Every year, I am like practically DYING to get our Christmas tree. It's December 1st, let's get our tree! Honey, come on! It's already December 5th... we have to get our tree. I want a tree. Please...
This all ended last year when the annual Christmas Tree Decorating Extravaganza went horribly wrong.
Here's the scene: Target, a Friday evening, three cars, my family and my parents standing in a far too small aisle in the garden section arguing over what kind of tree to get, how tall a tree to get, and where are we going to put it? A man passing us in the aisle only manages to hear my husband the Candy Ass say "Really, I could care less which tree you pick. If you like this one, then great, we're done." The man chuckles, probably not so much because he thinks it's funny but more so because he's glad he's not us. Either way, his irritating little chuckle is enough to propel my middle finger right back at him in the pure spirit of Christmas.
$52 later we all retreat back to our cars to embark upon the decorating ceremony, which, admittedly, is not so much a ceremony as a... fiasco with three small children and little-to-no patience. Candy Ass takes the tree out back to put it in the stand while I oooh and aaahhh over my collection of ornaments that are mismatched and chipped, but nostalgic and comfortably familiar. Baby's 1st Christmas for each of the boys, an E.T. ornament I got when I was a child (my favorite movie of all time), the family ornaments with all our names written on snowmen - each one different since each year it seems we've added another kid.
After my husband's done arguing with the Christmas tree trunk and the dinky tree stand, I come outside to do my job - which is to criticize the tree's straightness and point out "holes" in the branches I swear-to-god were not there at the store. After a few more snide remarks from me and a branch to his eyeball, Candy Ass has had enough and storms back inside and straight out the front door.
"Fine!" I think. That bastard wants to throw a hissy fit in the middle of my favorite time of year, well then, fine!! I'll do it myself.
So Candy Ass leaves and I size up the 8-foot tree lying on it's side on our back patio, thinking, eh, I could sooo drag it in, set that bad boy up, put up the lights half-assedly and decorate it before Hot Head gets his act together and returns. I'll teach him when he comes back and has missed this epic moment.
That son-of-a-bitch 8-foot tree was heavy. Break a sweat on a cold night heavy. Almost take out the sliding glass door heavy. Rip the skin off your hands and replace it with sap heavy. Not gonna ever do that again heavy. Did I mention it was a bit heavy??
But I persevered and got it in, leaving only a few million pine needles in my war path. Setting it up straight on the stand was a biatch. But with an involuntary growl that wasn't the least bit sexy or human, I got that sucker up.
An hour later, the two oldest were running amok, their hands magnetically attracted to the ornament box and the youngest, Big T, who at that time was only six months old, was contently staring at the blinking lights from the comfort of his bouncer, rackin' up I.Q. points, no doubt. The boys happily placed the non-breakable ornaments within their reach (which meant in large clusters of plastic Bob The Builder tractors on a whopping two different branches) while I hung all my precious, nostalgic ornaments up top... strategically...where little hands could not reach.
We stood back and admired our work. Candy Ass had missed it all. So not my problem. As I went to get the vacuum to suck up the three trillion pine needles blanketing the living room floor I felt a tremor, a movement, a GODDAMN FULLY-DECORATED CHRISTMAS TREE FALLING OVER. Holy Christ, the goddamn thing just fell. FLAT. Shards of green and red glass went flying, snowmen heads went sliding and I-swear-to-god pine needles and dirt formed a mushroom cloud overhead.
Son of a bitch.
As soon as I manually unlocked my jaw, I began inspecting Big T for shrapnel and candy cane impalement. Amazingly, he was OK. But tears spilled from my eyes in disbelief and anger... knowing all my most precious ornaments were now being sucked into the Shop Vac, to forever rest in peace with rigamortused french fries, random pennies and stale fruit loops.
I cleaned up quickly, hoping to somehow hide my debacle before Candy Ass came home to give me a heaping pile of "I told you so." I couldn't leave that piece of crap Christmas tree on its side so I heaved that POS back up and stood by closely to monitor its stability. Once I was certain it would be OK, I began redecorating with the plastic, meaningless ornaments WHEN THE GODDAMN TREE FELL AGAIN!!!
I needed help. Apparently, the operators at 9-1-1 respectfully do not help in these types of emergencies. "But it is an emergency!" I whined.
"I'm sorry ma'am, but 9-1-1 is for medical emergencies only." I was worried that I would have a medical emergency on my hands once Candy Ass got home.
Sigh. I called my stepdad, Short-Haired Bill, to help with damage control. He came over, added some plywood to the dinky tree stand and gave me a lesson in geometry and the importance of BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. More importantly, he helped hoist the tree back up, which was now looking plenty pitiful, with branches smashed and some missing and lots of ornaments hooks with only a tiny shard left of glass remaining.
In walks Candy Ass, cooled off and ready to deco--- "What the [expletive] happened here???"
[Short-Haired Bill lets himself out.]
"Um, there was a... an... accident."
Obviously, I lived to tell about it. But not without a few dozen "I told you so's" and two million "What were you thinking's" - give or take a few.
Needless to say, we've yet to buy a Christmas tree this year. It's the 13th of December with only 12 days left before Christmas and no tree. Not even talk about getting a tree. I'm afraid to even mention the words "Christmas" and "tree" to my husband. And truthfully, I don't even want a Christmas tree this year.
Besides, what the hell am I going to hang on it anyway?