Who am I kidding? In the last week I bought some new $50 earrings, spent hundreds of dollars on some new make-up, bought $12 refrigerator magnets and some $20 candles, am thinking about three new Eileen Fisher shirts, and bought a couple of new Cd's.
Yes I put up the xmas tree today but not without the annual fight with John about it. I do it alone because he couldn't care less. And he was the one raised by Christians. Our first xmas together I dragged home a tree by myself on NYC streets. In subsequent years I got my daughter to help - her eye great in picking out a good tree. Feeling all warm and holiday spirited earlier in the day I ask, "Want to help me get a tree?" "I have to go to Book People" comes the non sequiteur answer. "It's 4pm, they're open late." "Not on Sunday." "Um, yeah, every day except Thanksgiving." The hostility escalates. "Don't get it today." "Don't complain." "I'll come if I have to but I won't be happy and excited about it." "I'm not interested."
I head off alone. I run into several friends with their families at the Austin Optimists lot. Today clearly the day everyone has decided to buy their tree. The guy who ties it to my roof says, "You got someone to help you take it off when you get home? It's heavy!" "Sure" I say. But instead I do it myself. Take it off the car, drag it up the stairs, and center in the new larger stand. For years John's contribution was not in buying the tree but in taking ages centering it just so. Complaining and fussing all the while. Eventually I just threw it up without him. "The eye doesn't like perfection" Cecile used to say. I do it myself. It's a gorgeous tree. It looks great. I'm pissed. I'm communing with my dead Dad who used to trim our tree on xmas eve while listening to Sinatra. Telling me how to place the ornaments 'just so." Many years ago my kids used to help, but I was too territorial myself. I ended up buying them their own little one to decorate however they wanted. I like to trim mine the way I like to trim mine. This year I throw on Sinead O'Conner's "I do not want what I haven't got" which is one of my favorite records and I remember being the perfect tree trimming soundtrack last year.