Three stories of holiday preparation:
#1 -- Tree time
Two weeks ago we bought Samantha a new bed for her birthday. Got it at Ikea. They gave us a coupon to get a free Christmas tree after December 1, so we went on Saturday to pick it up.
All the trees were bound in twine and sitting on pallets and the employees told me to simply pick one out and take it. None were labeled or anything, and they assured me that every tree was in the 7 to 9 foot range. Sounded kinda big, but hey, it was free! I picked a tree, put it in the van and we took it home.
When we cut the twine it unleashed a fury of lush, thick, long branches in every direction. This tree is big. Our biggest ever by far. I think it's on steroids. There could be a wild animal, nest or school bus hiding in there and we'd never know it.
The free tree has now cost us $10 in a new strand of 300 lights we added, because our old three strands only covered half the monster. It may cost us more money in additional ornaments, for the same reason. It's a big purty tree, though, I have to admit. It looks great as it devours most of our den.
#2 -- Toddler carols
Jack has already gotten into the Christmas spirit. Yesterday he came up to me singing,
~"Jinger bells, jinger bells, jinger aww de wayyy!!"~
It tickled something in the back of my mind... Christmas carols with an inability to pronunciate the letter "L" in words....
Then it came to me.
#3 -- Complexes
We were talking about getting presents and stuff at the dinner table, and Samantha said she was so happy to get the movie Ratatouille for her birthday. She asked me which movie was my favorite. I answered:
"It's called The Matrix. It's my favorite because it teaches that there's lot of stuff happening in our world that we can't even see. Stuff on the inside of us, that connects us. Also, the boy in the movie falls in love with a woman with dark hair. A strong, dark-haired woman. Just like mommy. And everybody wears cool clothes."
Samantha nodded her head in the way that means, "Interesting, but not really, and way too much information. You should have stopped at 'it's my favorite'."
Jamie then said that "daddy has a savior complex, and the boy in the movie saves everybody, so daddy likes it."
I started to object, but then realized that two other fave movies are Dark City and Gladiator. And then there's Star Wars. Crap. She's right.
I tried to scapegoat..."Well, most guys have a savior complex. And all Christians do. So it's natural to any Christian guy."
I don't think she bought it. When she said the words "savior complex", I somehow recalled one of my childhood fantasies. I remember a moment in fourth grade when we had a prank phone call to the school about a bomb threat. It was a joke, but we had to be sure, so all the students were evacuated and sat on the asphalt basketball court for an hour while the school was searched for explosives.
At that moment, I wondered what it would be like if our school was really in trouble. Like under attack by crazy gunmen. I pictured myself in a black ninja outfit, taking them out one by one and then stripping off my mask, revealing my identity and earning a big kiss from Lisa, the hottest girl in the class.
I felt like an idiot as I remembered that fantasy that my super ninja powers saved the school, but then I realized I'm not alone. My favorite movies, all with the savior narrative, were all blockbuster hits. Comic books and the show Heroes continue to thrive. So tons of people, and possibly every man alive, shares my idiocy.
A Hard, Difficult, and Terrible Beauty
22 hours ago