Originally published on The Sitcom – December 2010
My husband and I argue about very few things and most of those things are just small annoyances. He doesn’t like the fact that I can’t seem to take a shirt off without leaving it inside out. He hates that I don’t put the bread tie back on the bread; that I spend money on “useless” things such as manicures, craft supplies, fabric and knitting books. He wishes that I would be more friendly to the neighbors as I tend to keep to myself.
Well, I have my reasons! The one across the street is a total gossip. The few times I have spoken with her, I ended up standing there nodding my head as she gave me the life story and sordid details of everyone in the neighborhood. True, I can be as nosy as the next person, but I do not need to know about other’s prostate exams, who came out of the closet and who just cheated on who. I figure anyone that loves to gossip that bad would not stop short of gossiping about me. (Not that I actually do anything interesting enough to gossip about, but it’s the principle!) Ha!
The other neighbor, who I refer to as “Pug Lady”, seems to have no other purpose on earth but to walk her pug through the neighborhood while it liberally poops on everyone else’s yard except for hers.
My husband has his issues too. I don’t like the fact that he creates small piles of paperwork everywhere which I am not to move without penalty of death. He leaves his big a$$ shoes all at the end of the bed so that I can trip over them in the middle of the night. He taught the dog to burp- I swear he did! He squishes the toothpaste from the middle of the tube and he has no problem farting in public and blaming me.
All in all, these are tiny things that never cause anything more than a mild discussion between us. But there is one thing that never fails to put us into screaming fits of anger:
Hanging Christmas lights.
There I said it. The three dirty words that wreak havoc on our marriage. And the weekend after Thanksgiving is traditionally our weekend to hang lights, so in other words it is our weekend to have our annual big fight.
Because there is nothing more aggravating than trying to put lights on a house when one person (who shall be un-named) is such a perfectionist that he insists on the number of lights on one side of the house be the exact same number as those on the other side, and then there is the reasonable person who feels that the “Light Police” will most likely be uninterested in that fact.
So when that un-named person insists on pulling all the lights back down and starting over after we’ve already spent three hours hauling around a gynormous ladder and risking life and limb to be all “Christmas spirity”, I have a tendency to get a bit short tempered.
So why do we do it? Because we have Christmas spirit, dang it!!
Over the past couple of years, we had gradually lost the Christmas light spirit. The lights were stored in the attic and a few years ago, they were given away. End of story so I thought. But this year my husband has suddenly gotten back the spirit.
I should have suspected something when I discovered his truck radio tuned to the radio station that plays “All Christmas music all the time!” Next thing I know, I found myself standing beside him at Home Depot while he loaded several thousand outside lights into the cart. Oh my, here we go again…
We spent this past weekend putting new LED lights on the house and hauling around our gynormous ladder. While “Mr. Perfectionist” was still in action, it wasn’t nearly as stress inducing as I remember. In fact, we nearly had a good time of it.
And he was able to let go of the fact that there are two more lights on one side of the house than on the other. So, in a show of good sportsmanship, I did my part and smiled at the “Pug Lady” as her dog took a huge dump next to my mailbox.
Heck, if he can change, so can I.
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