I keep learning the simple lesson of trusting my gut. This is something I already know to do yet frequently go against that knowledge. The lesson was learned once again last weekend.
For years I have wrestled with the idea of purchasing a fake Christmas tree for our living room. It's easier to deal with. It is quicker. It won't make Mike sick (though he swears real trees don't make him sick). These are all thoughts that go through my head each year when the holiday season is underway. I will talk myself out of it with the promise that I will purchase a fake tree after Christmas when there are sales aplenty. But, in reality, I know I won't. And I also know the pretty fake trees will all be gone anyway.
So last weekend I went out on a mission to buy a fake tree. It made sense. Mike wouldn't get all stuffy and I wouldn't have a huge mess to deal with without his assistance. And he could actually help me decorate "our" tree. I had heard Lowe's had a beaut of a tree, so off to Lowe's I went. Courtney and I milled about for about 45 minutes, but in the end I left without a tree. Couldn't do it. We then went to the mall for a bit. Upon leaving the mall parking lot, I went back to Lowe's and ran in and purchased that fake conifer. Done deal.
The tree and I came home and I quickly set it up. It had 800 lights on it, but I am a stickler for an at-least-1,000-light-tree, so I added two more sets. After about an hour of fluffing the branches I noticed that four of them on the bottom would not light up. I worked on that a while to know avail and finally pushed that side of the tree against the wall. This is what I was dealing with:
But Mike walked in from the airport and said "That's pretty. Is it real or fake?" I excitedly told him that he could help me decorate "our" tree for the first time ever because it was, in fact, fake. I think he was surprised. And didn't seem too jazzed about helping to decorate the behemoth. And then he realized the look of excitement on my face was about as fake as the tree. I tried. Really hard.
So I decided to sleep on it. I woke up Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. and walked in to the living room. I took one look at that manufactured mess and said "Screw you, tree." And he quickly looked like this:
I got the thing mostly back in the box and used some packing tape to hold it all together and off to Lowe's I went. The customer service rep was very sympathetic to my story and confided she disliked fake trees, too. I got my refund and went on about my day. Later that evening I went to the trusty Suncrest Kiwanis and Boyscouts tree lot and found a perfect Fraser Fir. And it is sitting right where it belongs:
It's happy scent is filling our home while it waits to be decorated. Mike helped the only way he physically could by taking a broom to the errant needles left in the floor from me pulling in and setting up the tree. And my gut and I are finally satisfied.