My sister bought me this little tree a few years ago, much to my chagrin. I felt kind of like, dammit, now I’m obligated to put up a $%*&@ tree. But I quickly grew to love it. What’s so great about this tree is that, one, it’s BLACK, and two, it’s small. It was accompanied by a colorful garland made of holographic cardboard circles. I haven’t gotten it out for a couple of years because I had no clue where it was. I accidentally found it in my closet while searching for something else, so I thought, what the heck. My living room is tidy, maybe I’ll do it up a tiny bit. Be kind, this is the first tree I’ve ever decorated with lights, all by myself.
Donald Duck reminds you to celebrate with caution!
So, of course, the first year I decide to bother with it, I can’t find the xmas lights I wanted: a strand of single colored LED’s in this large round crystally bulb shape, preferably in blue or purple. Perfect for a black tree, no? I know they exist because I bought a cute strand of red ones for Mom last year at Target, and I know I saw some blue ones. I was feeling exceptionally humbuggy last year, so I didn’t buy them out of protest – now, I wish I had. Somehow, this year hasn’t been so bad, perhaps because it’s been unseasonably warm. So over the last few days, I’ve looked at Target, Hobby Lobby, and forbid, Walmart, and they all had basically the same stock. Most of the LED’s were gone except for white and multicolor, but Walmart was the only one who had this particular shape, and only in warm white. I asked the clerk if I had just missed the single colors, and she told me that indeed I had, and that everyone seemed to want single colors this year and the makers didn’t send them nearly enough to begin with.
That’s what I get for being such a procrastinating humbug, I suppose.
LED’s are weird. They have this odd jaunty zing to them that I can’t see when looking at one straight on, but in my periphery, they seem to jiggle and dance about. And not necessarily in a good way. The brighter they are, the more of a vertigo inducing blur they create. Which was partly why I was going for darker colors like blue or purple – those aren’t nearly as bad. I hate driving by them in the car because they’re so disconcerting. Do they affect anyone else this way?
But I do like LED technology for light strands, not exactly because I want to save the planet, but because they don’t get hot enough to burn anything down. I don’t know if I ever mentioned this to you, but I had a phobia of fire for a long time. (It has not escaped my notice that I made an unlikely choice in how I earn my living.) I’m not generally a phobic person, but when I was in day care, they took us on a field trip to several different fire stations in the area. One showed us a cartoon of Donald Duck, quacking frantically and running for his life from the inferno that was once his little house. But Donald Duck didn’t run fast enough; he still managed to catch on fire. The firemen proceeded to make jokes and scare us by telling us there was a fire outside the window of the station, when there wasn’t. Being allowed to slide down the pole didn’t make it any more bearable. The whole experience scared me so badly that I started crying right there at the fire station. So once I got home, I gathered up my beloved Hot Wheel collection and put it by my bedroom door, where it stayed for several weeks, ready to escape with me when, not if, the house went up in flames. Remember, I was about 3 or 4 at the time.
For a long time after that, I would absolutely panic every time a fire truck drove by us when we were out driving in the car, convinced it was going to my house. Well into my late teens, I avoided bonfires, campfires, lighters… if it made a flame, I stayed far, far away from it. To this day, I still feel a twinge every time I’m not at home and hear a fire truck’s sirens and horn. Perhaps my biggest problem is that I’ve never had enough of an “it could never happen to ME” attitude. I stared at my Hot Head for two weeks until Mom finally said “Turn the damn thing on! You’re not going to burn the house down.” So I did… and here we are.
The moral of this story – even though LED xmas lights make me a little dizzy, I’ll take them over hot burning incandescents to intertwine with wire and tinsel plastic.
Read Full Post »