I had already started, you see. With the stockings and the nut cracker soldiers on the mantel, the ancient Santa and reindeer that Mom always had placed in the corner hutch. About seven boxes were strewn across the living room floor with Beaux hopping from box to box to sniff and toy with some of the precious treasures.
Me: No, I have to... It just wouldn't seem right!
Rich: But it defeats the whole purpose! We're trying to get the house ready to sell, not enter it into a decorating contest!
Me: You know what my grandfather used to say about the undecorated houses?
Me: "Oh, they must be Jewish!" Not that there's anything wrong with that, but you know how I love the holidays and decorating!
Me: I have to decorate something!
Me: I've already agreed not to put up a tree so we can sell it on eBay, and that's a huge part of decorating.
Rich: But, babe--
Me: And I'm not putting up the icicles around the edge of the roof!
Rich: Yes, but--
Me: But I am decorating in a "tastefully simple" kind of way.
Rich: (Quizzical eyebrow raise.) Huh?
Me: You know, a little here, a little there. The Christmas plates, stockings on the mantel, a few bubble lights.
Rich: I suppose...
How the hell am I supposed to enjoy my last Christmas in Pennsylvania if I can't decorate?! It would go against all the fuzzy-warm memories of childhood, the sense of tradition, the only bright and shiny time in a long and gloomy winter! I was now on the war path...
Rich: I just thought that--
Me: The upstairs is still being worked on, I need to rerun the wiring, but it will get done--we have all winter to finish the upstairs.
Rich: Yes, but--
Me: And I'm not putting up the village or the train set, so that also saves time and space. (I was really quite proud of this sacrifice I was making!)
Rich: Can I just--
Me: And we'll even, if you don't want to, not set up the Island of Misfit Toys display, just in case that one (jerked finger toward Lil Wet Paws as he discovered stringed lights and Hawthorne stared at him with utter boredom mingled with contempt) gets a little to mountain-climby.
Rich: I just--
Me: It's just a few lights and some of the smaller decorations!
Ahh... Now it's starting to look a lot like Christmas...
Me: I'm decorating, and that's all there is to it! I'm tired of feeling like Scrooge! Thanksgiving was already five days ago! This house is usually decorated FOUR days ago! All the neighbors have their lights up already! I feel like... like...
Rich: I just wanted to ask if I can put up the nativity?
Me: Oh... Why wouldn't you be able to?
Rich: Well, I know it's not exactly your thing...
Me: So? It's your thing! And you have just as much right to put it up as anyone else! I've never stopped you before... Why are you asking now?
Rich: Well, since I was the one who said we wouldn't decorate, but now it seems we are decorating, I just thought... I dunno...
Me: Quit being such a dick and start decking!
Me: The halls? "Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la?" Ever heard of it?
Rich: Okay, okay, I'll start decking!