Monday, December 2, 2013

Procrastination, Secret Weird Closet, Attic Atrocities, And Maybe A Time Machine? A Holiday Miracle! by Allison

So get this!
I found a silver lining/lemons into lemonade approach to the early,
tedious onslaught of Holiday Everything.
Bombarding us via every form of media?
Assault via red and green everywhere we go?

Totally stressing me out.
Because I haven't done a thing to check off on my Holiday To-Do List.
Because I don't have such a list.
Because I hate lists  (
But still.

Am not geared up yet, and?
I don't respond well to all the Holly Jolly pressure.

Not to mention the Christmas trees are cut and waiting -
like an army of delightfully aromatic,
totally messy,
now you have to water it or else,
festive soldiers  -
standing proudly so they will get picked,
and lovingly taken home by wholesome families singing carols..

And not be the sad, forlorn, pitiful Charlie Brown tree,
left all alone in the freezing cold,
until someone who grew up watching A Charlie Brown Christmas feels nostalgic,
and buys the sad tree,
in homage to excellent Christmas Special that never gets old -
unlike the tree -

That thing will drop needles on the car ride home,
and after a few days,
total nuisance tree aggravation trumps nostalgia.

Helpful Tree Tip From Allison:

Get the tree that looks like it could maybe survive for the holiday season,
and possibly withstand your reluctance to army-crawl under it,
with a pitcher of water that always spills,
getting needles in your hair,
as you crunch your hand on a broken ornament,
while cursing your family of lying liars.

Who swore they'd help water the tree THIS year, promise!
 And who totally, never ever water the tree.

Well, that was kind of a Bah Humbug way to introduce my silver lining,
lemons to lemonade making.
Long lead-up to my use of  the onslaught of All Things Merry and Bright to my advantage,
but I had to set the scene.
I can't just like, start with the story -
there is always backstory.
At least there is if I'm the one telling it.

So, here's where I stop complaining about the cacophony of Jingle Bells,
for a bit,
 to complain about the fact that my girls' giant, personalized,
very colorful and did I mention gigantic?
summer camp trunks have been blocking the staircase up to our attic.

Since August.

They are vividly hued,
enormous proof that I am a total slack procrastinator.

And I get to stub my toe or knock into them daily,
as a reminder that the girls' summer trunks are still out,
and somebody needs to put them up in the attic.

Somebody other than me, preferably.

For many valid reasons,
as well as the fact that I am a slack procrastinator,
and I don't want to deal with those giant trunks.

But I have valid reasons for avoiding dealing with those neon nightmares:

1. I do not want to drag them up to the attic,
those stairs are steep.

And it is either way too hot or too cold up there,
depending on how long I procrastinate dealing with the trunks.

2. There is never, ever a light bulb in the attic.
 The only Light in the Attic in this house is Shel Silverstein poetry book.

And it seems like yet another excellent use of my procrastination skills,
avoiding putting a working light bulb in the attic.

3. And the use of my cell phone light,
in pathetic attempt to grope my way through the too hot or too cold,
completely dark attic?

 Totally a setup for the first scene in a horror movie, just saying.

4. Plus also, the attic is in a bit of disarray.
Partly because I can't SEE, at all, where I am going,
and after trudging up there,
I fling things and run back down the stairs.

Also I am not super vigilant on whatall is in which giant tub of stuff,
 as labels won't stick on them -
and I can't SEE anything,
due to my poor light bulb maintenance.

So is impossible to verify if  I am putting Halloween decorations in their tubs in the Second Tier  Holiday D√©cor Zone.
(Note:Christmas has its own secret, weird closet in the attic, more on that later)

I can't tell, I might be in Special Keepsakes / Artwork/ Stuff I deem Worthy of Saving Zone.

And that Zone is a fright,
 due to a perfect storm of procrastination and organizational challenges -

And now it has a plastic jack o' lantern in with the baby albums and do not even ask me where the Easter baskets are.

Because I can't SEE a thing,

Because I am the slackest slacker who ever slacked,
 and cannot tote a light bulb up to the attic stairs.
 (Note: stairs are very steep, plus it is dark up there,
where is the light bulb supposed to go?
I can't SEE!)

And Because I recently ransacked Special Keepsakes tubs in frantic search of a Kindergarten picture for V,
Because she informed me,
 twelve seconds before the bus gets to our house,
 that she needs a picture of her from Kindergarten for a project.

Lots of papers flying, tubs thrown about, chaos on top of chaos.


Not an incentive for me to deal with all of that sorting out and re-arranging,
since clearly I cannot even summon the will to change a light bulb.

5. So in my serpent eating its tail, the circle never ends,
Proustian Dilemma, I can't organize the attic,
or convince anyone else to do it,
and I can't put the trunks away without dealing with the attic,
and I don't want to do either of those things,
but I can't ADD to the wreckage with the Christmas stuff strewn all over the place, too.
I may be slack procrastinator,
but I have my standards.

So how am I going to get the stupid giant trunks up there,
and also why am I stuck with all of these tasks in which I have no inherent talent,
and am not interested in doing, at all?
I consider bribery,
mutinous stand-off,
Writing A Document, and then-

Perfect plan!
(Note: here is the part where I talk about the silver lining to the barrage of
You Better Be Good, You Better Be Nice,
You Better Do Your Christmas Cards And Don't Forget The Teacher Gifts pressure,
in case you forgot what I was talking about when I started. )

Hold the Christmas decorations hostage until the attic and trunks are dealt with!
I must have picked up that tip in The Art of War, I think.

I was like, "Listen, you guys, attic has to be wrangled,
 and these camp trunks have got to be put away,
 before I release ANY of the Christmas stuff out of the secret hidden weird closet in the attic"-


We have a secret weird closet in our attic.
It has a door leading to it,
you open that door,
and you are confronted with another door,
that you have to push in,
to gain entrance into the secret weird closet.

I greatly enjoy pondering what in the world that closet was for,
when the house was built in the early 1900's.
Why the door, and then another door immediately after, opening the other way?
I imagine the Dread Pirate Roberts' hidden treasure,
or a deranged aunt,
or the philosopher's stone?
A 1900's Craftsman attempt at a panic room?

When we moved in a decade ago, and discovered the secret weird closet,
I was like "This is a secret weird closet.
What is up with those two doors going opposite ways,
do you think it was like a Mrs. Rochester thing?"

Matt: "What?"

Me: "Ug, you did not read Jane Eyre?  You should totally read that.
Also note that it is not a good idea to lock up your wife in an attic,
bad things happen, FYI."

(Note: Matt is not likely to lock me in an attic, a la Mrs. Rochester in Jane Eyre,
because he is fab, great husband.
I am more likely to accidentally get stuck up there somehow,
but I figure somebody will need me to sign a FORM or find dance bag,
and come looking for me.)

Matt: "What?"

Me: "I am just saying, I sense intrigue in this closet.
It is secret and weird, and I am now going to have endless fun game,
 imagining what this secret weird closet was used for,
before our Christmas stuff took over. 
Spy hideout?"

Matt: "It's lined with cedar. It's for clothes, see the hanging bars for clothes?."

Me: "Nuh uh.
It does not smell like cedar,
moths will not be intimidated, if they can manage getting through the two strange doors.
I smell no cedar.
I smell secret and weird,
this is a secret weird closet."

And the secret weird closet is where all of our Christmas decorations live for 11 months of the year (Or, actually? 
maybe less than that,
because I drag the many tubs down and have super fun decorating,
but then un-decorating is lame,
and I get grumpy that it is always me doing this yuk chore,
and leave the tubs at the bottom of the attic stairs,
much like summer trunks.
But they eventually go back to the secret weird closet.)


So I tell the girls no Christmas stuff leaving the secret weird attic closet until their trunks are put away up there,
and in order to do that,
we all have to clean out the attic,
and no looting tubs to take things back downstairs because you can't bear to part with the dog porcelain painted thing you did five years ago and forgot,
which it is why it is in a tub and not your room.

Matt's like "Sounds like a plan."

Then I was like, "Oh wait, there is this light bulb issue . . ."

Matt's like, "I have a light bulb, we're all set."

So we all trot up the steep stairs, and get this?
The kids help.

Special Keepsakes Zone totally cleaned up and labeled with sharpie by someone other than me.
Nobody yelling at me for putting beloved tree painting in a tub.
I fear they are playing a trick on me, and will revolt soon.

But fear not!
We get through the Second Tier Holiday Zone,
found all the Easter baskets,
and bonus: snorkeling gear I put someplace absurd!

And extra bonus: we didn't discover anything bad,
like a village of elves nesting in the eaves.

The only odd discovery was that one wall has a calendar from 1872 hanging on it.
That makes no sense,
as this house did not exist in 1872.
Also, they had wall hanging calendars then?
I did not know that.

It was hanging in a part of the attic I never deal with,
because of me not being able to SEE a thing anyway.
And the girls were thrilled with this discovery,
Matt verified that it did indeed look like
a very old calendar from before our house was built,
somehow in our attic.
And we'd never noticed, in over a decade?

I was like, "This has something to do with the secret weird closet, I bet.
Or? Did any of you get a hold of a time machine and go get this back in 1872?
Because I totally called dibs on any time machines, remember?
I have some havoc I would like to unwreak,
and some important hair advice to give."

So it was total silver lining lemonade day!
I was feeling so Merry and Bright,
I cranked up Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas!"
I can still ID all the singers' voices - that part of my brain hasn't rotted yet.
Holly, Jolly, It's A Wonderful Life, etc.

For at least three minutes.
And then M's sweet little voice asks
"When do you think the Elf on the Shelf will appear?"
My heart shrinks three sizes,
I have no idea where I hid that stupid elf because he can't go with the Christmas stuff because he is supposed to be secret magic,
and that led to the girls finding him in July two years ago in some random drawer I forgot I shoved him into -
and I hate the Elf on the Shelf.
Because I suck at remembering to move him,
and also I think he is totally creepy anyway,
and it is not helpful when the girls' friends Elves get into wacky mischief at their houses,
and all our Elf does is forget to move off of the globe for a week.

But it appears the Merry Jolly vibe was still in the air, because E saved me.
She whispered to M, "Our elf is weird. Weird in a good way.
He sometimes doesn't do what you would think he'd do.
But he'll surprise you one day."

That about sums it up.