I suppose one could find a metaphor for life in my problem. One could say, with a philosophical shrug, you snooze, you lose. One could say sententiously that you have to take advantage of the good things in life when they are available, because you never know when they will be taken away from you.
Frankly, I think the last mentioned person is overstating the case, and is a trifle obnoxious to boot. We’re not talking about spending time with my parents or taking my dog for a walk (both of which I ought to do more often, but that’s another rant). It’s just… we want one of those plastic light up snowmen for the front of our house.
These plastic light up decorations have been around for as long as I can remember, which is pretty far back, because I have not lost my entire mind yet. My family never had one when I was growing up. For one thing, the guy that plowed our driveway used to pile all kinds of snow in our front yard. Great for minor sledding, King of the Hill and other fun in the snow. For decorating the front lawn, not so much. And we almost never used our front door, so there was no compelling reason to shovel the front porch and decorate that.
When Steven and I bought our house, we hung lights on the front porch for the holidays almost as a matter of course. I’m pretty sure we didn’t discuss “should we?” Actually, when it comes to Christmas the word “should” rarely arises, unless it’s a the sentence such as, “Of course we should; it’s Christmas!”
We got a plastic lighted Santa when I saw some that looked old fashioned. The one I picked looks similar to a Santa candle my Mom has had as long as I can remember (as I said: a long time). I surprised Steven with it one day when he was at work and I was off. I walked to the store and walked home with Santa under my arm and felt pretty cool doing it. We were content with our Santa for a number of years (probably five; who counts these things?), but this year, Steven suddenly conceived the desire for a snowman to keep Santa company. I liked the idea.
Do you think we can find a plastic light up snowman anywhere? Nobody has them! We’ve checked department stores, hardware stores, consignment stores, thrift stores, every place I could think of. It’s all huge blow up things or wire with little bulbs. Both very nice in their own way, I suppose, but Not What I Want. One place had two plastic light up decorations: Snoopy and a penguin. Neither is right as a companion for our Santa.
As to why we did not buy a snowman when they were readily available, I have no reason. It never occurred to me to want one till Steven suggested it this year. And now I WANT one!!! And it’s not like I want one only because we can’t find one: we got the idea before we started looking.
A voice in my head says, “It’s no fair!” A singularly useless observation. We all know that Christmas is not fair. Look at all the rotten brats that get lots of great presents. And some well behaved angels get crap. OK, I don’t personally know any well behaved angels (I’m certainly not one), but I’ve heard.
I can’t even make a real snowman, because there isn’t any snow. I’ve only made about three snowmen in my life. The most memorable was when I was a little girl. I needed my Mom’s help, because I rolled the snowballs too big. I named him, with no sense of irony, Mr. Snowman. He lasted a long time, especially since my little brother (no angel himself) did not knock him down.
We will not have a completely snowman-less Christmas. We have, in fact, a rather extensive collection of indoor snowmen. And it may snow so I can try my hand again. But for the rest of my life, I’m afraid I will recall 2011 as The Year We Couldn’t Find a Plastic Light Up Snowman.