Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Tree Memories - Pt. II

Sometime in September, it became increasingly obvious that Darcy wasn’t going to dump my ass by the holidays. This, by the way, is a very good thing; however, my past relationship history generally keeps me peeking over my shoulder.

In any case, we began discussing the holidays, and I soon learned that Darcy loves Christmas. She. Loves. Christmas.

This is kind of a funny contrast to me, who, as I said before, likes the family time, the food (Lord, do I love the food – rub the belly! Look at it jiggle! Roll, fat roll! Err . . . I digress), and the giving and receiving of presents, but I couldn’t care less about the stores, commercials, bad Christmas music and the tree.

Yes, the tree. My fingers and toes turned numb just thinking of the tree, and now my girlfriend is suggesting that I go out and buy one. I needed a distraction; I needed time to think, to clear my head, I needed to say something so brilliant that it would put it out of her mind completely for the rest of time.

“Um – I’ll think about it,” is what came out.

“If you have a tree, I’ll want to spend more time at your house. Otherwise, I won’t come over as much,” was her response.

“Err – I’ll think about it?” kept rearing its ugly head. And so we tabled the discussion until Thanksgiving.

I had some extra time that morning; my services weren’t required for the parade, so Darcy and I lounged around watching television and reading the paper.

“Lowe’s has an artificial pre-lit tree on sale for $25,” she said.

“So?” I came back with. Probably not the best response, but I had turkey on the brain. Sweet, sweet turkey, with stuffing and cranberries and . . . .

“I think you should buy it. While it’s so cheap.”

“But I don’t want a tree”

“Yes, you do! We’re going to enjoy this Christmas, and I want you to have a tree here!” is basically what she said. So I looked her right in the eye, gathered my resolve and folded like a piece of paper.

But hey – since I was going to lose the fight anyway, why not save a few bucks in the process? I’m nothing if not practical.

Up bright and early Friday morning. Had to beat the shoppers. Had to beat the shoppers. What’s my damn problem? Lowe’s isn’t going to be infested with crazed shoppers drunk from turkey and lack of sleep; maybe a few surly contractors who need to get some work done, but crazed post-Thanksgiving shoppers? Not so much.

And I was right – sort of. It took awhile to get past Crestwood Mall, where the cars lined up and down Watson, patiently waiting to get in before all the stuff was gone. Because, you know, stores sell out of everything for the rest of time unless you make it there at 3:00 AM.

So I bought my tree (and I went to the casino to kill a few hours and not deal with traffic --- and I won $50 – thereby paying for the tree). And last weekend, we finally set it up, and decorated it.

All I had for this tree was lights – no ornaments or anything, so my beautiful girlfriend bought me the coolest ornaments ever – Star Wars and Batman ornaments! This rules. Then we went out and bought some generic ornaments along with a tree topper – a model of a robot with huge guns! Robots rule! I was going to have the coolest tree ever.

We returned home; I walked the dog and popped The Two Towers in the DVD player – I needed a little Christmas decoration movie for inspiration. We assembled the tree and plugged it in. And a strand of lights didn’t work.

Unfazed, Darcy tugged at the strand, and they came on for a second – but only for a second. Remaining calm, I checked the instructions. It was either the bulbs or the fuse. I hoped for the fuse and tried replacing it. And failed – because I have REAL FREAKING FINGERS!!! Apparently, they designed these lights for the wee people, because you can’t change the fuse, unless you have needles for fingers. What the hell were they thinking?

I started tugging at bulbs, feeling frustration and anger mounting. But before I blew, I realized I was becoming my father, which brought be back from the ledge. I put the burned-out strand on my to-do list, and we sat in the glow of the tree lights, contemplating warfare and politics in Middle-Earth. Well, I did; Darcy fell asleep.

So I have a tree. Sure it’s artificial, sparsely decorated and kind of small, but I have a tree, and I didn’t traumatize myself while putting it up! Progress! Bring on the next challenge!

Little did I know that the next tree challenge was only a few short hours away . . .


Darcy said...

Actually, here's how the Thanksgiving conversation went:
"Look Brian, a pre-lit Christmas tree for only $25!"
"For that price, I'll buy a tree."
Brian didn't even put up a fight!

Anonymous said...

Amazing what artistic license Brian will take. It probably wasn't even LOTR, but rather something like the Rocketeer or the Golden Girls season II disc 1. Hope you have fun with the tree. You must not forget to get some Simpsons ornaments for the tree as well.