IT’S MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY

My husband, other than having the unfortunate calling as an accordionist, is a brilliant man. I like to think I am in his league. We have had a lot of conversations about the fact that we might just be the only two people in America who know how to do anything right. We are very smug. As a matter of fact, we have often contemplated going door to door, telling people just exactly what they are doing wrong.

For instance: hanging baskets. You know, ferns and what not. Just because the garden center sells the things on twelve inch long hangers, that does not mean that they look good hanging down a mere foot from your roof line! Come on, folks—if you can stand underneath your fern and wave gaily from your front porch at the neighbors, it is hung too high. WAY too high. No one should be able to walk underneath their fern.

This brings me neatly to framed art work. I have two beefs about this. One, if your wall is the size of a football field, then why in heaven’s name you want to hang one teeny, tiny picture right in the middle of it, all by itself, is beyond me and the entire staff of Better Homes and Gardens. Secondly, I guess all those people with the high hanging ferns do the same thing with their etchings. Again—if your guests have to stand on tiptoe to look at your artwork, it needs to hang a little lower. Just saying.

And all you out there who love to have big parties—take a piece of advice. One brick of cream cheese with pepper jelly on it serves about seven hungry people. Put out some nuts, for God’s sake!

I have to bite my tongue when I visit my children. Lord knows, we are a cat loving bunch. But we must commit ourselves to daily scooping. Particularly when the litter boxes are kept in the master bedroom closet. Ahem.

My husband and I are also taken aback when we go through buffet lines that only allow people to serve themselves from one side of the table. In the interests of efficiency, has no one thought about how much faster it would go with both sides in operation? And the person who thought up the whole idea of an individual omelet station should be crucified! I have attended buffet luncheons in which several guests aged noticeably.

Let’s talk turkey. Stuffing shouldn’t be crunchy. And one gravy boat for the entire table? The people at the end of the table will NOT be thankful. Oh, and at Christmas or those other winter holidays? A word to the wise: if you are going to use inflatable yard decorations, keep them INFLATED. Nothing is more discouraging during the day than looking across the street at what resembles the aftermath of some sort of holiday massacre.

I could go on and on. Don’t wear a red jacket over yellow slacks. People will automatically think of ketchup and eggs. It is never a good idea to order spinach salad if you contemplate smiling a lot. Every house needs foundation plantings. And turquoise just isn’t good on houses that are not located in the tropics.

But I do realize that before my husband and I start roaming around the neighborhood, knocking on doors to inform people of their mistakes, we do need to remember that old saying:

Let he who does not play the accordion cast the first stone.

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