I spent most of last night yelling, groaning and swearing at a very sad looking Christmas tree that knew it was going to be finally taken down. By “taken down”, I mean that it was subjected to a psychotic frenzy of revenge because as far as I was concerned, it simply wasn’t behaving.
I was convinced by the toolman, that last year, we should have a real Christmas tree. The real vs. fake debate is usually championed by impassioned tree lovers (but not so loving they mind hacking one down!) like my husband who harps on endlessly about the smell and charm of a real tree. In a moment of weakness (and ignorance), I agreed to a real tree and all was good in our little casa. Yes, the pines dropped regularly and yes, the cat found it a constant source of messy amusement but I was full of cheery optimism.
Nevertheless, yesterday I decided that I needed to let go of the fantasy that whilst it still stood, a new present was going to miraculously appear under its droopy branches. With every ornament that came off, the pine needles came with it and I sighed a little louder. But when it came to removing the lights, my logic of walking around the tree proved to be a failing system. If anyone has seen the movie “Christine” about a possessed and evil automobile, they may have a superior insight into how the following hours played out.
“Can you please just get rid of this” – to the toolman sitting on the couch watching.
“Take the lights off and I will”
“I don’t care about the lights, just get rid of it will you?” – yelling now (but a high-pitched-I’m-kinda-anxious yell).
“I can’t put it in the green bin like that. You’ve gotta get the lights off”
“Just throw it all out!”
Silence…Locked Stare…Matrimonial Standoff.
I look at him, then back at the tree. Then with my anger fuelled strength, a bad back and a gammy shoulder, I pick up the pot one handed, walk to the kitchen door…open it…and throw the tree as far as I can…lights and all… slamming the door for effect. With needles now all over the kitchen, hallway and on all surfaces of the lounge room I return and sit on the couch as if nothing had happened.
“I’m outta here” the toolman leaves with a slam of the front door.
I knew that I had been beaten but decided that how I now dealt with the situation was going to be the character mark for the day, perhaps even the year. Where am I going to get if I give up every time I am frustrated, sweaty and tired? Certainly not uphill! So I sat in the needles for half an hour, preparing myself to face the backyard.
I approached the back door tentatively, peering through the window, half expecting to see that the tree had erected itself again on its own. What ensued was a lot more swearing and sweating as I yanked the lights from its branches, with little light globes flinging into all crevices of the garden. The ball of tangled lights was dumped in the Christmas box for next year (haven’t we all done that?) and I broke the needleless branches in a sweaty act of revenge. If it had been winter, I probably would have set it alight!
The next hour was a futile attempt at vacuuming up the bags of needles strewn all over the house. You know the drill – banging the vacuum head on top of the item that is never going to suck up, so you end up picking up both the item and the vacuum head and feed one into the other. Lord help me when it comes time to actually empty that vacuum bag (perhaps the whole thing will go in the bin…).
When the toolman walked in the door at about 9pm, the sight was one of domestic bliss. Clean, clear surfaces, an empty sink and a semi calm wife. It’s made me wonder- how many women and men propel themselves into a crazed frenzy completing simple tasks of daily living? And why do we continually ignore their efforts as menial, dry, lacklustre contributions to our lives (yes, admittedly, a monkey would have dealt with the tree situation better than I did)?
Having weighed in yesterday with a loss of 900 grams for the week (1.98 pounds), I’ve realised that these moments of “incidental exercise” (as it’s called in the business) really do add up to significant amounts of calorie burning time. Moments of insanity may actually be the key to losing weight, allowing me to avoid the embarrassment of plod-plod-puffing down the street!
So please, contact me on 1800-CAT-LADY (ignore the sounds of miaowing on the answering machine) and invite me to increase my heart rate in your home, completing those tasks too hard to face, free of charge, whilst I simultaneously burn my swinging tuck shop lady arms away!
Best to send the kiddies to Grandma’s….just a thought.