Wednesday, December 10, 2008

There's No Wind Chill In Summer

Ah, the holidays.

The crisp smell of pine in the air… as we begin the annual search for the perfect specimen of a Christmas tree. It must be that perfect shape: a triangle…but not too much of a triangle. An elongated triangle is what I usually tell the guy assisting us in the Christmas tree lot.

“Not too tall,” I lament…as we walk through the white-light-lit archway that leads to what is surely one of the largest inventories of Christmas trees in the northeast.

“Wait,” says the guy…stopping short and turning to face us, causing a domino-effect crashing of bodies as each of us smashes into the person ahead of us, as we’re looking everywhere but ahead of us, distracted by the vast array of lights, wreaths, nutcrackers and the assorted maniacal-looking-elf.

Christmas Tree Guy: “What kind of tree are we looking at?”

Me: “Uh. Wait. I know this one….PINE! No…wait…BALSAMIC!”

Taylor: “I know this one. LOCAL! We’re looking at all LOCAL trees!”

CTG: “No, no, no! I mean…what kind of tree do you wish to purchase? Frasier or Balsam?”

K: “Oh. Which is the more fragrant one?”

CTG: “The Frasier.”

K: “Then, the other one. Not that I don’t enjoy the fragrance, mind you…it’s quite lovely, really. I just prefer the look of the other one….”

CTG: “I’m not offended. Whatever. This way.”

We walk…and walk…..and walk. Past the fragrant ones….past the tall ones…past the droopy ones, past the tipped-over ones. Finally, per my explicit instructions, we reach the section with the Balsam trees in the range of six to seven feet in height. There are about two hundred of them….all neatly lined up and leaning against both the 5’ tall fence and each other.

The boys are eyeing them suspiciously…and I can tell they’re thinking that if you pull one of these babies out, they’re all going down…and there’s the ghost of a smile on their faces as I know they’re visualizing this chaotic scene.

K: “Hmmmm. Maybe…..that one?”

Christmas Tree Guy pulls out the selected tree, stomps it the prerequisite two times and then waits patiently…as I stand with one hand over my mouth, the other on one hip, eyes slightly squinted...waiting for my internal IV to chime in. In the ensuing quiet, I wait…listening…and then I hear him.

Clinton Kelly: “Tell him to turn it around. It’s got a bare spot on the right.”

I smile….and vocalize the spin-request. CTG raises one eyebrow in silent query.

Clinton: “Nope. Not the one…too lopsided.”

So, we move on. The next one was too top-heavy…the one after that was too upside-down-umbrella-shaped (that was my interpretation…not Clinton’s, for the official record).

The next one was looking pretty good.

Clinton: “Tell him to stomp it a few more times and spin it twice. Then tell him we’ll take it.”

From here, it goes into that machine that wraps it up with the same material that Ira uses to keep my Cloudy bottles from knocking together on the trip home. This always makes me feel thirsty.

Then the guy carries it to my car and upon seeing my trunk, he states “It’ll never fit in there.”

Me: “It’ll fit.”

Clinton: “It always fits. They always say it won’t fit but we somehow make it fit. It’ll fit.”

Me: “I know this…do you think I don’t know this? It’s my freakin’ car.”

Clinton: “We need the bungee cord from last year. Have you used it since last Christmas? Do you remember where you put it? We need a designated spot for that stupid cord. You do realize this…

Me: “Okay, you’re stressing me out. Go wait in the car…I’ve got it from here.”

After several serious shoves and about six feet of twine, it is determined that the tree is more inside the trunk than outside the trunk and we’re golden once again.

Of course, every year we claim “It’s the best tree ever…”

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