First off, let me say that I apologize for any typos, but I’m still grading exams and my brain is mush.
Christmas time is never easy with my current job, since for some reason the jackass college decides to have exams stretch out to mere days before Christmas. So I am busy as can be. I’m usually proud of myself for showering and feeding the pets during this less-than-stellar semesters end. But to make matters worse, my husband is a horrible procrastinator. Horrible. But when we drive by tree lot after tree lot a week and a half before the holiday to find NOOO trees left, we know it’s time to get our asses into gear. Mostly. Now, after that first shopping attempt, I told my husband he was on point to get a tree since he had the next two days off while I had to work. He did. He bought a tree. Which promptly stood in a bucket of water on our back porch for 3 days because he was too
lazy “busy”to finish the job. Likewise, we had no lights outside. As I sat for 10 hours straight on the couch with a pile of papers around me, I asked him to put the lights up outside. I did not bark it out. I used sad puppy eyes.
We don’t go too crazy, so it should have taken 30 minutes. We even have the nails still up from last year, and you can reach our roofline from a step ladder. Easy, yes? Well, the next day I actually take a break (gasp!) from grading so I can take the dog on a walk. I see this:
Since my hubby didn’t put the lights on the house taunt, he just oh-so-casually looped them on the nails, the first decent gust of wind knocked half of them down. When I got back my husband was home from the gym. I asked if he could fix it. Not because I was helpless, but for Pete’s sake, if you’re going to do something, do it RIGHT. This was hammered into my head by the age of 3. He mumbles about it being too dark, but will do it tomorrow. I roll my eyes, but I’m polite enough to make sure he doesn’t see. Instead, he decides to go out back (ignoring the tree outside) and uses an extension cord and our smoker to cook a turkey. IN THE DARK. When he comes in I look up from my paper covered hell and ask him to put up the extension cord so I don’t trip on it when I take the dog out at midnight. “Sure,” he says, a clear sign he won’t do a damned thing. I sigh and continue schoolwork.
Two days later my essays are graded, and I haven’t had all my exams yet, so I have a slight lull before the pain begins again. I take the dog for a walk in the morning and see that same damned string of lights half hung. I get out the step ladder, the hammer and some extra nails and restring the whole bloody thing properly. I’m fine doing it. Then I sweep up the leaves out of the walkway, then the garage, and then move to the back porch…where the extension cord is tangled with a ton of leaves. For some reason, this is what tips me into twitchy psycho girl. Probably because he had to step over it about 5 times already. I unplug the electric cord, sweep up the leaves, and decide, no. I will not put it away. I’m not his mommy, I’m his wife. I just spent my only free time cleaning and fixing crap that could be easily done by someone NOT working 13+ hours. Even in grading hell I washed my dishes and kept up the house, staying up an extra hour to keep it tidy. I’m tired of his half-finished chores. I want to make sure he HAS to put up the extension cord, so I put it the once place it will bother him. I drape the thing all over and around our tv.
I admit, I was irritated and petty. Even in the worst of times, I stay cognizant of doing my share. And finishing his share isn’t fun at the best of times. But when I’m cranky and stressed? I can become evil villain. I have the evil skills. This was not evil. This was just a warning. I have to be dramatic in such warnings because they are completely ignored otherwise. Driving back from school that evening, I realize I’m still crabby about it.
My man has better survival skills than I thought.
*On a side note, we had a whole conversation about the lights the night they were first put up.
“One string of lights is just sad,” I said.
“Well, what do you want? We’ve got one other string of lights,” he said.
“Yeah, but they’re white, not multicolor like the rest,” I said in the anal retentive, o.c.d. way.
He gives me the Jez-you’re-crazy look. But he wears brown shirts with black pants and white shoes. At least when he isn’t with me. So instead he suggests we put Ho Ho Ho on the roof. “Is that tacky enough?” he asks. And rightly so. Because we like to be tacky, but in a completely self aware sorta way. Because it’s fun to piss the Grass Nazi off.
I watched Pulp Fiction the other night, so I suggest “Ho Ho Ho Mutha Fuckaaaas,” but he said we didn’t have enough lights. I told him he was a dream killer. But the blinking, multicolored, oversized snowflakes he came up with was perfect. Which is why all was forgiven when I saw them. And immediately thought “see, marriage is compromise” when I saw my neighbor scowl at them.