Monday, December 10, 2007

The Bickerson's Get a Tree

We were all set this past Saturday and had planned for weeks to drive to a place about a half an hour from our house and cut our own tree. As we were getting ready to leave, hacksaw in hand, I looked around our living room, and remembered the last tree we had in 2004 and I got really sad and changed my mind.

I was sad because my old Ollie cat died (above are two pictures from our last Christmas with him - he loved me and hated that damn train), sad because there won't be any presents to put under a tree this year, sad because Aunt Jessie died, sad because the train set is broken, sad because there is a treadmill in the middle of the living room now and putting up a tree would be a terrible pain in the ass. Just sad.

And then today when I was writing this post, not even really planning to publish it, just feeling sorry for myself, I had a change of heart, and made my grumpy old husband get his ass off the sofa, put on a hat and take me to get a tree.

I felt kind of bad at first, because he is the frequent victim of my precarious mood swings, but then I was simply annoyed.

He groaned when pine needles got all over his car. He complained when we brought the tree into the living room and huffed and puffed as I was still deciding where I wanted it to go. He snarled when pine tar got all over his hands. We turned into the Bickersons again.

Him: This is such a pain in the ass. Why are we doing this? Saturday you said you thought it was a pain in the ass too. Why are you doing this to me?

Me: Are you quite through?

Him: I just don't see why I have to do this stuff when this whole thing is your idea...

Me: Can you just shut up and do what I tell you to do?

Him: We're not even Christians. (It's true, we're not, but I love Christmas.)

Me: I don't care.

I made dinner (roast chicken and mashed potatoes), had a glass of wine and we watched the news before I went to the basement to fetch the box of ornaments and lights. Turtle made himself comfortable in the tissue paper as I decorated.

When I was finished decorating the tree I made MDH come and check my work, expecting a grunt and more grumpy attitude but he totally suprised me when he sniffled, misty-eyed and said:

Him: You're just determined to make me love Christmas aren't you?

Me: I thought I told you to shut up.

He loved it and so do I.

Then I made him take all the empty boxes back downstairs and vacuum up the pine needles.

That's our tree in it's new spot next to the fireplace with a little reminder of old Ollie on the mantle.


evil-e said...

The Christmas tree is a point of argument for couples it seems. Me and two of my exes used to get into it on tree day all the time. Seems she wanted it, but I had to do the work...oh well, it got done and the arguing was over until tree-gone day.

Your tree is very simple and effective as far as Christmas trees go. It's not overdone.

Anonymous said...

OH! this was a gorgeous post!! I'm sorry that your kitty cat died, that is like loosing a baby.

your Christmas tree is beautiful..and yeah, it is always worth it. I spend a lot of time complaining but the giggles and joy from my kids make it worth while. It is worth just a bit of effort to make things special. For grown ups as well :)

sorry I've missed your posts! I've been hiding away for a I'm back :)

pistols at dawn said...

I'm glad it's not just me who hates getting trees. I feel like the only time I do it is to please a ladyfriend, and now that I've given up on pleasing them, I can rest assured that dudes hate all things involving effort and die under a mountain of old pizza boxes.

Jamie said...

Such a heartwarming and lovely story.

We did not get a tree this year. We will be out of town and I didn't want to fuss with it. I am living vicariously through you and yours.

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

Evil - it's been a long time but I don't remember having such a fuss over our tree before. It is a pain in the arse, but now that it's up it's totally worth it.

Our tree is certainly understated - I think of it as "organic" in that I buy a couple of ornaments a year that are meaningful to us in someway. We have a five piece glass jazz band that I'm quite fond of, especially the bass player, and other ornaments from places we have been around the world.

Betty - thanks I'm glad you liked it. Ollie and I had a fine life together - he lived to be 18 and so I had him almost half my life. I think we would make more effort at holiday time if we had children, but we have our own traditions of drinking bloody mary's and eating shrimp cocktails while we listen to Elvis on x-mas morning.

Pistols - I kind of hate getting the tree too so it must be torture for MDH with me bossing him around the whole time. Half the time he is quite happy that I rescued him from all the pizza boxes, the other half of the time I wish I could join him under there.

Jamie - heartwarming? You are probably being sarcastic - we are the Bickersons after all ;)
It's our first tree in 2 years so I hope you are enjoying it. It smells really nice too.

Superstar said...

Love the train under the tree.

One year I went w/ my ex to pick and cut our tree...That was the BIGGEST tree I had ever seen. We had to go upstairs to put the Angel on the top...It was like 15 ft tall!!!

Your tree is so great. Simple but elegant.

dmarks said...

I am a veteran of past tree arguments. Wonderful post. !

Anonymous said...

Wanna swap traditions? you can have my kids for the day ( no seriously - take them! haha) and I will do what you do. :)

I need a drink!

Anonymous said...

That Ollie was a cute cat. I love cats. I'm allergic, though. Once again, I lose.

Del-V said...

Trees are so difficult. I'll stick with the Christmas lights.

Tara said...

Aww, that's a great tree! I'm glad you changed your mind and decided to get one, and that you didn't let MDH slow you down.

What is it about cats wanting to rest on paper? I'll come home during lunch sometimes and sit on the floor to go through mail. Skittles loves it when I put some mail aside for her to lie down on. I just don't get the appeal.

CDP said...

Beautiful tree, and nice post, too.

Michelle said...

Nice story, beautiful tree.

I am one of those people who love Christmas trees and the Christmas season, I just can't be grouchy this time of year.

Anonymous said...

I decorate for Christmas but haven't put up a tree for a very long time. P decided two years ago he wanted a tree at his place so he dragged me to go get one. I played the role of MDH and P played the role of Lady. He hasn't tried to pull that stunt since.

another good thing said...

SHit. You made me cry.

(helpful hint: During the after Christmas sales buy yourself a half off fake tree pre-lit, shove it in the basement and know you always have the option.)

The Guv'ner said...

Awww it's GOOD memories of old Ollie cat though. Yet sad too. Bittersweet I think is the word you want. Now you have Turtle tree memories to make.

I have a fake, 3 foot pink tree I got from urban outfitters about five years ago. My apartment is the size of a fly's ass however, so it's necessarily small. One of my cats is indifferent to it but the other tries to eat the balls off it, so now we have had to put it up high where she can't reach it. She stands below and growls. Hee!

Your tree looks lovely. Mine isn't going up this year since I'm going home next week till New Year's Day so there's no need really. I like my pink tree.

Churlita said...

Awwww. That was sweet.

I have neighbors who call themselves the Bickersons. Do you think you're related?

minijonb said...

i just decorated the tree last night with my girlfriend... but it has to be a platic tree! i'm allergic to pine needles.

Family Adventure said...

Lovely! You made me get slightly sniffly! I'm glad you got a tree, and with the decorations it looks beautiful.

Why are there no prezzies this year?


The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

Superstar – I liked that train and it gave MDH something to do while I decorated the tree. I’ll probably buy him a new (and improved) one after the holidays for next year.

Dmarks – Thanks! Glad you liked it.

Betty – As long as you come and pick them up in a timely manner. MDH and I will wear them out!! I’ll have bloody mary’s ready when you get here or my famous pomegranate juice with prosecco.

Dick – He was meaner than a dern snake so you were better off not to know him.

Del-v – that’s one thing we don’t do is put lights outside, probably comes from living in apartments for so long – we still are in denial about having a yard so best not to call attention to our poor lawn care habits by having blinking lights all over..

Tara – I’m glad I changed my mind too – it’s very cheerful to look at as I walk through the house. I think all cats like crinkling things. Turtle loves ribbons and wrapping paper too.

CDP – Thanks and thanks!

Michelle – I’ve been on the road for work during the holiday season for the last couple of years and putting up a tree was the last thing on my mind.

SRU – It’s a pain for sure, but once it’s up I’m happy. It’s not hard to get rid of either, we just take the decorations off of it and stick it out with the trash. I assume the trash collectors are picking it up – for all I know it’s just blowing down the street into the neighbors yard, but I’m pretty sure it’s the city trash pick up.

AGT – well I didn’t mean to make ya cry!! I’ve considered a fake tree, but haven’t gone through with it yet. I’m afraid once I do that I’ll never get MDH to cut me a fresh one (that sounds farty) again.

Guv! – My mother in law has a tiny pink one too! That came out wrong.
Anyhoo… Lucky you! That’s a long time to be gone. Can you send us posts while you’re away??

Churlita – We are rather a large clan.

Minijonb – That must totally suck, since you live in Michigan where we are surrounded by pine trees.

Heidi – I’m glad you liked my post and my tree! We are flat broke and agreed not to exchange gifts this year. I’m not big on presents anyway. We usually go all out for our birthdays.