Thursday, December 19, 2013

Oh, Christmas tree

This morning my wife, Melissa, called me at home on her way to work.

"I saw a free artificial Christmas tree on the curb," she said. "Could you get it?"

"Sure," I replied. We had never had a Christmas tree. Living in our first home was a great reason to finally upgrade our Christmas.

"You should put it in your car," she continued. "We can figure out what to do with it later."

This seemed odd since I figured we would put the thing together in our house and put gifts underneath it. I said goodbye without asking for an explanation since I wanted to be the first to get to that free Christmas tree. Curbside merchandise does not last long in West Asheville.

I was in such a rush that I barely covered my boxers and T-shirt with a pair of blue jeans. I jogged to my car in the 22-degree chill, scraped a bit of ice off the driver's side of a completely frozen windshield and drove the half block to the location my wife had described.

Sitting next to a large Rubbermaid tub and on top of an enormous red bag overflowing with green branches was a pizza box with a handwritten message: Free 10-foot Christmas tree. Happy holidays.

Then I understood that the tree was much too large to fit in our person-sized house. Melissa's intention was lost on me, but I had no time to think since my brain was approaching a freezing temperature. Besides, we would figure it out later.

I quickly loaded the Rubbermaid tub into the trunk of the car. I couldn't lift the red bag because of both its girth and weight, so I grabbed bunches of branches and chucked them into the backseat of my Toyota Corolla. I'd neglected to bring gloves on this half-block journey, so the combination of the cold and the prickly branches quickly numbed my hands. A few minutes later, the remaining branches had overtaken the backseat and console. I tossed the few ornaments into the passenger seat and carefully drove back to our driveway with no rear view.

The sign said 10 ft. I packed it in my car anyway, I proudly wrote to Melissa.

No. Put it back :), she replied.

I had never been so delighted to see an emoticon. Melissa followed up with a phone call to say that yes, she had seen the sign, but no, she did not read the most important part of it. She apologized, but she didn't need to. I got a blog post out of it.

Please get in touch with me before my afternoon trip to Goodwill if you are a department-store owner or giant looking to decorate for the holiday season.

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