Manolo says, it is Monday and because of the holiday you are likely not back at your desk, which is the good thing, as it will give you the chance to finally take down the Christmas tree.
Yes, you know you should have taken down the tree more than the week ago, right after the Day of the Three Kings at the latest. And you would have, but, your family traditions include the great reluctance to drag the old Christmas tree out to the curb until it has shed the last of its needles and looks very sad.
This tradition has its roots in the distant family past, nearly the decade ago, when your youngest daughter was five years of age.
Born at the time of the full moon, this girl has always been the most peculiar child. Even in utero you suspected something was off; she kicked without warnings at strange hours, and your food cravings were satisfiable only with the unusual chutneys, and the jerked chickens, and things made with the fish sauce.
However, it was the Christmas she turned five that cemented her reputation as the special person, for that was the year that she married the Christmas tree. And it was no hasty elopement, either, but rather the grand ceremony with all of the stuffed animals in attendance, and her older sister presiding.
What else could your youngest do? It was the love at the first sight. Although, certainly, she did not rush into the marriage. There were the few days of secret courtship, during which you would come into the family room and catch her hugging the tree, which was difficult given that Jefferson Joe-Joe was the eight-foot-tall noble fir.
“That’s his name, and I’m going to marry him,” she said.
What can one say when one’s daughter has just announced that she is intent on matrimony with the tree?
So, you just said, “Oh,” and went into the kitchen where Gary was standing over the sink eating some leftover ribs between two pieces of white bread.
“Guess what,” you said.
“What,” he answered.
“Your youngest daughter just announced that she’s going to marry the Christmas tree.”
“It’ll never last.”
Which, oddly, is exactly what Gary said when your oldest daughter announced that she was in love with the bassist in the punk band called Plutonium Gauntlet.
And Gary was right in both cases. Your oldest daughter forgot about Stevie Spittle when the volleyball season started, and your youngest was widowed shortly after the second week of January, when Jefferson Joe-Joe was given the disposal with honors at the curb.
Although you were afraid of the big scene when it came time to take Jefferson Joe-Joe out, your daughter was surprisingly up beat.
“Oh, he’ll be back next year!”
Look! Beautiful shoes!
Not just any shoes, but patent leather platform sandals from Valentino!