The Christmas Tree is up!
I brought the Christmas tree upstairs from the garage. A few years ago, it took a little doing to convince Lynnette that a fake plastic tree was the way to go. I argued that we’d pay a little more up front, but then not ever have to pay for another tree again – at least for a while. After that first Christmas with our fake tree, it took about 10 minutes to put it back in the box. No bugs, no pine needles, no cane spiders, and Lynnette said “I think I like this tree!” In case you’re wondering, I was busy guiding the University of Kansas to its third national championship in three years while my girls decorated the tree. Also, I’m carrying noticeable holiday weight and declined to have my picture taken.
Abby loves Christmas almost as much as my girls do, but that’s probably because she mistakenly believes the ornaments to be balls and various other chew toys. She just loves being around people – Mad in particular – so when Madison gets excited about something – like Christmas – Abby can hear it in Madison’s voice, and then she gets all puppy-crazy. Madison gets all Christmassy and Abby’s tail starts going 225 wags-per-second. When Lynnette first brought the transparent plastic cases of ornaments upstairs, Abby ran straight for them and tried to break them open. “For me?” she must have thought. No, Abby, not for you.
Abby started getting brave at this point. Perhaps she hoped that the decorating festivities would distract Lynnette and Mad from her attempts at chew toy procurement. What she didn’t count on was my multi-tasking abilities. Yes, I was able to run both a prolific offense and disruptive defense while keeping an eye on Abby. “Ah-ah-ah!” I would say from the in front of the TV. Abby’s head would turn in my direction. I would only have to nod my head left to right to show my disapproval. He head would sag a little. For a short while. Then when my team needed me and monopolized by attention, Abby would go right back to hunting ornaments. They say dogs take on the personalities of their owners. Well, no surprise then, that Abby handles discipline in exactly the same manner as Madison.
Things overheard while decorating the Christmas tree:
1. Oooh, it’s so pretty!
2. I’m going to put this over there.
3. No, Mad, it’s too close to that other one.
4. No, Abby!
Lynnette loves all holidays, but not equally. She loves Christmas with the kind of ferocity that I reserve for the Mets at the start of each season, you know, before they become irrelevant to the pennant race some time in June (if I’m lucky). In truth, I let her have these things like decorating the tree with Mad because I know how much she enjoys doing it. I am positive that Lynnette will tell me that she would also love me to participate, and I am positive she means it. It’s just that things like decorating a tree and building an entertainment unit, and anything similar creates the too-many-chiefs-and-no-indians scenario that leads to the precipice of divorce for us. I know that sounds preposterous, but um, I’ve lived it. I think it’s just that Lynnette and I can have very different visions of what _________________ (insert whatever you want) should be. As such, I am more than happy to let Lynnette orchestrate the Christmas tree decoration while I take pictures of the process and turn it into a blog. Also, I want to apologize to Lynnette for not realizing that one of her bras made it into the picture. So yeah, sorry, baby. I would have photoshopped it out if 1) I had Photoshop and 2) I wasn’t so lazy.
At this point, Abby was straight trying to pick the ornaments off the tree. You have to hand it to her; she doesn’t take “No!” “Ah-ah-ah-ah!” or soft kicks to the ribs for answers.
This is what a dog who is not allowed to participate in Christmas looks like. How pathetic. After Lynnette and Mad put the final touches on the tree, we fenced it off. I will take pictures of the tree aglow tonight – with a black metal cage around it. It’s like one of those massive displays at Ala Moana, only far less majestic. Last night as I brushed my teeth, I came into the living room to check on Abby. She lay on her tummy, paws out before her, staring at the lit tree. “So patetick!” I said through my toothbrush and toothpaste. “What?” Lynnette said. “Try look your dog!” I said. And Lynnette saw the same thing I did: A vibrant (fake) Christmas tree and Abby, sitting with the Christmas Bra, on the outside looking in.