No, I’m not married to some brute from the Dark Ages who views women as property to be traded. My husband, Nick, is a really, really nice guy; he just happens to be fond of very small cars and is not your typical guy when it comes to keeping the car clean. He actually drives a two-door Honda Civic, which I (not so affectionately) refer to as the half car. It’s also always full of various odds and ends related to the fire department, more papers than any office I’ve ever worked in, and what else I don’t really want to know.
We bought our first Christmas tree together on the first Thanksgiving after we were married. I’d never had a Christmas tree, and I was determined to get as big a one as possible and join the folks who put them up the day after Thanksgiving. Michael’s had a sale on artificial trees that year; the store opened at 6:00 Thanksgiving evening and the pre-lit trees were 50 percent off, and we even had a coupon to take more off. We had to go!
We spent Thanksgiving Day with some very dear friends and left straight from their house for Michael’s. I HAD to have my tree. The store was about 45 minutes from the house we were renting at the time. Nick had driven to our friends’ house, since I was balancing several desserts on my lap, so we were in the half-car, which neither of us thought much about.
We arrived at Michael’s and found the perfect tree for us. It was 7.5 feet and pre-lit with white lights. It was beautiful and I fell in love with it. We decided it was probably a little big for our living room, but then decided that Christmas only comes once a year, so why not get the tree we loved.
We paid for the tree and headed out to the car, with a sales associate wheeling the (exceptionally heavy) tree on a cart. As we approached the car I began to have serious doubts about getting the tree into the car. My husband, optimistic person that he is, was sure we could get the tree, and the two of us, into the car, along with all of the other stuff that was already in the car.
The sales associate very quickly left us to our own devices. I can’t say that I blame him. We spent nearly an hour trying to get the tree into the car from different angles. The only way to get the tree into the car was to move everything else to the trunk and shove the tree in through the passenger door and kind of tip it into the backseat. I tried scrunching down in the backseat; I was perfectly willing to have a cramped ride home for the sake of the tree, but I couldn’t scrunch up small enough to get the tree far enough in to get the door closed.
We finally came to the realization that only one person would fit in the car with the tree. Nick actually wanted to return the tree! I quickly talked him out of that and into the idea of one of us staying behind while one of us took the tree home and then came back for the other person.
In addition to the fact that I couldn’t lift the tree on my own, we were in an area I wasn’t very familiar with. I also have the ability to get lost in a revolving door, so driving home by myself from a place I wasn’t familiar with, with a giant Christmas tree in the car, and then trying to get back to the shopping center didn’t seem like a good idea at all. We finally decided that Nick would take the tree home and then come back for me.
I spent that hour and half wandering around Michael’s, which is not a bad place to be stranded, and calling to wish friends and family a happy Thanksgiving. Nick made it home in record time, shoved the tree in the house, and then came rushing back to get me.
It made for a pretty funny story when people asked how our first Thanksgiving was. I don’t think anyone expected the answer to begin with “Oh, Nick left me at Michaels’” or “Nick traded me in for a Christmas tree”. It’s still fun to tell the story whenever someone comes over during the holidays and comments on our tree. It may have gotten me left behind at the store, but we have a great tree.