I think you might call us a “hopeless case”.

One time, Mike and I were on an evening walk and we crashed Emily’s house. Because we live in her neighborhood and we can do that. Also, our house was probably a disaster at that point. (Who am I kidding, our house is a disaster at THIS point.) So we were running away to where people had things other than boxes to decorate their homes. We were sitting in this room and we discussed the question of whether they should have gas logs installed. And I didn’t really want to say anything, because I knew the commenters on that post were all, “Gas logs are of the devil!” But Mike and I really like having gas logs. I like being able to flip a switch and have a fire, especially on a cold winter Saturday morning. Now that our fireplace is in the kitchen, we will probably use it in a really different way, but I am still happy not to have to build a fire in order to get the benefits of a fire. I am a philistine. And happy to be so, if I get fire on demand. This is, I believe, very similar to my use of a plastic tree at Christmas. You can extol the virtues of a real tree, and I hear you. I understand what you are saying. But it still seems like too much work. My plastic tree can go up the day after Thanksgiving and stay there until New Year’s Day. My fake fire comes on when I feel a chill. I am okay with these choices.

I’m sure it comes as no surprise to you, then, that we basically scorn grilling on charcoal. Philistines that we are, when the topic of charcoal grilling comes up, we have been known to say things like, “We would like to eat dinner at a reasonable hour, not four hours from now.” But, at the beach house, there is only one grill, and it is charcoal. And three nights in a row, we forced Mike to wrestle with charcoal, lighter fluid, and . . . whatever else it is you need. I have only ever used a gas grill. I am the wrong person to ask. After those experiences, how does he feel about charcoal? He is resoundingly not in favor of it. As you can see in this picture. And also you can see how he looks at me when he cannot understand why I am taking his picture.

Luckily, his grilling skills are so advanced that everything was excellent, despite the tussle with charcoal. Added bonus: There was an excellent place for him to rest up after all that hard work.

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