Some folks down the street have already put up their Christmas lights. But I shouldn’t be surprised. After all, Christmas is only four months away. It’ll be here before we know it, that glorious occasion when millions of people around the world are filled with joy, thankful that they got out of the mall alive.
Already brimming with the Christmas spirit, I decided to compliment my neighbors on the nice set of icicle lights on their eaves. “They’re beautiful,” I said to the middle-aged couple. “How did you get the energy to put them up so soon?”
The man seemed slightly annoyed. “Eh … I never took them down.”
I should have known. They looked like a religious couple, the type of folks who believe that Christmas should be celebrated every day of the year. I didn’t ask any more questions, but said to my wife later, “I really admire that couple. Celebrating Christmas is so important to them, they’re probably giving more money to the electric company than to charity. They’re going straight to heaven, I tell you, straight to heaven.”
She looked at me like I was crazy. “Did you ever think that the man is too lazy to take down the lights and the woman is too busy?”
“No,” I said. “I never thought of that.” I had thought that perhaps the man was too busy and the woman was too lazy. But I didn’t get into that with my wife. She wouldn’t understand.
Men are often a lot busier than women think. Say, for example, a man puts up the Christmas lights in June, just in time for Christmas season. Come January, a couple of weeks after Christmas Day, his wife says, “Whenever you find time,please take the lights down.” (As most married people know, “whenever you find time” is another way of saying “do it now or you’ll be sleeping with the dog.”) The man tries to find time, but the commercial breaks during the football games just aren’t long enough. He barely has enough time to run to the fridge and back.
February arrives and the man tries to find time again. But he’s too busy learning about black history. February, as you know, is Black History Month in North America, and the man learns about all the injustices that blacks have had to endure, including the fact that their history is studied during the shortest month of the year. February also brings Valentine’s Day, and the man spends the first half of the month trying to decide what to give his wife and the second half of the month trying to find a hole to hide in.
March is Irish-American Heritage Month and the man spends much of it at the local bar. It’s a sports bar, which is perfect because March is also College Basketball Month.
“Will you please take down the lights?” his wife asks during one of his stopovers at home, but the man is too busy taking down other things, such as the recipe for Irish Coffee.
April arrives and the man decides that it’s just not worth taking the lights down, especially since Christmas season is almost here again. After a scrumptious Easter dinner, his wife turns to him and says, “I did the cooking, the least you can do is wash the dishes.” That seems fair to him. As he is rinsing them, he turns to his wife and says, “I put the Christmas lights up, the least you can do is take them down.”
He spends the rest of the year sleeping with Bongo.
(c) Copyright 2006 Melvin Durai. All Rights Reserved.