Saturday, November 29, 2008

WWF-Style Wresting with Garland. Not Judy Garland.

On Wednesday night I got a surprise phone call from the gal who has cleaned my house twice in the past two years.

She had an opening on Thursday and wondered if I could use 3 hours of pre-Christmas cleaning. I jumped all over that and spent the rest of the night pre-cleaning for my pre-Christmas cleaning. You totally know what I mean. I was hiring her to CLEAN those things I hate/never get around to doing... but before she could wash floors, walls or bathrooms, they'd have to be tidied.

I went to bed at 1:30 am aching but giddy by how sparkling my house was going to be when I came home from work the next day.

At 5:45 Max woke me up to tell me he felt lousy and wouldn't be going to work.
At 7:30 I got up and spent the next hour coaxing Drew out of bed.
At 9:00 before leaving for work, I stopped by Max's room to tell him that 2 ladies were coming over to clean.

At work I counted the hours til I could come home to a shiny, Pine-Sol scented house.

At 4:00 I pulled into my garage and saw the vacuum exactly where it had been left a few days ago. Which was a bit of negative foreshadowing.

I entered the house from the garage and saw all manner of sand, dirt and concrete dust on the foyer floor. Precisely where I had left it.

I looked over at the front door and saw that for the first time (in probably years) it was locked. Not unlocked like I promised Michelle that it would be.

In the kitchen, on the table, was my detailed cleaning list, along with all my hopes and dreams and the cheque.

My house was not swiffered and sweet. It was tidied but dirty like always. I opened the front door and saw a note from UPS. They had been by to drop off the first ever online Christmas present I'd ever bought, but seeing no one opened the door, they took it back with them.

Know what the most frustrating thing is?

I called Michelle and she said she knocked, then banged the door after ringing the doorbell 148 times. She left, then came back a few hours later and did the knocking, banging and ringing thing again.

I called UPS and they said the driver for my area can only deliver between 10 and 2 Monday to Friday and SOMEONE HAS TO OPEN THE DOOR AND SIGN. Arrrgggghhhhh. They will try again 3 more times BETWEEN 10 AND 2 NEXT WEEK. Which coincides with my working hours. If no one opens the door, they will send it back to the distribution centre at the airport and I've got 3 days to pick it up or they'll send it back. I'VE PREPAID EVERYTHING FOR THIS PARCEL. IT'S ONLY A BOOK! Oh yes, I am yelling.

So you know why? Why I'm shouting on this first weekend of Advent?
Because I decided to get myself all jollied up and decorate my tidy but dirty house for Christmas this afternoon. Drew brought in 9 rubbermaid containters and I sifted through them, deciding to give almost all of it away.

Realizing that bringing Christmas Cheer to a person's house really is the woman's responsibility, and even though I mostly have taken on the lead-male's position in the family, I understand that I still have boobs and this business of decking the halls is up to me. Knowing that the process would be more meaningful if I brought some joy to the process, I set aside half an hour to pray and read my Bible before I started.

I began by putting garland-entwined-with-lights onto the family room fireplace's mantle. The garland was thick and full and the wire was stiff and it wouldn't stay put and it kept falling forward and I was getting warmer and warmer and finally I asked Drew if he could give me a hand. He grumpily put his end up. I put my end up. Then I painstakingly untwisted and fluffed up each "branch", pulling the fake pinecones forward so it looked interesting and not boring. I plugged in the lights and VOILA they didn't work.

I yanked the whole thing off the mantle and started to remove the lights from the garland. But originally, when I (or someone at Billies') twisted them on, I (or Marissa) did a bang up job, as is the way I (or anyone on Billie's staff) did this sort of thing. I untangled those light one inch at a time and was becoming increasingly frustrated with the outstanding way they were attached. The thick core wire was not cooperating, twisting hither and yon and it was driving me crazy and finally I threw the whole mess on the floor and said to an audience of one - "this is what I can't stand about this time of year. All these expectations to make things twinkly and glowing."

"But you're going to put lights on the mantle, right? Otherwise what's the point? It just looks like you have a fake Christmas tree branch lying on the fireplace." Drew and his opinions.

Clint walked in and gave his two cents. "Get rid of it all. It's too cluttered. Too blechk. Why do you have so much crap? It's overdone. I hate that stuff (garland), why not forget about it?"

I continued to wrestle that 9 foot long, 10 year old, seasonal-cheer-giving mantle decoration until I I had beaten it into submission. And after the lights were removed and it was obediently resting on the mantle, I stepped back for a wide-angled look.


So I added a bright green, fake-flocked, plasticized ivy strand. Two of them. And for good measure added three bunches of red berries.

Drew carefully placed the word "joy" because it so reflected the mood in the house and we were done. Merry big-sigh Christmas.

A glutton for punishment I played the Martha Stewart game again and attempted to fa-la-la-up the living room mantle.

Pics to follow.

1 comment:

ramblin'andie said...

ohhhhh Jane.

(I don't suppose they'll change the address on that parcel this late in the game? There's always someone at mum's house.)