You see, The Yankee keeps the boxes in his garage.
I don’t go in the garage unless it is an absolute dire necessity. Don’t misunderstand me. The garage is not messy, cluttered, or dangerous in any way. Au contraire. It is a well-organized, neatly arranged, modern marvel of order and symmetry. It is orderly, neat, pristine, untouched, undisturbed, clean, and sterile ... and it drives me crazy. Every tool has its place and is neatly aligned in size order on a pegboard wall. All implements are neatly sorted in color-coded bins ready for the next project. (Since he is averaging one project every 27.46 months, those implements will be stewing in their color-coded loneliness for a while.) The upper cavern of the garage is a haven of boxes. Every box that ever housed a tool is neatly arranged in alphabetical order with the warranty and original receipt enclosed in a plastic bag and affixed to said box. It is among this maddening maze of order that the Christmas decoration boxes are housed.
I would go looking for them on my own, but something growled at me one time.
Last year, I removed a hundred yards of garland that The Yankee had wound around every fixed fixture in our yard during the mindless haze of his yearly “Christmas fog”. I took down the lights from the windows, the giant red bows from the curtains, and the stockings from the mantle. I was ready to put Christmas to rest for another year so I said, “Could you go get the boxes from that horrible attic of yours?” He looked offended. “Horrible? How can organization be horrible?” I rolled my eyes, “Organization doesn’t bother me. Super-duper-I’m-a-nut-job-with-color-coded-bins-for-the-tools-I-rarely-use organization bothers me. I’m not going in there so if you want this Christmas crap out of the house, you must be the one to make the trek to the garage and pull the boxes in the house.” He says, “I’ll do it when I get home from work.”
Well, work got busy, overtime racked up, and our Christmas ornaments began gathering dust. We invited Tip and Georgia over for a late-January dinner party and I cringed when they walked past the Christmas tree to get to the dining room. “Well, Bertha,” Georgia said in her Southern drawl, “do y’all still have your Christmas tree up, darling’?” I was mortified. “No,” I said, trying to maintain a sense of humor. “We just put ours up early this year.” After they left, I looked at The Yankee with eyes of flaming irritation. “You will get those boxes out of that horrible attic, or I’m picking up the Christmas tree and laying it under the covers on your side of the bed.” He just smiled. “I’ll do it when I get home from work.”
Valentine’s Day came and went. President’s Day came and went. St. Patrick’s Day came and went. I served him candy canes for dinner. I started blasting “Jingle Bells” over the stereo every time he came home from work. I finally said, “All I want for our anniversary is a Christmas-free house.”
Finally, one glorious Saturday, I was spring-cleaning while Christmas cookies baked in the oven when I heard a happy noise. The garage door opening. Rustling through the attic. Thuds as boxes hit the floor. Dragging as boxes entered our living room. Jingles and twinkles as ornaments and bells found their place in each box. I cried tears of joy as my flip-flops slapped the deck while I helped him haul boxes to the garage. “You know,” I sniffed back tears as I fingered a beautifully blooming rose in the yard, “I think this is probably the nicest Easter I’ve ever had.”
© Bertha Grizzly 2011. All Rights Reserved. No duplication or distribution.