I’m an idiot. I’m not particularly ashamed to admit that, because, after all, I’m in good company – most men are idiots. I’m especially an idiot when it comes to dealing with people in shops.
I don’t like to make a fuss, I don’t like to exchange things, I don’t like to take too long buying something, and I basically just want to get in – purchase – and get out as possible.
I bought a Christmas tree yesterday. It wasn’t a good one.
Let me set the scene for you, with a little history. When I was a little boy, I used to love going to buy the Christmas tree with my dad. It was a bit of proper father-son time, and we used to walk to the green grocers down the lane. He would buy a whopper – a real ceiling scraper – and the ceilings are quite high at my parents’ house, at least 2 feet higher than ours.
So, now that I’m a dad, I love to walk with The Boy to the local green grocers to buy a tree. I buy the tallest one that I think I can get away with, and I am always greeted with slight dismay by my wife when she sees how tall it is. It is proper father-son time.
This year, things went awry. This year I had two children with me, and I also had a graphic design job ongoing – which occupies 25% of my brain for the duration of the project, whether I am sat working at it or not.
So I’m at the shop, harassed and absent minded, trying to get a big tree (but not too big, I’m not a complete idiot) while stopping the kids eating the fruit or running into the road. So eventually I gave up, and asked The Boy to pick one. And here’s where I went wrong. When the grocer asked if I wanted to see if out of its wrapping (and remember how I don’t like to make a fuss in shops) I said no. I wanted a tree, and I wanted to go. Now.
Well, look what happens when you do that.
Oh dear, isn’t it awful. Did you ever see a sadder Christmas tree? The middle of it is devoid of branches. They haven’t snapped off, they were never there. Some of the branches are going north, and some are going south. If it was a family pet, I would have driven it out to the countryside and left it in a lay-by.
As the evening progressed, I sort of learned to love it, but I knew I’d be embarrassed whenever anyone came round. But then I remembered – my parents were coming to visit in a couple of days, and I really didn’t want them to see it.
I don’t mind them knowing that I’ve been made redundant – again. I don’t mind that The Boy will behave badly at the dinner table in front of them. I mostly don’t mind them seeing that the cat has ripped a big hole in the stairs carpet. But I really mind them seeing that I brought home this pitiful excuse for a tree for my family. For Christmas. Just what kind of a husband/father am I?!?! (My parents are lovely, but really, look at it.)
So, today, we showed a picture of the tree to the grocer, and explained that I’d been harassed when I bought it, and asked for a new tree. The Boy (alone) came with me, and looked as good as gold, so the grocer teased me mercilessly – but gave me a new, bigger, healthy looking tree. Job done.
So, men, remember to always check your tree, and remember that commando style shopping doesn’t always work out for the best.
Here’s the new tree – sans decorations as we’re saving that for the boys tomorrow.
Thanks for reading to the end of a rather rambling post brought to you by Sudafed, and a killer cold.