The Real.Est List
Dear Ms. Demeanor: Chronic door-decorator driving me mad!
Dear Ms. Demeanor,
I live down the hall from an urban Martha Stewart. It seems like every other week this woman is decorating her end of the hallway for some other ridiculous holiday.
I mean, honestly, she does up her door for Christmas AND Hanukkah; Valentine's Day AND President's Day; the 4th of July AND Canada Day... The environmental impact of her crepe paper consumption alone is enough to make me sick.
No one else seems to mind but our co-op does not allow umbrella stands, welcome mats, or shoes in our hallway. Why is this any different?
Hallway Holiday Humbug
Most people turn a blind eye to holiday decorations because they are meant to be celebratory, enjoyable, and are usually a time-limited affair.
Welcome mats, umbrella stands, and other hallway clutter are often prohibited because they theorectically may pose a fall risk in case of an emergency and most definitely bring varied personal styles into a shared space (this is considered a bad thing by most coop boards and building management companies).
My knee-jerk response to your email is, "Oh, lighten up!" but having seen lawns turned in to haunted houses in Harrison and ersatz snow-capped peaks in Short Hills, you may be on to something.
How much decorating in the name of Arbor Day is too much? Many co-ops have a house committee in charge of decor, holiday and otherwise; you may want to reach out to them to hear their thoughts and opinions, as well as the official house rules pertaining to this matter. If you find that you are the sole Scrooge, just grimace and bear it.
Ms. Demeanor is channeled by a longtime Manhattan vertical dweller and real-estate voyeur who writes under the pen name Jamie Lauren Sutton. She is here to commiserate, calm and correct. Please email your quandaries to firstname.lastname@example.org and put "Dear Ms. Demeanor" in the subject line.