November 8, 2009
They say if you survive planning a wedding, then your marriage will be just fine. Now, obviously that’s a misnomer. I mean: hello, divorce statistics! If all those people who survived planning that wedding would really make it, nobody would ever get divorced, right? But people always say that, mainly as a way to emphasize the stress and drama that surrounds wedding planning.
But I say no. No, it’s not wedding planning that will make or break a marriage. I say there’s another litmus test for that…
Hanging Christmas lights.
It was over 70 degrees today, which in Pittsburgh, in November, is UNHEARD OF. Seriously, I think Mother Nature is just making up for something she hasn’t done yet, something she’s going to do to us in, say, January. Something cold and icy and white and messy and miserable. But for today, it was gorgeous. The perfect day for getting out there and hanging our lights.
(And just to clarify: This does not mean that the lights are getting turned on right now. Not until after Thanksgiving. I have strict rules about not skipping holidays. But hanging the lights in warm, sunny weather as opposed to shivering with frozen fingers? TOTALLY PERMITTED.)
(Also, yes. A few neighbors gave us weird looks. But just wait and see who’s all toasty and warm inside after Thanksgiving with our pretty lights already hung, while they’re outside in the cold and wind in their mittens, trying to connect extension cords and replace fuses and hang light hooks in the gutters. SUCKAS!)
I had big plans for our Christmas lights at our new house. Visions of icicle lights along the entire roof-line! Thousands of white, twinkly lights! Neighbors in awe of the beauty! But to do this, I needed Dan’s help.
He has never really helped me with Christmas decorations. Honestly, he just doesn’t care about decorating for holidays. Which is fine- I’m into it enough for both of us, and I’m fine taking care of it. And the last few years, he’s watched Maggie while I worked my magic, and that’s more help than if he helped with the actual decorating.
But this year, at our new house, it involved a ladder. A BIG ladder. I hate ladders. So he was willing to cooperate because he loves me.
(It helped that I made two awesome dinners this weekend. Chicken scampi yesterday and pot roast today. I know how to work it, baby.)
Anyway! So my big plan? Complete with a diagram! Was a big, fat FAIL. Turns out that even the Super Gigantic Extendable Ladder we borrowed from my sister still wasn’t even close to being high enough for Dan to reach the top level of the roof line. (I seriously misjudged that one. whoops.) And the roof is VERY steep up there, and I honestly couldn’t ask him to risk his life for Christmas lights. I mean, if this was for a contest for MONEY or something, MAYBE. (I kid.) But for my crazy fantasy of Awesome Christmas Light House? Not really worth it.
Of course, we only discovered this after he hung the first strand of lights on the far side of the house. And once we decided to nix the rest of the project due to SOMEONE not having FLYING CAPABILITIES or Go-Go-Gadget arms (DUDE. My husband SUCKS so bad.), it didn’t make sense to keep the first strand of lights where they were.
So he took them down.
And didn’t even strangle me! Only, like, one dirty look!
That led us to Plan B for the lights: the front porch roof and hand rail. It will look nice enough, I think. Once I add my wreaths and candles in each window, plus my twisty, spiral trees somewhere in the front yard, it will all come together.
After a few missteps (leaving the bag of light hooks on the porch roof, AHEM. THAT WASN’T MY FAULT.) (and realizing it wasn’t quite long enough to reach, but since he had to move the ladder back to the beginning anyway to get the bag of light hooks, he was able to adjust it and it turned out okay), it was done.
And we’re still married. And nobody fell off the crazy-high ladder. And nobody killed anybody else. And we even LAUGHED a few times!
And I think? It might actually look kinda nice when it’s all lit up.
And no. I don’t have pictures. Yet. I can’t turn them on, remember?
You’ll just have to wait until after Thanksgiving like the rest of us.