Yesterday, as I drove around our neighborhood, it became clear to me that many people were putting Christmas lights on their outside trees. I can’t say I take singular credit for this early show of holiday enthusiasm. Yes, it’s true, that I was the first in our neighborhood to put up a Christmas tree; however, it’s also true that COVID-19 is making people crazy enough to need holiday lights to brighten their days.
So, I decided yesterday afternoon that I was going to put up my outside lights. For years now, we have put up colored lights in the form of nets. (Or is that lights of color?) I was feeling rather smug that last year when I took down our lights, I labeled the bags into which I placed the lights, indicating to which bush it belonged.
It wasn’t much help, however. Yesterday afternoon, I dumped the lights out on the floor of the living room, and proceeded to try to untangle the significant mess. I finally found the “male” plug, and put it into the socket. Half the lights lit up; the other half stayed dark. As I looked at the tangled mess, I thought, I should try and untangle this mess to see which string was working and which was not. And as I looked again at the tangle of lights, I literally said outloud, “F**k it.”
We are not paupers, I thought. I can spend the next hour untangling these lights, or I can go to Target, which is a three-minute drive from my house, and buy new sets of lights.
“Bill,” I said. “Would you like to go to Target with me and buy new sets of lights?”
We got the lights put on the trees. Easy peasy, because they were fresh out of the box, not tangled at all. I dismissed Bill and told him I would get them set up to the timers.
We have two bushes with lights on two separate timers. I did the first with no problem. It was already set from last year, so all I had to do was turn the nob to set the time.
I moved to bush number 2. Drat. It was a digital timer. I am a reasonably smart woman, but digital timers and I don’t get along. So I took it to Bill, who has a pretty good relationship with digital timers. Unfortunately, the instructions were the size of the Declaration of Independence if it was carved onto a wedding ring. No go.
I put on my strongest reading glasses and tried looking at the instructions. After about 30 seconds — and for the second time that day — I said out loud “F**k it.”
“I’ll be back shortly,” I told Bill, who by this time was wondering who was this woman with the potty mouth and where was the sweet bride he married.
“Where are you going?” he asked.
“Ace Hardware,” I responded as I walked out the door.
Ace is in the same shopping center as Target — a three-minute drive. I walked in, and immediately spotted a manual Christmas tree timer. I had looked for one this past weekend at Lowes, and it was no-go. Digital timers only.
So, no matter how politically incorrect it is these days to sing this jingle, I sang outloud: Ace is the place with the helpful hardware man. And my lights are twinkling outside.