No one else had the time they always said.
My youngest, who has had a real eye for balance and proportion ever since he first picked up a crayon to draw a Ninja Turtle, was off at college since Christmas of ’02 and of course Old Dave has never cared. He always just wants to do his Sudoku.
My problem doing the job alone is this: I’m not good at it.
One year I got some weird kind of tree with needles that LOOKED super soft but turned out to feel like asbestos fibers when you touched them. Plus they were so closely grouped on their branches that the ornaments you tried hanging on them ended up lying sideways.
Another year I’m told I got a tree that was way too small – who can tell when you’re there in the lot with no indoor walls or ceilings to give you a sense of scale?
Plus I didn’t see the part on the tree’s side that was sort of scooped-out looking, probably because I have a part on my own side that looks that way, a spine that, once it turned 50, started taking a right-hand turn out of the lumbar gate, then changed its mind and went left, then righted itself to head north again. I’d show you the X-ray but it’s too disturbing. My tailor screamed when he saw it and he’s a strong man. “God! Do you know what that LOOKS like?” he said but I wouldn’t let him go on. Bad enough knowing how I think it looks: like a fat worm, writhing. Like a slug, failing the sobriety test.
Anyway, that year when College Boy came home December 23rd he took one look at the tree and said “Oh.”
Then “Mum, don’t be mad. I’m just going to go out and get another tree.”
I wasn’t mad. I’m never mad. My job in life is to make the first stab at a thing, so others can then come in and point out the problems.
He went out then and there and got a new tree, then took every light and ornament off the slug-tree and dragged it out on the porch…..
Where began our new custom of having a tree on the porch, which is now a fake tree that comes in several parts and that you jam together using its several daggerish stake-through-the-heart elements.
The year I first came home with THAT one was a big hit. “Old TT!” shouted College Boy’s father. “Buying just the essentials again I see!”
That’s a joke between us whose origins lie here, two posts back.
Come back tomorrow for the rest of the saga.. But the holidays, man. Crazy-making or what?