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Thursday, December 1, 2011

O Christmas Light Torture OR Things Not to Do on Thanksgiving Weekend

I know this blog is delayed a wee bit.  I got distracted because my proofreader/editor gave me back a corrected copy of Bubba and the Missing Woman and my brain melted into primordial writer's goo.  (Ask any writer.  It's when you HAVE to do something to your manuscript before something else happens.)

But on the weekend after the esteemed Turkey Day, we recuperated by the putting up of the Christmas lights.

I have some obligatory comments to make.  (Also something that happens to me.  I HAVE to comment on stuff like this.  It's either make comments or get gagged.  One or the other.)

Every year we put up Christmas lights.  In actuality, HIM, the man to whom I'm married, puts up the lights and I help...marginally.  (Mostly I interfere and ask inane questions and gripe about how none of the other neighbors will put up lights.)

This event commences with the detanglement of the mass of Christmas lights from the previous year.  This is also known as the Eff-It-I'm-Just-Throwing-Them-Into-The-Big-Plastic-Tub-Without-Wrapping-Them-Neatly Day.  (Taking down Christmas lights = yuckiness.  Who wants to wrap them neatly so the following year they can be utilized without damaging your cerebral cortex?  Where's the fun in that?)

This also inspired me to want to wrap Cressy, our daughter, up in Christmas lights for our annual Christmas photo, but I was outvoted by HIM and Cressy.  HIM didn't want to unwrap the light in order to wrap them around a squirmy seven year old.  Cressy didn't want the lights wrapped around her.  Cressy also suggested that we wrap them around HIM instead, but HIM mysteriously vanished in the moment I turned my head away.  Thus I was outvoted and outmaneuvered.  Bah, humbug.

Anyway, the lights were retrieved from the attic.  The boxes were opened.  Various balls of light strands were extracted.  Groans at the messiness were emitted.

HIM mentally designed his supreme composition.  Strands of multicolored effervescent lights would adorn the fence draped in delicate scallops.  Wisps of red brilliance would dance along the eaves of the roof.  More multicolored lights would wind around the columns, showing their dazzling LED-edness.  Ah, the artistic flair.  The wonder.  The post-Christmas surprise of the amount of the electricity bill.

Upon assisting HIM with his vision I discovered that HIM wanted the strands in a specific order.  Apparently I put the male end on the wrong side.  (Silly me.  Male end with two little prongy things.  Female end with the holes.  How could I get that mixed up?)  Everything had to be reversed.

The reversing happened.  Then I "helped" with another cord.  Hahaha.  Just because the other cord was the male end on that side DID NOT mean I had it correct the second time because HIM had a special plan for that set of lights.  The reversing happened again.  Low pitched grumbling commenced.

Extension cords were retrieved.  We did not have enough.  Browning out the neighborhood would not suffice.  We had to cause a black out of epic proportion.  We had to show planes where to land.  We had to signal the Martians of our holiday intentions.  We had to go to Home Depot for more extension cords.

After I asked HIM to explain his "plan" for the third time and HIM had the following expression on his face, I decided to go inside where I could watch from the window and drink spiked eggnog.  (Oh, I kind of skipped the eggnog part.)

Then HIM got the big ladder out and proceeded to extract the staple gun.  HIM and staple gun, hmm.  My mind boggled.  (What does that mean anyway?  I mentally picture someone shaking up my brain in a plastic container and dumping it on the floor to see what it spells.)   I turned on the Christmas music channel and then turned on the volume.  I also put my phone in my pocket for faster speed dialing to 9-1-1.

HIM came in a while later and said, "There's wood rot on the eaves."  How, you might ask, did he know?  Well, the short answer is that when he stapled the lights to the wood, the wood fell apart.  (Let me come up with the long answer.  When HIM decided on his ultimate design of masterful Christmas artistry to shame the neighbors and suck the electric dry of all of its energy, HIM briefly considered that we're about to have our roof replaced.  So HIM opted not to use the little plastic doohickeys that attach to the shingles and to use the staple gun.  HIM might have also been shooting staples at squirrels but I'm not saying that officially.  So HIM thought if he stapled the wires to the wood, all would be well.  Also HIM wouldn't let me staple the wires because one time in 1994 I stapled Christmas lights to our house and accidentally stapled inside the wires, thereby shorting out the entire set of lights in perpetuity.  Yes, that is a long answer, Virginia.)

Anyway, here's the picture of the lights at night.  They won't be up long because we're taking them down to have someone fix all the wood rot HIM discovered.

Anyhoo, hope your Christmas light experience goes better than ours.  Or if you're really smart you said, "Eff that, we're going to Vegas."


Mac said...

The first year in the house, Dina wanted to put up lights. I pointed her to the door and said, "Have fun."

Funny how she's never mentioned it since.

And every year the indoor decorations get less and less.

Bah. Humbug.

Carwoo said...

Well, ever since we had Cressy, we've had a reverse on doing less. Something about kids. Guess we're stuck until she goes to college. Haha.