Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Little Genetic OCD

Sometimes we don't realise that we've passed along a genetic trait.

Hunk O Man and I were just on a little shopping trip. We drove by Lowe's and noticed that they have fresh Christmas trees out already. Also, there was a sign for the Optimist Club who will be selling trees in the soccer field next to El Tenampa.

And we had to ask each other, does this mean that their trees are exceptionally cheerful and optimistic?


This reminded us both of our first Christmas tree shopping experience, about 6 months after we'd gotten married. Hunk O Man decided that we should go to Hoagland to get a tree at the fire station. Hoagland was about 5 miles south of our town.

When we got there, I saw the most pitiful assortment of Charlie Brown trees I'd ever seen. Of course Hunk O Man walks up to one, pulls it out, and says "How about this one?"

It was about four feet tall and scrawny.

I had a newlywed-bride-fit. "What!" I said. "Are you kidding me? You call that a tree?"

Hunk O Man was clueless. He pulled out tree after tree, only to be met with no, no, and jeesh are you kidding me no.

We finally went to Frank's Nursery and Craft and found a very nicely shaped seven footer, and of course Hunk O Man balked at the price (because he squeaks when he walks). But he bought the perfect tree. For his bride.

Thereafter, he has ceased to make this mistake again. He knows that it will take awhile to get The Right Tree.

I find this odd, but I have to say that as the kids have gotten older and we go to find a tree, the time it takes varies proportionately with the outside temperature.

And we have gotten all kinds. Cut-Your-Own trees, trees from Lowe's and Home Depot, trees with sharp needles which require you risking your life to touch, trees in California which have soft needles and you buy while wearing shorts, trees cut for free from a church elder's property -- in the dark, no less, using car headlights to see, trees in the freezing cold, trees in the balmy warm.

And these days, when we go to get our tree, it is no longer me saying that it's not the perfect tree. I guess I've done this enough times in my life now to figure it out in about 5 minutes. The other 20 minutes is at least two of the girls debating as to whether or not it's The Right Tree. And believe me, then the other three girls get their opinions in and it's at least another 15 minutes to referee the discussion and get a concensus.

Then it's the cool part of watching the people shake out the needles and wrap the tree in a net, and then all of us all climbing all over the minivan with bungee cords attaching it to the roof.

(I've been known run for cover and get in the front passenger seat at this point).

The best fun, always, is the cutting of the net. We actually have treasured video footage of doing this year after year -- taking turns with the scissors, watching the tree explode out of the netting.

And everyone knows when we go to decorate it, nobody gets their hands in the ornament box except the Mama. The Mama will put on the hook and hand out the ornaments. You run the risk of getting your hand swatted, your eggnog confiscated, or your very life taken if you are so brazen as to even consider the idea of sticking your hand into the ornament box.

I am awaiting the day when one of my sons-in-law calls me, and says, "MIL, I cannot believe how long it took your daughter to pick out a stinkin' CHRISTMAS TREE!"

And I will smile. I will disavow any knowledge of this particular daughter's OCD (no matter which one it is). I will be compassionate and understanding.

And then I will reply, "Just wait until you try and stick your hand in the ornament box."


1 Comment:

Fuschia said...

LOVED this! I could have written every word, even the five girls part ;), but especially the ornament box part!!!
Too cute.