Friday, December 21, 2012

Our tree

Late this afternoon I walked down to the basement laundry before going out to do the circuit of shopping for our supper and weekend breakfasts (Mr Kim's for squash and dill, the wine shop for wine and Stolichnaya, Key Food for milk and eggs). I needed to launder my gym clothes. That's another story. A membership at the nearby New York Health and Racquet Club*. The price tag alone guarantees my attendance.

[Ahem. That should have been New York Sports Club.]

As I passed the basement-level apartment of The Guy Who Has Loud Sex and Spanks his Partner (...I hear it, what can I say?), I smelled Christmas trees. Douglas fir, to be precise. I love this northern scent. Go figure, I thought, Porn Hound got himself a tree.

As I walked down the final flight of stairs the tree smell grew stronger and suddenly I saw not Porn Hound, but my husband, looking up at me guiltily.

I had caught him in the act of decorating a fragrant and apartment-sized Douglas fir.  He'd been hiding there, hoping to install it in my absence.  He was very remorseful at being caught with his tree pants down, but I was very happy. It had been a rare sleepless night, half awake with high winds and ice rain on the skylights, the neighbour's wind chimes hysterical on her terrace, and fretful scenarios in my head regarding books, life, death...and gym memberships. You know, one of those it's-spiraling-out-of-control-it will-never-be-OK  nights of the soul.

I've never had a tree. Ever. In the States, I mean. Usually I am in Cape Town for Christmas. Our six foot tree now presides over the cat's water and food bowls. It twinkles with lights and fragile red and gold and silver globes, and actual tinsel.

It made everything better. Brought to me by the man who dreads Christmas more than a hole in the head.

22 comments:

  1. Well done Vince! There is a Santa Claus and he lives on Henry Street.

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  2. Way to go Frenchman! What a lovely gesture. Clearly the man loves you.

    Now back to Pornman. You can hear from the basement apartment? OMG! That is an image i wont soon gwt out of my head.

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  3. Vince is softening.....Henry still will not get a tree because of the business he is in (we can elaborate another time), and you know it's not the porn business!
    Happy and Merry. Enjoy your weekend and the beautiful surprise tree.
    xo

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    Replies
    1. Is Henry simply tired of trees, or does he feel sorry for them?

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  4. Way to go, Vince!

    Wait. Did Estorbo approve all this?

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  5. Last esntence, next to last paragraph-perfect description!
    Oh that Vince, wht a sweetie. Hope Estorbo apporoves of the tree.

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  6. I an tickled pink to read this. I have been thinking about you and a tree and wondering if you would get one.

    Instead you 'got" one.

    Lovely Vince, truly lovely.

    xo Jane

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    Replies
    1. I had kind of wanted one, but it is a squeeze, and I was worried that it might make the poor Christmas-jittery Frenchman even more jittery. So. Happy all round, and Estorbo has parked himself under it - not eating or swatting,like your Little Strippers, he just likes to lie under it.

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  7. each point in this post is so ..spectacular.. dirty clothes and all..what a vivid life and home. Estorbo must be so glad to have you back to share in the excitement. A tree, a new sparkling experience.

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  8. He was decorating the tree..in the basement? To bring home a fully adorned 'fait accompli' for the Cape Town girl? That is so tender. Beyond that, I simply have two words for you: Estorbo...tinsel...

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    1. Yes :-) When I came home from the shopping trip the apartment was dark, the Christmas tree lights twinkling.

      The cat is strangely unattracted to the ornaments. Consequently, we accused him of being a dog.

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    2. Gasp! How can you say such a thing! ;-)

      My ornaments are migrating up the tree as Molly, our new 9 month kitten, wrecks havoc and destruction upon them. No broken glass yet but a couple of the straw variety have "bitten" the dust literally.

      Lucy, older and wiser, justs cuddles closer to the fireplace or heat vent, whichever is currently putting out more heat.

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  9. Replies
    1. It really was. And I smelled it coming :-)

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  10. Wishing you and yours a truly wonderful Christmas - tree and all!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Elaine, and the same to you...

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  11. I bet the long winter nights simply fly by for Basement Guy. Does he read your blog?

    Merry Christmas.

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    Replies
    1. If we does we'll soon find out. He may be sociable indoors, but certainly not out.

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  12. What a lovely gift. And what a lovely husband.

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  13. The smell of Balsam, oh wonderful! Not a fragrance of the deep South. I have a small balsam pillow which stays by my bedside. Eyes shut, deep inhalation, dreams of dark forests. To me it smells of fresh baked cookies. Maybe in a previous life I met Baba Yaga on baking day. What a treasure the Frenchman is!

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