Q: My neighbor covers her house and yard in tons of tacky decorations for every single holiday. I'm sick of looking at them. Am I within bounds to say something?

A: If it gets to the point where they're putting up a bouncy hot dog castle for National Mustard Day (yes, it's real: first Saturday in August), then maybe you'd have grounds, but there's really nothing you can do short of moving to one of those fascist neighborhoods where the community has a say in what color you can paint your mailbox flag.—Faith Salie, host of the public radio show Fair Game from PRI with Faith Salie

Has she got a sense of humor? If so, tell her you love her zest, but can she crank it back a notch? If she's Ms. Serious, and if other neighbors agree, can you tell her that several of you feel it's a bit garish for the neighborhood? Take another neighbor with you, if needed. But wait until she's taken down her decorations—that way she's not so pressured. —Rushworth M. Kidder, founder of the institute for Global Ethics


Next Story