Monday, December 1, 2014

Our First Christmas Tree: Learn From Our Mistakes

The year was 2007.

Grant and I were approaching our first anniversary and it was time to buy our first Christmas tree. Grant has a hard rule about us having real trees in our house, no matter the sneezing and the needles, it has to be real. We were living in Louisiana at the time and didn't know where to find a Christmas tree farm.

So, we headed to Lowe's.

It was a dreary winter day. It was cold and we were standing outside in the garden center of Lowe's and I was having one of those conversations with my husband that was new to me at the time but now, seven years later, I am all too familiar with them.

Basically, as it goes with most purchasing decisions in our life, Grant is incredibly picky and over thinks everything. I am really just wanting the entire process to be over and move on to the next step. He pulls out a tree, I say "that one looks great!" He stares at it for 2 or 20 minutes, then puts it back. He pulls out another tree, spins it around, talks a lot about all the holes and the angles and the color. He sniffs every tree to see which one has the best Christmas tree smell. With every tree he pulls out, I say "That one looks great!" and he puts every single one of them back.

You should know that the reason I always say they look great is that I know full well that my opinion in this is really of no consequence. The man is particular and I don't care even a quarter as much as he cares about this. This will be in a corner of our home for one month. It's not a life changing decision. One of us is going to have opinions about this for the next 30 days and it isn't going to be me. I let him pick what he wants.

Then, we will circle around and come back to the first tree we looked at. I will remark "See? The first one was fine all along."

"You can't pick the first tree you see, Jen."

"I picked the first wedding dress I tried on."

"That's not that important."


So, we purchase the tree. We head out to our car.

Right now, in 2014, Grant drives a Ford F-150 pick up truck. We bought our tree this year and just tossed it into the bed of the truck and drove on home. Easy. Breezy. Beautiful. (Cover Girl.)

But, in 2007? Different story. Grant drove a 2001 Silver Honda Civic.

I don't have a pic of his car handy, so I did a little Google search and found what looks like the exact same car, including the sunroof:

Isn't it cute? He picked me up for our first date in that car.... sigh...

Anyways, that was the vehicle. And our task was to strap a Christmas tree to the top of that little go-kart, and then fly down I-10 in Baton Rouge to our little apartment in Gonzales.

Correction: It wasn't our task. It was his task.

It makes me want to bang my ahead against a desk just typing this. The memory.... oh heavens. We stood in that Lowe's parking lot for what seemed like 3 months. AND IT STARTED RAINING, Y'ALL.

We were equipped with all kinds of ropes and ties and such. He rolled down car windows and spent approximately 9 hours pulling and tying and checking and tugging and securing and I kept saying "I THINK YOU GOT IT. I THINK YOU HAVE IT NOW. I THINK IT'S DONE. YOU DID A GOOD JOB. CAN WE GO HOME? I THINK IT'S GOOD."

So, after Captain Safety Patrol felt confident in his tree-securing abilities, he declared that we could get out of the rain and get into the car.

Praise the Lord. I was freezing and wet and cold.

Well. I went to open the door and it wouldn't open. He had rolled down the windows to tie the tree to the roof and apparently he had accidentally tied the doors shut along with it. The doors were tied to the tree. My friends, I was not about to have him unravel the whole ding dong dang thing and start over. NO. MA'AM.

We looked at each other and just dove head first into the windows. My forehead hit the floorboard of the car and then I pushed myself up and sat up and buckled myself in.

I'd like to take this time to encourage all of you to make sure you aren't tying the doors shut as you tie your tree to your car. That's just a little nugget of wisdom I'd like to pass onto you.

I wish I could tell you this story ends there, with us diving into the cars through the windows. It does not.

As we headed towards the freeway, my thorough, always-thinking-ahead husband started to worry. We're going to be driving down a freeway at 70 miles an hour. What if the ropes aren't tight enough? What if the tree flies off? WHAT EXTRA MEASURE OF SECURITY CAN WE USE TO MAKE SURE WE GET HOME SAFELY WITH THE CHRISTMAS TREE INTACT?


We flew down the freeway as planned. As it rained. And it was cold. And we opened the sunroof and held onto the tree. And the needles flew into the car. It was a very special time.

And then we got home. And our neighbors watched as I dove headfirst out of the car window onto the concrete of the apartment complex parking lot.

The truth is, I love him and all his thoroughness. He always makes sure the job is done right. I've always got quite the "that's good enough" attitude and I'm certain his attention to detail has saved us from many a disaster. We balance each other out that way. Also, I'm so glad he bought a truck.

1 comment:

  1. Laughed so hard I cried. Too good, Jen. Just too good.