As we head into our third apartment Christmas, I have finally realized all our log home themed ornaments look ridiculous in our new (newish?) environment. For the past two years I have been trying to achieve some kind of marriage of our old life to our new one, and it isn’t working. It’s like putting a pair of antlers on your feline friend and calling it a reindeer, when everyone can clearly see that it is just a pissed off cat. As I looked through our box of decorative moose, bears, cabins and canoes, I realized it was time to call a cat a cat.
And that’s how I came to be in Aisle 38 of Canadian Tire. To the right were purple, blue and copper ornaments. To the left were white, silver and gold. Any one of the offerings would look right at home in our apartment. I honed in on an assortment of navy blue, teal and silver. As I stood there trying to decide between the white clip-on butterflies or the eight inch navy blue faux feathers, a couple came down the aisle behind me.
“Good lord!” exclaimed the woman. “Would you look at these crazy ornaments?They’re not even Christmas colours. Who in their right mind would put these on their tree?”
The man glanced at my cart filled with the ornaments and looked mortified. I wanted to reassure him. I wanted to say that a year ago I would have agreed with his wife. Instead I watched him hurry his wife down the aisle and realized what I really wanted was to buy both the butterflies and the feathers. So I did.
I got home, assembled the tree and put on the ornaments. It worked. What’s more, I liked it. I liked it when I finished and I liked it when I realized I needed to move the tree to put some things on the crazy bird shelf I bought when we first moved here.
The bird shelf is made of brown metal shaped like a partridge. It is huge. I don’t know what possessed me to buy it, other than it reminded me of those cartoon birds from the old TV show The Partridge Family and that made me smile. And we needed something to put on the wall. I like birds and I had this notion that our apartment was like a bird nest up in the air.
That’s all I’ve got in way of explanation.
Anyway, the shelf is in the only corner where the tree can fit and in my excitement I forgot to fill it with Christmas stuff before decorating the tree.
“Oh well, it shouldn’t be hard to just move the tree a couple feet forward,” Darcy said as he left for work.
He was right. In fact I managed to pull the tree forward with hardly a hiccup and decorate the shelf behind it without incident.
All was well and wonderful until I went to slide the tree back into place. That’s when the stand folded up and the tree toppled over. In a panic I grabbed the metal trunk, only to have it come apart in my hand. So now there I was, holding the the top of the fully decorated tree (which still looked stunning I might add) while the bottom half fell against my knees like a wounded elephant.
Desperately I tried to insert the trunk back on to the bottom half, but only succeeded in shaking the ornaments loose and causing all the garland and lights to slide off the branches. I watched in dismay as all the new silver, teal and navy blue baubles rolled across the floor like so many gaudy tumbleweeds in a storm. I am sure somewhere in the apartment below someone was looking up at their ceiling in dismay as well. I half hoped they would storm up the stairs in a rage and pound on our door so I could call them in to help.
No such luck.
By the time I managed to reinsert the trunk and reassemble the stand…well, let’s just say the tree was less than stunning. It was now standing at a different angle, so everything looked like it had been put on sideways and all the garland and lights were hopelessly tangled up in globs.
In a sad case of timing Darcy chose this moment to arrive home for lunch, took one look at the scene and said, “What happened to our beautiful tree?”
And that’s when I burst into tears and started to laugh hysterically all at the same time.
“Well,” said Darcy, once I had calmed down. “The shelf looks real nice.”