So yesterday morning was Monday. And I’ve become a big fan of stating the obvious.
I knew that eventually the Thanksgiving break would end and it would be time to join the real world again, but that really didn’t make it any better when the alarm went off. It also doesn’t help that our alarm is P’s cell phone and he has it set to some kind of mamba ring tone. He says it’s because he’ll hear it, but I suspect it might be because he knows it drives me insane enough to make me jump out of bed. Or at least to roll over and growl, “TURN IT OFF. TURN IT OFF. FOR ALL THAT IS GOOD IN THIS WORLD, TURN IT OFF.”
We all managed to get out of bed and start our morning routine. I dropped Caroline off at school with a coyote skull gently packed in her little sequined leopard print messenger bag. Yes. A coyote skull. She found it at the ranch last week and couldn’t wait to bring it in for Show and Tell. Bless her teacher’s heart.
Once I got home I knew I could no longer avoid the run I’d been trying not to think about all last week when I decided that exercise should not interfere with my enjoyment of the Thanksgiving holiday. I put on my running shoes, cranked up my sweet tunes, and spent the next thirty-five minutes feeling like I was wading through quicksand. My loose hypothesis is that a steady diet of cream of mushroom soup and butter in various casserole forms has a tendency to make a person feel a little sluggish.
After I plodded my way around the neighborhood, I came back home to hydrate myself and pass out for about forty-five minutes before running my long list of errands. First up? A trip to Michaels to get more Christmas tree lights. Second? I ran in Charming Charlie’s to buy the zebra-print koozie with hot pink feathered trim that Caroline fell in love with when she saw it on Saturday. I don’t know why she really needs a koozie, but I can understand the siren song of the zebra print trimmed in pink.
Anyway, I finally completed a whole list of errands and I won’t bore you by going into all the details. When I finally got home I decided to go ahead and put the lights on the rest of the tree so that Caroline and I could get to decorating as soon as she got home from school.
I continued my vertical light strategy around the back of the tree until it was adequately wrapped, then I put one more strand around the entire tree just to ensure maximum light coverage. And then!
I plugged in the lights and marveled at their beauty. And also at the fact that I managed to buy some sort of twinkling lights by accident and half my tree has a significant twinkling effect.
All the lights went out at the same time. Darkness. Total darkness.
Fortunately P happened to be home and I summoned him to the living room with a delicate, “OH NO! ALL MY LIGHTS JUST WENT OUT! WHAT HAPPENED? OH THE HUMANITY!”
He looked at me and asked, “How many strands do you have plugged all together and plugged into this one outlet?”
“That’s too many. It overheated and blew a fuse.”
Technically, I knew when I was connecting strand after strand of lights that this venture was ill-advised thanks to the directions on the box the lights came in. However, I choose to think of those directions as more of a guideline than the gospel truth.
P fixed my fuse and told me I’d need to go buy an extension cord and a power strip. So I picked up Caroline from school and we headed to Walgreens to buy the necessary supplies. And then I had to come home and try to reconfigure my lighting scheme. The good news is this gave me the opportunity to evenly distribute the twinkly lights so my tree doesn’t look like it’s bipolar.
Now it just looks like it belongs in a nightclub in Las Vegas. Which is so much better.
After the lighting was all straightened out, I turned our T.V. to one of the satellite radio channels that plays continuous holiday music and Caroline and I began to hang the rest of the ornaments as we sang along to Jingle Bell Rock. It was all very festive in spite of the fact that it was a crisp 82 degrees outside.
All of a sudden a song came on that I’d never heard before. I knew immediately it was Dwight Yoakum. And as I listened to the lyrics I realized he was singing that Mama said Santa can’t stay and Santa looked a lot like Daddy as he drove away.
Way to bring us all down at Christmastime, Dwight.
I told P about it and said it was the second most depressing Christmas song I’ve ever heard. The first being that song about the little boy who’s trying to buy new shoes for his mom in case she dies and meets Jesus on Christmas Eve.
P looked at me and said, “I don’t even know what you’re talking about, but I have serious concerns about your listening habits. Why would you listen to any of that?”
It’s a valid point.
However, he doesn’t know that I’m the same girl who spent much of Christmas 1987 listening to Dolly Parton sing Hard Candy Christmas over and over again on my York stereo with cassette player while I cried over a breakup with a boy whose name I can barely even remember now. I felt like Dolly and I were united in our feeling of barely getting through tomorrow, but committed to not let sorrow bring us down.
Which is more than I can say for Dwight Yoakum.