Last weekend was awesome. For the record, my mother-in-law is a great cook, and she doesn't even read this blog so I'm saying that from a place of truth, not suck-uppyness. On Thursday night, I went to WalMart for pre-Black Friday and puking circus women. On Friday, I rested. On Saturday, I drove to a local tree seller, put the seats down in the van, and shoved that seven-foot-tall bad boy in. I like to get the tree all by myself and just show up at home with it, unannounced. This way, I don't have to take a carload of people with opinions that might be different than mine to select something that I am going to mainly be in charge of, and then I don't get any arguments as to why today isn't a good day to decorate the tree.I have a whole story about trees that fell over at 1 a.m., really, but I'll save that because I know Mom and CH have to get back to work and they just skim these posts for references to them. Tick tock, Julie, supervisor might be walking by soon!
We are in a new house, so I feel that Current Husband and I need to spiffy the place up for ChristGiving, meaning let's deck this sucker out in lights! I have CH and The Son drag out the tub of outdoor lights and the wooden ladder, and I climb the ladder to start hanging lights from the gutters. The ladder is a little on the short side, so I have to climb up on the rung that says DANGER! PELLIGRO! and shows a picture of a stick man falling off of a ladder very similar to this one. The mulch is pretty soft, and the legs keep sinking in, so I ask CH to hold the ladder. He obliges, and then uses his time to talk about the view of my ass from the ground, and all of the manly things he is capable of when I descend. I tell him I am having my period and he quits looking, problem solved.
The husband next door is putting their lights up, so CH starts loudly advising me how to hang the lights, because then he is a FOREMAN and not the pussy Ladder Holder. I get about halfway done, and then CH makes a discovery - the next strand of lights is different from the ones that are up. DAMN IT! It's the poltergeist of those elves. I start taking the lights down, because the next two strands match. I get them halfway down, and then CH says, "Wait! The strand that is up already matches the other strand!" so I put the previously hung, then removed, lights back up. I get the second strand up, and CH says, "We should probably plug this in to test them." We look around. Odd. This house has no outdoor outlets. WTF. CH gets the biggest, most safety-orange cord he can find, and plugs it into the kitchen and runs it out the door to the lights. As I am thinking, "Are we going to run this safety orange extension cord out the side door all season?", CH plugs it in, and alas, the second strand of lights is burned out. DOUBLE DAMN! This is going to be CH's ticket to not decorate at all. Don't Look Into The Light, CH! Look away from the lights!
I take down the second strand of lights, and put up a third strand of lights. These are pretty, they have the very droopy double strands that say, "I got these at my local hardware store instead of WalMart." I get them up - but wait! We don't have any more strands! Our house is now two-thirds decorated. By now, I am pissed. I almost pull a stick man move in my anger over the lights, but manage to safely dismount the ladder and step on the elf/reindeer burial ground again. "Let's just decorate the stupid tree," I say, stomping past CH whille he chuckles and shrugs his shoulders at our man-neighbor, who is now putting carefully arranged lit snow globes on the top of his perfectly groomed row of boxelder bushes.
We get to the tree. It IS pretty. We unwrap the lights, but we're smart this time, we plug them in first. The first strand works. The second and third strands have about a third of the lights out. We decide to salvage bulbs from one strand to make one GOOD strand between the two. That is sort of a train wreck, and the kids leave to text and watch Wizards of Waverly Place while CH and I play Junior Electrician. We get it done, the lights work, we put them on the tree. We have the kids come back in, and we have our Norman Rockwell decorating for about 10 minutes, and then the kids start fighting over who gets to put which prime ornament on the tree. We're finally done, it's time for our annual Tree Lighting Ceremony, normally done to Christmas music, but Mommy had to delete her playlist for technical reasons, so this year it was to Jay-Z and Blink 182. I hit the switch, The Son plugs in the lights, and....WHAT THE F***?!?!?!? The rigged up strand of lights is now out. Apparently there was a short in the wiring somewhere that kicked in when it was clipped to the tree. Get back in here, Carol Ann! Do you see the Elf People, Carol Ann?
CH goes outside to roll up the safety orange cord, and when the front door shuts behind him, I see that the extra droopy strands are getting caught in the door. Two of the lights are already smashed. The lights attached to the gutter are now ruined too. Cue the banjo music, we've done moved into the hood. I march out to the end of the hanging strand. CH knows this face. "What are you doing?" I grab the strand and I pull. CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK - the lights snap off of the gutter like a machine gun, or coffins popping out of the freshly dug pool in the backyard. I look at the dead lights laying on the ground, and look back up at CH.
"This house is clean."
The only lights working in my house this year are the ones in my fridge as I pull the cork on my chardonnay. I sit back, listen to some very seasonal Jay-Z (I got 99 problems and a bitch ain't one), and gaze upon my half lit tree. I could only be so lucky. A very Merry ChristGiving season to all of you, and my gift to you? Check your light strands before you hang them.
And? Don't build your house on a burial ground for magical creatures. You're welcome.
(That last part is straight out of The Bloggess playbook. It's fun to pretend to be The Bloggess once in a while!)