like the Charlie Brown music-slump in Arrested Development

I was going to write this clever blog post about our epic and ill-fated attempt to buy a Christmas tree – foiled twice by the Market’s caprices and once by my own screwup – and still, two days later, unresolved. The story would have included personal injury, inept shopkeeps, money mismanagement, borrowed trucks that smell like mold, and an interesting few minutes this afternoon when I was an inch away from pulling a Clark Griswold freakout.

The defeating afternoon ended, appropriately, with a dispirited sojourn through the supermarket with my tired children after which I was double-charged for two packs of the irritatingly expensive, eco-friendly tampons I frequent. I almost wandered out of the store before I realized I shouldn’t have paid twenty three dollars – only to get back in line behind a family that was apparently buying a carneceria’s worth of meat. So I had to wait. And wait. And still, go home without a fucking tree!

Double-charging a woman for tampons? Really, middle-Swansons checkout dude? Really?


* My children, increasingly more thoughtful and amazing, consoled me about the tree as I finally, brokenly, made our way home. As I finished this blog post I heard that telltale smash of an ornament in their room. Nels emerged and came tumbling into my arms, crying. I picked him up and after a while his sobs became intelligible: “I was just trying to move the Christmas tree out here to make you happy.” He had packed up, unplugged, and was carefully trying to carry their fake (pink!) tree from his room to the living room, where he knew I wanted our real tree.

They are both so sweet it’s like I’m living with tiny Buddha-like creatures who are always trying to take care of my undeserving ass.

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