Full disclosure: The Marshall Christmas tree is still up, though absent an unforeseen intervening event, today will be its last.
Long Island resident Sara Pascucci received a typed, anonymous letter a week ago reading: “Take your Christmas lights down! Its Valentines Day!!!!!!”
Her relatively elaborate decorations can be seen above, along with the obnoxious missive. As the Washington Post tells the story, Pascucci was especially upset by the letter because she had lost both her father and aunt in January “to” the Wuhan virus. We now know (or should know) that they may have died of something else entirely but with the virus rather than from or of the virus and would still be listed as pandemic casualties because the idea is to keep the public as terrified and malleable as possible. This is irrelevant to the story, but it drives me crazy. What the father and aunt died of is also irrelevant to the story, and in fact I don’t see any justification for including the information at all except as more pandemic-panic propaganda, which has been the news media’s mission for a year. If Pascucci’s father had died of complications following a stroke and her aunt was 105 and had died of an allergic reaction to peanut oil, do you really think that would have been included in the story?
But I digress…
Pascucci’s father, who had lived with her, put up Christmas decorations right after Thanksgiving every year. In the weeks following his death in mid-January, Pascucci couldn’t bring herself to take the decorations down. That’s absolutely understandable, not that she needs an excuse for leaving them up. My wife wouldn’t allow us to remove all of Rugby’s toys from sight after our beloved Jack Russell died in July of 2019: she said, it felt like erasing his memory. But no neighbor sent us an anonymous letter saying, “Bring in that dog lead in front of your house! Your dog’s been DEAD for months!” As for lingering Christmas lights, in my Alexandria , VA. neighborhood about ten homes still have their lawn decorations up, presumably for the same reason our tree is still standing. They look festive, and they make the homes’ residents, and maybe the neighbors too, feel good. I know I like seeing them. And it’s nobody else’s damn business.
Sorry. Digressing again.
Pascucci says that receiving the letter was “a major blow to the heart.” Oh, please. Let’s not go overboard here. All the letter means is that one of her neighbors is a cowardly, inter-meddling asshole. It should make her angry, as it would me, but “major blow to the heart“?
She shared the offensive letter in the Long Island Moms Facebook group and explained why she found it particularly painful, in the hopes that the anonymous sender might see her post. “For anyone in the Bethpage area — if you know of a person who would do something so insensitive like this please pass along my message,” Pascucci wrote. The message included all of the irrelevant and perhaps misleading details about the deaths of her father and aunt, thus implicitly explaining to the unnamed jerk why her decorations were still up. This approach thus accepts the letter-writer’s presumption that an explanation and justification is necessary, and it’s not. My message would have been along the lines of:
“To the craven ass who sent me this anonymous letter, my message is “Bite me.” It is none of your business how long I or anyone else leaves Christmas decorations up, and sending anonymous complaints reveals the character of a slug. Just for you, I will be adding some lights this week, and they will all stay up longer than they would have had you not thrown your anonymous hat in the ring to be elected Bad Neighbor of the Year. Merry Christmas!”
Heart-wounded Sara, in contrast, after she had needlessly detailed why her father put up the lights every year, ended her post with “Be kind to people because you never know what they are going through.” No, be kind to people because that’s how we should treat each other whether we know what they are “going through” or not. Everyone has problems, but that is not why we shouldn’t send stupid anonymous letters harassing neighbors. Being kind makes society work and life more pleasant. Besides, this episode isn’t about a neighbor not being sufficiently kind. It’s about a neighbor behaving terribly for no reason, because the neighbor is terrible. Not “unkind.” Terrible.
“I didn’t post it looking for pity,” Pascucci told the Post. <cough>”But people should think before doing things like this, especially right now with everything going on in the world.”
Ugh! More “In these very special times…” virtue signalling! I’m this close to telling Sarah to bite me. It would be just as wrong for a neighbor to send an anonymous letter ordering her to take down her decorations if greenbacks were raining down from the sky, John Lennon’s dreams had all come true, her father and aunt had swum in the magic pool from “Cocoon” and hunger, pestilence and death had been ended by heavenly fiat.
And people should think before doing anything.
But playing the victim to the hilt has payed off for Sarah: the good neighbors have sent the Pascucci family cards, flowers and meals, and a GoFundMe page was created to help cover the family’s mortgage payments and funeral costs, as they all try to prove that they weren’t the ones who sent the letter.
Of course, if the letter-writer is smart, he or she will send a casserole.