Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Tree Trouble, Part 2

Charlie took that Christmas tree back to Home Depot last Monday and on Wednesday I pulled up in the driveway to see the one I ordered from Balsam Hill already here. Sweet, I thought.  But as I dragged the box in the garage I realized it was no way big enough to be holding a 9ft tree. And I was right. I had half a tree. Half.a.tree. Fit to be tied does not even begin to describe the state I was in. So I got online to get their phone number and dialed it at rapid speed only to sit on hold for a sweet for-everrr. 

Here's a genius thought (and I told their customer service as such in a snarky email), how about (since you are going to leave your customers on hold for an eternity) playing some Christmas music since it's, you know, a Christmas tree company and all because that elevator song playing in a loop over and over and over does not do much in improving the mood of the customer with a tree problem who has been sitting on hold for 43 hours. 

And of course, about twenty minutes into my holding marathon another call beeped in and it was the elementary school (welcome to my life). It was Dracen telling me he felt light-headed and dizzy and needed to come home at once (although there was only another 30 minutes left in the school day). But since he does have a history of passing out, I had no choice but to hang up before ever speaking to a single person about the whereabouts of the other half of my tree and get in the car to go pick him up. He ended up being fine after eating and resting but he did seem a bit out of sorts when I got to the school. 

Once I got him settled in, I dialed that number again and sat there and sat there and sat there some more and the more that sorry excuse for a song played, the madder I got. When I finally did get a live person to pick up, she didn't seem one bit alarmed that I had only received one half of my tree and no email notifications whatsoever. Then she proceeded to give me the FedEx tracking number for the other box so I could go online and track it myself or "get in touch with FedEx" as she put it, as if it was all their stinking fault. Grrr.

She told me she felt sure it would arrive "tomorrow". I, however, did not feel sure in any way, shape or form and it's a good thing I didn't look for it the next day because it was Friday before it showed up. I dove straight into that box and began to assemble it like a mad woman. Only after I got the part labeled '1' on, I couldn't find '2'. Oh it must be in the first box, right? Tell me it is in the first box. So I ran out to the garage where the first box still sat only to find no part 2 and another part 1. No lie, I think smoke came out of my ears.

Then I went into a rare manic state in which I began slinging those heavy branches around like they weighed nothing and shouting things like, "THIS TREE WILL WORK TODAY!!! SOMEHOW, SOME WAY!!!  OR I WILL DIE TRYING!!!" (I left out the profanity) (You are welcome)

And guess what? Where there is great will, there is a way because it worked! I still don't know whether they just labeled that part wrong since I do have two of those step-on and off plugs that go into the wall and that doesn't seem right, but it looks right and all the lights work so I am, at last, a happy Christmas tree camper. 



I know you are all so relieved to know that my Christmas tree woes are over. At least for this year. Unless some lights go out. But that will not happen. 

Oh one more completely unrelated thing before I go. Are y'all watching The Voice and did you see that performance by Craig Wayne Boyd last night? He sang The Old Rugged Cross live on prime time t.v. and it gave me chills. I immediately downloaded/bought it on iTunes and then took time to vote for him after the show because in this politically correct age we are living in, that was a great big deep breath of fresh air. 








Amen.



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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christmas Tree Trouble

Last year I declared it our pre-lit Christmas tree's last year. We had a pretty decent run but have had to string extra lights to compensate for all the ones burned out for the past two years and it had also somehow developed a gaping hole on one side. Plus, I wanted a taller tree since we bought that tree before we moved and the ceilings are higher in this house. Well. Who knew how large a task I was taking on when I made that little declaration because where-have-all-the-good-trees-gone? 

There are countless beautiful life-like trees to be found online but my thought was that I'd end up with a problem tree and then have to deal with sending it back which would no doubt turn into an ordeal that would quickly cause my inner Grinch to surface. Not to mention the bordering-on-insanity costs of some of those trees. So Sunday afternoon we headed out to Home Depot because I saw online that they had some 9ft trees in stock and I must have made about five hundred thousand circles around those trees trying to pick one I deemed worthy before deciding I wanted to go look somewhere else.

Charlie and Devin were thrilled. Dracen had the good sense and forethought to stay at his momaw and popaw's house (which was a good thing because his commentary would have no doubt sent me over the edge I was already starting to teeter on). After hitting Lowes, Wal-mart and Michaels, we made our way back to Home Depot, whose trees were now beginning to look a whole lot better. I had the brief thought of going back to a real tree before coming to my senses and remembering the sinus infections I got for four years straight at Christmastime before being hit with the hey-maybe-this-has-something-to-do-with-the-live-tree-in-my-house realization. 

We (okay I) finally decided on one that was not on display but for reasons beyond my own comprehension, seemed like the best bet. It probably had something to do with the fact that Martha Stewart's name was on it because you can say what you want about her, but the woman does have some good taste. So we got it home, cleared out a place for it in the corner (a new spot this year) and was amazed at how easily it went up. But as I began the fluffing process, I noticed that about four entire branches were not lit and could find nary a cord disconnected. 

Charlie was busy but said he'd look at it shortly so I spent the next  hour and a half getting scratched up by those prickly needles as I fluffed and fluffed and fluffed. Then we spent another hour and a half checking every single cord, bulb and fuse on that tree only to walk away in defeat. As Charlie began disassembling it, I took to my keyboard in order to let out my frustrations via a bad review on Home Depot's website before ordering one from Balsam Hill that I'm hoping arrives very soon and in good working order because I'm experiencing a bad case of Christmas Tree Envy. 

Oh at the silly things we get worked up over. 

Speaking of silly (or maybe not-so-silly) things, remember the throwing knives Dracen has been putting on his Christmas list for the past two or three years? Well, they are back on there this year and will probably be there again next year too because not-in-my-lifetime, buddy. Not in my lifetime.



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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Whole Lotta Big Hair Ago...

Well my 25 year high school reunion came and went, yet still I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that it really has been a quarter of a century since we tossed those green caps up into the stale air of that high school gym (we got moved inside at the last minute due to the possibility of rain that never came). Then there are times when it seems that was an entire lifetime ago and in many ways, I suppose it was. 

As I studied our class photo we had on display, I found myself right there in line with my three best big-haired high school friends on the gym bleachers (along with all our many other friends/classmates) and realized that while we have all grown and matured and experienced countless joys and triumphs, and celebrations and milestones, and devastating life blows and griefs that none of us ever could have imagined, our core personalities are still recognizably, familiarly, the same. 

Then later, after everyone had arrived and began to mingle and take their seats, I took in the goings-on of the room (as us hardcore introverts always tend to do in such situations) and noticed that out of the small percentage of our class who showed up, we had pretty much all navigated to the little groups we most often found ourselves forming way back then. I was not surprised by this as it has been the case in the other two reunions we've had in the past and I imagine it will be the same at any others we plan for the future. 

Of course I was sitting at a table with my three formerly-big-haired friends who have remained among my closest and dearest over the past two and half decades. My BFF and I (as little as we see each other anymore) both showed up sporting black faux fur vests while our husbands dressed so much alike some probably wondered if they had called each other. We used to do that sort of thing often. At first it was on purpose. 

I've told that story here before but in case you missed it...

We both moved to this area during the summer before our tenth grade year so we were both the new kids on the block and our friendship was truly formed from a shared misery and what we had both thought at the time to be the greatest torture and misfortune of our young lives. Given the circumstance, our friendship/bond grew very quickly, so much so that we thought it'd be just charming if we bought matching outfits at the mall one weekend that we'd then both wear to school Monday morning.

This was back in 1986, when pleated, puffy-sleeved rompers were all the rage. So we bought us a matching pair in a glorious shade of peach and even splurged on big arse matching peach hair bows for our big arse hairdos. Oh yes. We were fly. I don't think we made it to our homerooms before we were regretting our decision at a level of intensity neither of us ever thought possible. Everybody knew our names after that, though most of them just called us The Bobbsey Twins.  Fun times those were. At least now, twenty-eight years later, we can laugh about it. I think it only took about ten.  

After that unfortunate fashion catastrophe faux-pas we always called each other to make sure we were NOT wearing the same thing. Yet many times over the years since high school, we've showed up places in dangerously similar attire which is what happened with the matching vests (and husbands) Saturday night. 

The thing is, I came this close to not buying that vest but the darn thing beckoned me. I was in Target at the beginning of last week when I saw three on the rack (only one was my size). I took it off, put it back, took it off, put it back, took it off, and finally, put it back for good before walking way. Then I put my reunion outfit together at home the next day and thought this could really, really use that black faux fur vest. What a shame I didn't buy it. I know it's sold by now.

This haunted me for three days before I rode back up there to find that thing still hanging on the rack where I'd left it. I thought it was fashion fate at the time but now I know it was just part best-friend-fashion-synchronicity and part God's sense of humor at work in my life again. Only this time? I could fully appreciate the joke. 


Michelle was holding her twin vest (she said she got hot.)


Sadly (or maybe not so sadly) there is no known photo of the matching peach rompers but I do have this little gem of our senior year photography class, in all our big-haired glory...






Class of 1989



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