2019-01-11 / Commentary

Women Woes and Merry Men

I’m just saying...
Julia Rogers Hook

I hope when I die, before they decide where I’ll spend eternity, they’ll give me a chance to return to earth as man for the last two months of the year.

I’m sure any wife out there can relate to my deep desire to one day be able to come back during the holidays as a man. Men are the luckiest creatures on earth during November and December every year. No matter your faith or lack of, lifestyle or culture, those two months are every woman’s busiest of the year! With the department stores starting to put out Christmas decorations shortly after the Fourth of July and by Thanksgiving the talk shows are all giving us ideas for “last minute gifts,” the pressure on wives or just women in general is staggering.

This year, as always, I wanted the tree up and decorated during Thanksgiving weekend so at least that much was done.

By me.

JUST me.

My husband Marty did go with me to storage to drag out the decorations but he did NOT do it with a “joyful heart.” It was more like being with Ebenezer Scrooge! He was skipping going to our lake place that weekend just to “help” me so I really didn’t expect jubilance but I did hope for at least complacent resignation.

But no.

When we got to the storage, he was already in a bad mood. His face was scrunched up in his “Bah Humbug” expression and he began to huff and puff before he even unlocked the storage door. By the time we got his truck loaded with the greenery and wreaths, he was shuffling and hanging on to his truck for balance. He complained his back was “killing” him and I felt so bad for him I called a friend to ask him to come over to unload the truck and put up the tree for me. As our friend was carrying in the tree, I realized once the tree was up, I could do the rest. The decorations were all right there so I didn’t really “need” Marty’s “help.”

“Honey…if you want to go on to the lake, I don’t mind…I can get the tree and the house decorated since everything is already out.”

It was like the resurrection of Lazarus! His face broke into a radiant smile, his eyes were practically shooting stars, and his back was miraculously HEALED!

“Really???” NOW the jubilance appeared full scale! “Well if you’re sure you don’t need me…I’ll just get out of your way…”

The man practically RAN up the stairs to grab a few shirts and was out the door in less than 15-minutes. I’m pretty sure he was dancing a jig and jumping for joy. That pain in his back was a mere memory! He was healed, happy, and headed to the lake. For him, it was REALLY beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

But it was fine. I had the whole weekend to decorate at my own pace and when he came home after work on Monday, Christmas was firmly established in our home.

And so it goes for Christmas at our house. After the decorations, there are gifts to buy and wrap and menus to plan and always a party or two. There are a gazillion holiday “duties” to perform and in our world, there are lots of people who help us all year long we want to remember and thank. Along with all the holiday plans and priorities there are also the same daily/weekly/monthly chores and obligations that can’t be overlooked.

In short…the holidays are HECTIC! And RUSHED. And sometimes downright FRANTIC! But only for the women, I think. Because it’s the women who choose, buy, and wrap the gifts. It’s the women who do the majority of the cooking and decorating. It’s the WOMEN who make the holiday merry and bright.

And I don’t mind that…there’s a deep sense of satisfaction when, on Christmas Day I see our family at our home and we’re all laughing and talking and enjoying each other and making memories. I actually love it. And so does Marty.

But my absolute favorite day of the year is somewhere between December 26-29 because those are the days it all comes down and gets put away for another year. Those are the days the house gets its winter cleaning and is readied to greet the New Year.

And right in there, after it was all done, after the house was immaculate and all the decorations were back in storage my sweet husband had what could be called “a near-death experience.”

We were sitting on the back porch just enjoying the peace and quiet of the after Christmas frenzy when Marty sighed a deep and thoughtful sigh.

“Boy…I’m sure glad THAT’S over for a year… the holidays are just EXHAUSTING!”

I just looked at him incredulously and valiantly held my tongue. I briefly fantasized a few scenarios but I immediately realized it wasn’t worth the jail time. And because I love him, I’d really miss him terribly if I killed him.

Besides…Easter is coming. And I decorate for that too.

I’m just saying…

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