Suburban Snapshots

Hang Outdoor Christmas Lights
in 10 Infuriating Steps

Monday, December 05, 2016

I just this minute dismounted our twenty-foot ladder for the jillionth time during the process of stringing Christmas lights across our one-story house. There's only one peak that I need that tall ladder to reach, so naturally I had to climb it repeatedly. I'd like to share my experience with you, because while it serves as a cautionary tale it's more than that — you'll want to read it while you're getting sauced later, once you, too have come down off the ledge.

1. Find the ladder. Sure, it's big, but you have a basement, shed and garage. Try not to call your husband to ask because goddammit you are an independent woman. Carry the ladder to the front of your house without knocking into any walls, hitting any cats, or gouging anyone's car. Have an epiphany about people who do Crossfit.

2. Level and extend the ladder. Now is when you realize that there isn't one square foot of level turf in your entire yard. You'll declare victory when both safety feet are flat on the ground until you notice the ladder's leaning dangerously to the right, like so many of your relatives' Facebook posts lately.

3. Say four Hail Marys and climb. Scaling the rungs gets easier the more you have to do it, which will be at least thirty times. Extension ladders are super bouncy and you'll develop a new fear and respect for the pointy, wrought iron gate your neighbors installed for its "curb appeal." Go slowly and try to recall everything you napped through in tenth-grade physics.

4.  Stand back and admire your first strand. Who's badass now? You are. Look at those lights; they're perfectly spaced, better hung than Jon Hamm and just waiting to be plugged in. Totally worth the wobbly knees and neighbors who heard your prayers now spreading rumors that you're a practicing exorcist.

5. Notice that you've put the plug-end on the wrong side. Now you're working f-bombs into your deities' names because how many extension cords is it going to take to plug those in clear on the other side of the garage? Drink and/or begin your downward emotional spiral.

6. Find all of your extension cords. Because there is no f*cking way you're re-stringing those motherf*ckers. J*sus F*cking Chr*st.

7. THE MOMENT OF TRUTH HAS ARRIVED. Okay Clark, this is it, and if you recognize that classic movie reference then you know exactly how this is going to go. I'm so, so sorry.

8. Refer to step 1. 

9. Climb your quivering thighs back down the ladder. Use your aching shoulders to gingerly put it back in its storage place. Plug those ungrateful a-holes back in and laugh like a maniac on the front lawn. Go back indoors and indulge in your vice of choice.

10. Demand adequate praise and appreciation from all family members. But don't reveal what a struggle it was because remember, you are an independent badass. It's okay to let your kids read your delight in their simple, innocent joy, not knowing how many times you almost died for them today.

Happy holidays, everyone.