Monday, December 22, 2008

Glitter Isn't Always the Answer

We got our tree late this year. We always get a small, lonely tree - a Charlie Brown tree. It is Mr. Zoom's favorite thing about Christmas. We were so late this year that we had only one tree to choose from in our size and price range. Only problem was, it was flocked. I hate flocking. Why would you cover a real tree in fake snow?

And it was flocked with gray sparklie stuff. GRAY. It looked like this tree had been rolled around in some one's attic, and then they threw glitter on it for laughs.

We asked if they could hose it off. They laughed at us. We asked if there was any way to de-flock it. There was. But we'd have to pull it off ourselves.

And that's exactly what we did. We pulled up a trash can and went to work on the little insulation strangled tree. Mr. Zoom had negotiated a price reduction and the guy working the counter was apparently so amused at our de-flocking ritual that he gave us a stand for free. We didn't get all of it off, but enough that you wouldn't know it was previously flocked unless you got real close to it.

As is customary, Mr. Zoom did all of the setting up, decorating and placement of the tree. I worked hard at watching t.v. and napping.

By the way, everyone who gave us candy/cookies/toffe/nom nom nom for Christmas totally owes me new pants 2 sizes bigger than before Christmas. Thanks.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

That Time I Thought I Was Helping.

These last few weeks at work have been the kind that serve as plot lines for dramatic movies and books. I've been self medicating with sugar, no gym, and a very understanding husband.

Yesterday at work I got a call from one of my coworkers. She said "please come here." and that was all. When I arrived at her desk, she was in full tears and uncontrollable sobs. Turns out that working in our department is enough to bring someone new to tears within 2 weeks. I did what I could to assure her that she's doing great, and like a trooper she fought through it.

Later that same afternoon she came to my desk. From the other direction came yet another coworker who knows both of us. He is a notorious Frat Boy Party Party Party type guy. He usually emits so much booze vapor, that we all get a contact hangover just by walking by his office. So Crying Coworker and Frat Guy Coworker begin discussing drinking after work. Crying Coworker is starting to cry again, so I immediately look for a way to lighten the mood. Frat Guy Coworker says "Oh, I'm sorry. I can't go drinking for at least a few more weeks. I am still pretty messed up. I mean REALLY messed up."

AHA! A moment to seize! I looked at him and confidently asked "Oh, what in the world did you do to yourself this time?" Nothing like a frat boy story resulting in drinking abstinence to lighten a mood, am I right?

He turned to me and said "Well, I sat vigil at my father's bedside for 4 days and slept in a folding chair next to his bed as he lay dying and finally passed away on Saturday."

He didn't stop there. He proceeds to deliver a gut wrenching story about his vigil, almost as a pastor would to a congregation. Hand flourishes, *magical* moments and I kid you not, this brought at least one other person listening in to full tears.

Fighting my own tears I apologized. Offered condolences. Of course he said "Oh, it's ok. Don't be sorry. I'm ok."

Sure. I felt even worse, as if that were even possible at that moment.

It's times like these when I can confidently say that life doesn't just happen to me. It throws me down, has its way with me and then kicks sand in my face as it zips up and walks out the door.