I bought a red artificial Christmas tree at Ace Hardware in my neighborhood four years ago. It was in the basement level of the store amongst all the other Christmas decor. It was more of a brick-colored red that matched the accent color of our master bedroom. It had lights strung throughout it with red electrical cord. I didn’t call and ask my husband Chuck if I could buy it ; I simply paid the $129.oo (after coupon) and lugged it home in a large box.
Once home, I hastily opening the box and took the three sections of tree out, then lugged the sections upstairs, making 2 trips. I assembled the tree in front of the large window in our bedroom that looks out over the street. I didn’t have ornaments for it yet, but I plugged the tree in and was awe-struck at how perfect it looked in our room, flanked by the gold, green and brick-red striped drapes.
Before leaving for my afternoon shift I unplugged the tree and smiled as I imagined Chuck’s reaction when he walked upstairs after he got home and saw this 7-foot tree in our bedroom.
Chuck is the type that holds back on compliments, but will let me know if he is displeased with something (I’ve become used to it over the years and am quite certain he got that trait from both parents). At work around 5:30 p.m. I started checking my email to see if he had sent me snarky message, presumably with a simple WTF in the subject line. Nothing.
When I got home around 6:30 p.m. I made my usual beeline toward the kitchen to start dinner, and within 5 minutes Chuck came downstairs and stood in the doorway of the kitchen and smirked; but it was a good-natured smirk combined with twinkling eyes as he asked, “Where did you find that tree?”
“Ace Hardware! Isn’t it great?”
“Yeeeaaahhh…,” he slowly replied, then the inevitably, “How much did it cost?”
His next question let me know that everything was going to be fine. “So, what’s for dinner?”