Tuesday, December 10, 2013


                                                                 HOLIDAY LIGHTS            
                                                                       

      It’s that time of year again; the time when Mr. Wonderful and I have the annual “holiday lights” discussion. I know how it goes from the minute his shoulders creep up to his earlobes and his brow furrows like a Shar Pei. Every year, I try to come up with a new approach; a way to sneak up on my plea for holiday lights “like everyone else has.”(I always feel like a 13-year-old asking my Daddy if I can go out in cars with boys.) I practice in front of the mirror using every possible voice from Marilyn Monroe to Doris Day, hoping that a new schtick might help my old pitch.

     “Hey, big boy. How about some hmmm liiiiights over the gar- ha- arge, huh?”
      Before I can get the purr perfected, he is ready to pounce.
     “Aw come on, babe,” I beg. “Please? I’ll cut the lawn for a month next summer, and I’ll even spread some muck, I mean mulch.”
     Nothing. He figures by saying nothing and just giving me the “look,” I’ll get the message, and I do.

     So, I am left with two choices:  1) climb up on the ladder in my red patent stilettos and hang the damned bulbs myself or 2) spend my social security check on the “Let us Light Up Your Holiday” promotion that is somewhere in the bowels of the junk drawer. Considering each of these alternatives, I try to imagine the consequences. If I climb up on the ladder and fall, not only will I scuff my good patents and risk no shoes to match my Christmas dress, but it’s highly possible that I will bang up a perfectly good knee or elbow. If I give up my social security check (assuming that I can locate said check in my extra-button drawer), I will not have any funds left to buy holiday gifts for the grandchildren. Figuring that the latter would be construed as some kind of grandparenting treason, I return to nagging Mr. Wonderful.

     “Honey, how about we put up a couple of extra Christmas trees instead of the lights? We could do a kitchen tree with tiny copper pots and pans and a bathroom tree trimmed in plastic travel bottles and toothbrushes. What do you think?”

     This time, sound came from his lips. I am still not sure what words came out, but it kind of sounded like a cross between Japanese and X-rated. The pitch was so deafening, I couldn’t make out the thousands of syllables. All I know is that his face got very red, and his arms appeared to be taking flight from his body.
     I heard him exclaim as he stomped out of sight,

      “All of this angst o’er a damned string of lights.”