2011-10-21 / Commentary

Holidays and husband’s headaches

I’m just saying...
Julia Rogers Hook

I love Halloween. It’s my all-time favorite holiday. I admittedly go crazy and decorate our yard with no less zeal and zest than Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation.

And sometimes it can result in the same disastrous results.

As you may imagine, this is not a happy time for my husband.

While just a few short weeks ago he was walking through the house whistling and humming the “Sandstorm” tune because it was football season, now he’s wary and nervous.

He’s a smart man and he knows what’s coming.

He knows I will be crawling up into our well organized attic and start bringing down the Halloween goodies. He knows that Halloween is the precursor to all the holidays. Like the proverbial deer in the headlights, he slowly but surely becomes aware of the impending list of holidays from now until Easter. And yes…you can decorate for New Year’s and Valentine’s Day. And oh, be still my heart…..St. Patrick’s Day! Oooh yeah.

But I digress. We were talking Halloween.

It runs something like this…all or most of our (my) Halloween decorations require batteries. The singing, groaning, and flashing ones require lots of batteries. I always go out and buy dozens of those AA and AAA batteries. I wait for the most opportune moment and spring them on him. Usually I try tactics to soften him up, but after eight years…..he’s caught on. A favorite meal, a new shirt….he knows what’s coming.

This year…I was short on time so I just brought down all the flashing pumpkins, howling ghosts, and rattling skeletons…..the poor man went to work one morning and came home to a fully decorated house with little paste-it notes telling him which ones needed batteries.

He dutifully got out his trusty teeny screw-driver and asks the annual Halloween question.

“WHY do those pumpkin makers feel it’s necessary to screw in a battery cover??????”

And so it goes….his method is to put in fresh batteries in everything ever since the year when it seemed one pumpkin/skeleton/ghost would go down each day. That way he does the masses of little light-up toys all at once, and he’s done till Christmas.

Until it rains.

If it rains, for some reason, the entire side of the house that we plug our decorations into—the front, of course--- seems to go down. The switches flip, the breakers break and….horror of horror… our front porch is plunged into darkness.

Now the absolutely craziest thing in the universe used to be that string of lights that will all go dark if one bulb burns out. I believe that has been rendered, and I believe I had a part in it with my letter writing campaign. I think Lindsey Graham and George Bush care about Christmas lights too. But now….rain blows my circuits???


We have satellites that can report back from outer space and telescopes that can see Mars yet noooooo-body on earth can figure out this little conundrum? I want the best minds called out. I mean this is a national disaster. I can’t be the only one suffering. Forget Wall Street and bail-outs. Forget Global Warming and gas wars.


Does that happen at Rockefeller Center? No, it does not. There’s plenty of rain and even snow, but that tree never goes dark. The one at the S.C. Capital Building never goes out when it rains. Why should mine?

And oh how my husband hates it when the lights go out……he knows that the responsibility is all on his shoulders. He knows it will be up to him to “fix it.”

But the brilliant thing is he always does. Oh he sputters and fusses and sometimes there’s a yelp or two if he gets shocked, but he always fixes whatever is wrong.

And I must say…..whether it’s “fixing” the decorations or “fixing” hurt feelings or the pangs of disappointment that life sometimes hands out, my husband is good at fixing things. His are the most comforting arms around, whether I’m there in celebration or sorrow and they always will be.

He’s quite a guy.

I can’t wait till Christmas………….

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