Why I’m Not Good at Marriage, Part 1

Who’s Got Two Thumbs and HATES CHRISTMAS?

IMG_3028I’m not good at marriage because sometimes my laziness leads me to picking the path of least resistance which results in me becoming acutely peeved and petulant.

Happy New Year, and welcome to the inaugural Why I Suck at Marriage post.  I begin this series with the Holt family Christmas tree.  Complete with leftover wrapping paper lovingly discarded right there on the floor, a tree skirt that never quite made it all the way around the tree stand, and no star on top (it’s been sitting on the table waiting for someone to place it– if only I had a husband over six feet tall).  And two vessels used for watering, because ya know who fake trees are for?  CHRISTMAS HATERS, that’s who.

For  the past 19 years, I’ve been labeled a CHRISTMAS HATER, because I dream of a pre-lit fake Christmas tree.

Even though I own something like a dozen nativity sets and listen to Christmas music pretty much incessantly from December 1-31, including a bunch of stuff you’ve never even heard of unless you too participated in a renaissance festival in high school and four years of lessons and carols in college choir.  Gaudete, anyone?  Anyone???  See, I don’t hate Christmas, YOU hate Christmas.  Christus est natus, y’all!

My point here, with the nativity sets and choir nerd tangent, is labeling those of us who don’t care to take on the onus of a real tree during the biz, bizz, BUSIEST hap, happ, HAPPIEST season of all as CHRISTMAS HATERS is perhaps a bit of an oversimplification.  Especially if we travel for Thanksgiving weekend (which I’m pretty sure is when all the normal functional families put up a tree) on an annual basis.  And especially if we’re married to a traveling peddler.  And especially if we’re a parent of two teenagers, one of whom has zero interest in decorating a tree or being in the same room with me and the other of whom has the attention span of a goldfish.  I don’t know where either of them get these traits, by the way.

And yet, I’m posting a photo of my real Christmas tree on January 5th.  Because despite my dream of a pre-lit, no needle dropping, no watering required fake tree; I always give in on this.

If I were a normal, emotionally stable, mature type; I suppose this would be a sign of a healthy marriage.  We pick our battles, we compromise. I let a sappy sticky needle-dropping dying plant (that still requires watering) into my home every December.

Alas, I am not normal or emotionally stable and I am sure as hell not mature.  So, instead of agreeing to a live tree and finding a place of internal peace, harmony and gratitude for my happy, healthy marriage; I end up with an undercurrent of mild seething rage.  While struggling to put the lights on by myself (because the peddler’s traveling and thing 2’s at ski practice and thing 1 would rather gouge his eyeballs out than be of assistance), I imagine Cousin Eddy rounding up the three of them up and delivering them to my living room.  But instead of having that big red bow tied around them, they’re tied up with 7,000 strings of Christmas lights.  I sit off to the side sipping mulled wine, with my noise canceling headphones on, listening to Christmas choral favorites you’ve never heard of, and watch them try to disentangle.  And once they’re free, THEY have to put the lights on the damn tree.

Sadly, I have no cousin Eddy.  Somehow, we I always manage to get the tree lit and decorated, although said decoration is typically sparse in nature; as I like to leave some ornaments unhung, so the CHRISTMAS LOVERS can come hang some when they’re so moved.  Apparently that happens around January 15th.  I don’t know an exact date, because it’s never fucking happened.

Now Christmas is over.  Husband has returned to his intellectually and spiritually fulfilling work, the kids are *still* on break, and I’m supposed to be wrangling a disgruntled thing #1 to help me remove lights and ornaments because he owes us a few (hundred thousand) hours of labor.  I’d rather write.  Or fold laundry that no one will put away.  Or go get a pap smear.  Or a root canal.  Or a frontal lobotomy.  I DON’T WANT TO DEAL WITH THIS DAMN TREE.

But, in a effort to resist the CHRISTMAS HATER label I compromised and I don’t have a job, so I HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS DAMN TREE.

And, 11 months from now when it’s time to start decorating for Christmas, I’ll likely still be in a Thanksgiving induced altered state of mind and will have forgotten all of this.  And I’ll agree to a real tree.  And visions of cousin Eddy and my family entwined in Christmas lights will once again dance in my head.

This, folks, is one of countless reasons why I’m not good at marriage.

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