I have been married for fifteen GLORIOUS years. My spouse, like most husbands, does not especially enjoy honey do lists. For years I have talked about outdoor holiday lighting. I see to the indoor decorations but outside stays mostly unimpressive. We live in a neighborhood where many families let their Christmas cheer spill over into their yards. I love driving through the streets at night and beholding the wonderment of every lit up home.
I wanted in on that action.
Our children have even become disappointed in our lack of effort. This year was going to be different. This year I was not backing down. I told Hubs that I wanted to buy sparkly lights for our trees and bushes. His head started shaking almost as soon as my lips started moving but I wasn’t hearing no. I was tired of being the Grinch house.
My newfound determination finally paid off as I talked him into going to Lowe’s Home Improvement with me. Just to LOOK at outdoor holiday lighting. Looking couldn’t hurt. Upon arriving I grabbed a cart and he questioned: Since when did LOOKING involve a shopping cart?
We walked up and down the aisles. He zeroed in on the net style lights. These are the simplest form of lighting. There is no wrapping or circling of vegetation involved. One just drops the multicolored bulb filled nets over each bush. That sounded easy enough. Then there were the trees. They were too tall for nets. But WOW look at those mesmerizing strands of blue lights conveniently placed beside the net lights. Those would finish the job.
Against his better judgement we purchased enough nets and strands for everything. My dream was becoming a reality.
Next stop: project day. I was taking care of things in the house so hubs headed outside. He recruited our three sons as helpers. That would later prove to be a questionable decision. You see, my husband has Attention Deficit Disorder or ADD. He wasn’t actually ever diagnosed by anyone in the medical profession but after being a wife and mother for fifteen years, I practically have a medical degree.
Staying on task is not his strong suit. Especially when distracted by three kids and otherwise disinterested in the project as a whole. But he was willing to give it the old college try. I peeked out of the window only to see the boys sitting on the porch and my husband involved in a wrestling match with a tangled ball of wire. A match that he appeared to be losing. The next peek I saw the ball of wire on the ground and him talking to a neighbor. Hubby is always up for chit-chat. Especially chit-chat that keeps him from his honey do list.
After what I considered long enough for the project to be close to completion, I wandered outside to take look. All I saw were looks of frustration and only about half of the bushes completed. Did I mention that Hubs is also a perfectionist who sometimes gets bogged down with the details of a project? Especially projects that he didn’t want to do in the first place. It was apparent that for this labor of love, he needed backup.
First order of business, I sent the boys back inside the house. They were clearly not helping but rather distracting my easily distractable husband. Teamwork would seal this deal. I wrapped lights around trees while also encouraging Hubs to stay on task. He didn’t mind my direction one bit. He just wanted the task completed. He even ran back to Lowe’s for more extension cords and timers.
He was so thrilled to be done with outside Christmas that when I asked him to drag the twelve-foot tree in from the garage so that I alone could decorate it, he happily obliged. Except this year the pre-lit tree decided to not do its ONE job. Just stand there and be lit. After only four years, half of the lights were not burning.
I had heard of a product Light Keeper Pro which was supposed to magically fix deadbeat bulbs. My wonderful husband made yet another trip to Lowe’s to secure one. At my final request on his Christmas 2018 Honey Do List to get the lights burning again, he agreed. But only if I would go away. Like, far away.
I had no beef with that. I know that men like to be alone when they do manly stuff. Like work with tools. Or cuss out a tree that won’t light.
Imagine my shock though when I returned later to NOT only NOT see the tree glowing with all of its glory, but instead to see NO TREE AT ALL. Huh. Had I imagined the entire day?
I asked my husband, who by this time was deservedly lying on the couch, enjoying a little quiet television, where the enormous tree was that had once been standing in the now bare spot on the floor. He responded that it was by the road. Apparently, he had tried the Light Keeper Pro for what he considered the final time, then shoved that huge tree right out of the door.
Once cooler heads prevailed, he had a chance to reflect on his rash decision. He agreed that maybe 27 days before Christmas was not the time to banish a 75% lit, twelve ft tree. He went back to the road and drug it back inside. When the tree was reassembled it was then MY honey do list to figure out how to mask the trees shortcomings. I decided to buy more bulbs! And one gigantic bow for the top.
And that my friends is marriage in a nutshell. It is doing things that you really don’t want to do because you love someone and it makes them happy.
And even though it felt so good to sentence that tree to life in the trash, you knew that eventually, you were going to have to drag it back inside.
Happy Holidays everyone!!!