  3. Come live by me. Not only are our lights strung clothesline style, we have a tree that’s light white half up….at which point David ran out of white light and just through on a colored strand he had.

    I mean to the point that our neighbor said “Nice lights. I take it this is your first year decorating?”

    And it IS our first year decorating. But that doesn’t mean we couldn’t make you feel oodles better about yourself.

    1. Himself, who has only decorated Christmas trees for the last five years, also almost made that mistake last night.

      And, I think said neighbor needs a flaming fruitcake thrown at his front door.

      Cause THAT was pretentious.

  4. Ooh! Ooh! I can make you feel better! Maybe even better than Ms. Taming up there.

    We still have Christmas lights up from last year. They were the only outdoor lights that went up. I had 2 sets of lights around 1 ornamental tree outside our door…and I kinda forgot about them. And the tree has sorta grown around them.

    Please be gentle with the points. They are LED lights…so they were good for the environment…before they became part of the environment…*cough*

    1. LOL…I’m sort of thinking that the decomposition rate on the LED lights that are now being subsumed by the greenery is a little lengthy, so don’t know that you get environmentalism on your side here.

  5. We don’t even bother much with outdoor holiday lights around here because most homes are so far from the road no one will ever see them.

    Except the log cabin on the hill. The new owners must come from some place with neighbors because they have it all done up in icicle lights with a blow up pre lit snow globe out front both of which are totally visible from the road. And probably parts of outer space as well.

  6. There’s so much I want to say in your hour of need: Suggestions for your decorations, discussion on priorities (yours are clearly better), battle plans, but I will keep it simple:
    I am sending wine and chocolates!


  7. Hang on for one second…I’m off to make some popcorn…
    Then I’m coming back to settle in and watch, because this competitive neighboring is about to get all sorts of interesting!
    Love you, crazy one.

  8. Hey! The front of your house looks a lot like my house! Except there’s a small light in the corner – that’s our porch light. Maybe I could put a Christmas-y colored thing over it to make it more festive? +1.5 MPs?

  9. I laughed forver over the image of Joan Rivers in a baby-t. That was fabulous.
    J SWEARS my neighbors are about to take out a restraining order if I keep stalking them. They totally tried to outdo our Christmas yard display. Our 12 foot Santa? They bought TWO. Two. The exact same one. After we had put ours out. Seriously. I hate them.

  10. Trying not to say “I told you so…” How could someone who puts up adorably cute pumpkins at Halloween NOT do something equally adorable (and by adorable I mean obnoxious and awful) for Christmas?

    Only one solution remains. Outline your entire house in lights. In perfectly straight lines – that’s important. Then add a ridiculously cute wreath in the center of every street-facing window. It’s the only way.

    Lastly, for the love of all that is good in this world, I beg of you, do NOT mix light strands and don’t even THINK about using net lights.

    1. I think mixing strands of Christmas lights is akin to crossing the streams in Ghostbusters.

      Just. Don’t. Do. It.

      Unless there’s a giant stay-puff marshmallow man terrorizing the neighborhood.

  11. I should mention that one strand of our icicle lights went out, so we only have them lit up on half the house. The OCD part of me gets all twitchy every time I see them. The fiancé has yet to fix them.

    1. Oh, +5 Martha Points for lights that turn themselves out and preclude you from needing to do the jammie dash.

      I’m totally ok with that.

      But yes, she violates ALL rules of decorum by not using extension cords.

  12. Solar Powered Christmas Lights? I wonder how they are getting enough sun over there?

    I’m telling you….the only answer to your Punky problem is Egg-Nogging.

    It must be done.

    1. I KNOW!

      Am I to have NO peace at all??

      And you’re right, she probably does have sweetly adorably nasueatingly perfect hand-embriodered stockings, filled with hand-crafted, lambswool toys and organic sweets…

      I’m hating her more and more every second.

  13. If she is using solar lights with little solar light panels, we could get some festive spray paint and paint those little panels…festively. With little cotton ball snowmen stuck to them perhaps.

  14. I bet she’s gone so far as to run conduit underground so that the extension cords don’t show.

    That bitch.

    Who does she think she is, friggin Martha Stewart?!

  15. I don’t have time this particular morning to stalk the crap out of you blog – but know this lady – I will be doing that soon!

    You are ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS!! I can’t believe it took me so long to find this!!

    I love your words – funny – perfect – descriptive – LOVE IT!!

    If you haven’t written a book yet….do it – NOW!! I want to read it!!

    do NOT spend any additonal time tyring to light your weeds – just write a damn book so that I have something entertaining to read:)

    1. Hello new person who has made me very happy today!

      Stalk away! Yay stalkers!

      Wait…that could be taken the right way.

      And, between you and me, I’d love to write a book.

      It’s the quitting work to WRITE the book that is the hard part.

      I need a wealthy patron.

      If you happen to know one, send him/her this way!

      In the meantime, I’ll keep writing the blog. ;)

      Thank you for the wonderful compliment! Made my day.

    1. He does love me, in my psycho craziness.

      That being said, he has plenty of psycho craziness of his own and I love HIM anyway.

      So really, it works out.

      We’re bound by the ties of compatible neuroses.

  16. a) she is totally reading your blog and fucking with you, maybe your mother tipped her off
    b) I may risk Martha Point deductions for the mere suggestion of this, but you know there’s like a service that will like come to your house and like decorate like for you, sounds like awesome to me, like totally

    1. My mother can be awfully devious, and she really enjoys a good brawl so that’s a possibility.

      And YES that is a major MP deduction! Geez, woman!

      (but maybe I’ll just do a wee bit of internet research here….)

  17. You won’t even have to catapult the cat, since they aren’t on the roof.

    But this just isn’t right. What sort of monster does this? What twisted sense of rubbing it in does she have? What is she ON, anyway???

    Oh, Lori.

    1. She’s probably not. Technically.

      But….you know, maybe if I complained then at least they’d come out and investigate, right?

      And that’s nervewracking, right?

      That’d mess up a batch of Christmas cookies in the oven, right?

  18. Omg I’ve been waiting for this post.

    That evil b*tch. How could she do this to you??? I really believe she does this on purpose. And I have a dog you can borrow.

    Wow I just noticed that Santa = Satan. How crazy is that? And our houses? They look so totally alike :)

    I’m thinking bread crumbs on the bushes. Let the birds do the dirty work.

  19. Dear Ms. Lori,
    Mother Hen sends her condolences in your time of sorrow.
    There is only one way to truly have your revenge.
    Take a tin full of homebaked goodies (who cares where you get them) over to the trampy snowman lady’s house, exclaim upon the magnificance of her festive decorations, and sigh extensively over your inability to match her brillance as you are too busy baking and knitting little tiny hats for preemies in the hospital, or mittens for children in Romanian orphanages (your choice).

    Oh, and MH suggests that you wear a big honking bouffant wig, because when the food poisoning hits them they are going to come looking for you! (Did she mention the fatal…um, final touch was brushing the cookies with some nice raw egg whites and leaving them in the window for a couple of days first?)
    Deviously yours,
    Mother Hen

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