Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Old Balloons

Yesterday I took down the balloons I'd had hanging from the ceiling for more than a month. My wife and I played with them for awhile, and then I popped them. And it reminded me of something: I don't really like old balloons.

Well, okay, it depends on the context. I don't like oxidized balloons at all, though I know some globophiles do (in fact, some like them best that way). But that wasn't the problem with these; this time of year, I can leave them up for months, until spring in fact, and they will stay relatively shiny and pretty, without that oxidized latex odor (which I don't care for, and my wife really hates).

There were two problems with these. They weren't very elastic. Lots of give, but not very good at returning to their shape after some squeezing (and I do a lot of squeezing). And they feel more, I don't know, plastic than newly-inflated balloons. The other problem is that, even though they don't feel sticky, and don't stick to my skin or the covers, they tend to stick to each other. A lot. To the point where sometimes (not this time, happy to say) they pop when pulled apart.

It's a bit of a conundrum. I like to have balloons around for a good long time. I don't get enough chances for play to replace them, say, every week (boy, talk about a pipe dream). But, on the other hand, I cannot bring myself to just pop my old balloons without playing with them first. It's just too wasteful, even if I have enjoyed them visually for a good long time.

So what's the solution? There probably isn't one. If I had to choose between the pleasure of being able to see pretty balloons hanging on the ceiling whenever I walk into my room and the pleasure of having every balloon be perfect for play, I'll hang up the balloons and deal with the minor dissatisfaction when I take them down.

It seems that even something that should be as simple as enjoying balloons comes with its trade-offs.