Monday, December 5, 2011

Holiday cheer, delayed

I've been married to this man of mine for 11 years, with him for 12.  He is Mr. Scrooge.  Christmas music makes him twitch.  He white knuckles it through holiday events.  Every year, when I make him climb a latter and hang the icicle lights from the house he wants to murder me, but he tries not to let it show.  I always browbeat him through the Holiday Season, and he grudgingly allows me to.  He wants to not hate it, but he just can't shake it.  

Last week, we were laying in bed having coffee one morning, and a commercial came on the TV that reminded me... We really need some new yard ornaments this year.  We had some problems last year, I need to go get new strands of lights, the snowman is irretrievably damaged... And he's gonna be pissed if I go buy new stuff.  *sigh*

Five minutes later, he said, "I think we need more decorations for the yard this year.  I'd like to put some new stuff out."  

Wait, what?? 

It seems he's turning over a new leaf.  He wants to be into the Spirit of things this year.  All righty then, let's do it.  I'm in.  

So, Sunday was supposed to be Holiday Decorating Day. We were going to go to Garden Ridge, buy some stuff, come home, and deck the halls, baby.  And the yard.

That's how it was supposed to go.  Here's how it really went...

We stop at Garden Ridge.  They have aisles and aisles of holiday decor that is somewhat picked over but still lots to choose from.  As I start to put things in the basket, I start getting questions from Negative Nelly...

Are you really going to pay $15 for that? And get 2 of them?

All this crap comes from China. Do you know how much it costs to make?  

Surely we can go somewhere that has better stuff than this.  Where else can we go?  Let's go to Walmart.  

I tell him sure, we could go to Walmart, but their big stuff sucks.  They're great for lights, but we're not going to find any other good stuff there.  The selection is better here.  

The selection here sucks.  

Okay, so we'll go then.  Fine.  I put all the stuff back on a shelf and walk away from it.  

Boy: Wait, where's the basket?  
Me: Gone
Boy: But where's all the stuff we picked out?
Me:  We're not getting it.  Your dad thinks we can do better somewhere else. 
Boy:  Oh my God!  Why did we bring him!?  Ugh... 

The husband says his friend went to Hobby Lobby.  So, we'll go there.  Wait, nope... Hobby Lobby is closed on Sunday.  Walmart it is, then.  

We go to Walmart and drop $100 on new lights.  I'm still missing a yard "centerpiece," and Walmart has no likely candidates.  

Home Depot is next.  The selection is better.  We buy a whole new set of ornaments for the tree inside (we're going with a new color scheme for the first time in 12 years; trust me, it's a big deal).  Nothing grabs us in the way of large ticket items, but then I hit on the idea to build something ourselves.  He's cool with it, so we head home.  

It's raining, of course, so no outdoor decorating will be done.  (We've been having a draught all year, but the one evening I'd like to spend outside, it's raining.)  That's okay, we'll get the tree down from the attic and put it up...after all, there's plenty to do inside, too.  

The attic access is in the boy-child's room.  Unfortunately, his floor is blanketed in dirty clothes (clean ones, too, no doubt) and other filth.  Dad gets pissed and decides he'd rather work on bicycles in the bike room. (What, you mean you don't have a bike room too??)  He disappears.  

Major fit throwing ensues.  The kids get upset, too.  Danny isn't going in the attic until the boy's floor is picked up, though. But where do you want me to put it all?!?  We've been over this three hundred times.  Hang your clothes up in your closet.  My answer will be the same the next three hundred times you ask.  

A little while later, I am summoned to the boy's room to help catch boxes. I look around, and the mess has evaporated.  

Me: Where's all your clothes?  
Boy: *shrug*
Me: They're not in the closet.  Where'd you put them?
Boy: I don't know.  

I decide that I really don't want to know, so I drop it.  Hear no evil, see no evil...  Well, ya know.  

A short while later, I find myself surrounded in boxes from the attic with an artificial tree that needs to be fluffed.  The boy-child has been instructed to finish cleaning his room before he can participate in the "festivities," and the girl-child is laying on the couch with a headache (did I mention she spent the morning puking?).  Of course, this doesn't stop her from saying Haha, Cole has to clean his room. I'm sure glad the attic door isn't in my room!

Right, because that makes your ass totally exempt from room cleaning?  I can't think of any other reason why you might want to pick up that hellhole that you like to live in.  

Are we having fun yet?  

At this point, I decide I'm hungry.  Since no one else cares about the tree, I'm going to cook some dinner.  While I'm making meatloaf and sautéed vegetables, the kids decide they're ready to put ornaments on the tree.  

No, no, no... You have to fluff the tree first.  Ya know, spread the branches so that the fake tree looks like a real tree? Where's your dad??

Response: He doesn't care about the tree.  He only cares about bicycles.  

What happened to the new and improved holiday cheer??  Yeah, I knew it wouldn't last.  

I go back and forth from cooking to supervising, and every time I turn my back the little fuckers have ornaments on the tree again.  The tree branches are in horizontal lines with big gaping spaces between.  This isn't rocket science, children.  Make the fake tree look like a real tree.  Don't hang anything on it til I say.  Stop digging through the boxes!  You're making the mess worse.  Here's some Christmas music.  No, I don't want to listen to that, I want to listen to this.  Leave my playlist alone.  I'm finishing dinner.  

Did you just change my fucking music as soon as I walked away right after I told you not to??  What the hell?  

So, then I'm D-O-N-E with it all.  I send the children to bed.  Did they at least get dinner, you ask?  Nope.  Cuz I'm a heartless bitch sometimes.  (Until I cave an hour later and let the boy eat. The girl fell asleep before my ire wore off.) 

The husband and I proceed to "fluff" the tree and hang 100 new ornaments on it.  Beer and wine help in the endeavor, but it's still far from done.  Midnight is creeping up, dinner is still out, the living room is Holiday Hell, and I'm tired.  The Santa topper and the tree skirt don't match the new ornament theme, and we're out of ornament hooks.  

How about now?  Are we having fun NOW?  

I lay in bed, and in my tired and frustrated state of mind I find myself praying to Santa Claus to please for the love of God bring his elves to finish the Holiday Madness that has taken over my home.  

Monday morning comes, and, of course, everything is still where we left it.  No elves.  I work all day amidst the mess, wishing I could be like the Sorcerer's Apprentice and make it all dance into place.  

Monday consists of 10 hours of work, homework with the kids, dinner (leftovers and fast food), and a quick trip to Target that turns into a 2.5 hour ordeal because I can't find a toddler coat for a gift donation (2 stores later, I remember we have a new Burlington Coat Factory, hallelujah).  

Now, we have ornament hooks and a new tree skirt and even a new tree topper.  

Now can we finish the tree??

No.  Now it's bedtime, and I have a mountain of dirty dishes (and a new Cupcake Moscato) in the kitchen calling my name.  We'll try again tomorrow.  

At this rate, we might have the tree done by Christmas morning.  

The new tree theme 

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