Friday, December 16, 2011

Adventures in Christmas

If my life was a movie, the overarching theme would be that you should never assume things will go the way you planned. It's almost too perfect a set-up: the adorably OCD ginger single gal who plans every aspect of her life gets involved in wacky adventures and hijinks when everything goes to hell due to life's strange quirks. Of course, if my life was an actual movie, I would be played by Amy Adams and some charming hunky guy would enter state right in Act II to sweep me off my feet.

Instead, something simple like say, decorating the Christmas tree, turns into an ordeal.

 Look at it. Sitting there looking all innocent.

Things starting off simply enough. A friend and I got together last week to trim the tree and I had everything figured out. There was a tree trimming playlist, a yummy dinner, and first the lights, then the ornaments, and voila! Decorated Christmas tree! 

The first sign of trouble occurred when I was putting on the lights. About halfway through one of the strands winked out. Ok, fine. No problem--probably just a blown fuse. We replaced the fuse in the strand and everything worked fine. But then when I had gotten all the lights on tree....they all went out. Alright, so we figured there was a blown fuse in the first strand. We replaced that, but 2 minutes later all the lights went out AGAIN. We changed the other blown fuse in the first strand, but it was quickly becoming clear that something more serious was wrong.

We took all the lights off the tree and plugged them into individual outlets to try to figure out if one of them had a short circuit (we figured this would be quicker than going through each strand bit by bit looking for a frayed wire). A little while later though...the fire alarm in my building went off. This led to walking down 16 flights of stairs and standing for 20 minutes in the pouring rain. The good news was when we came back upstairs (on the elevator thank god), one of the strands of lights was half out. We figured that was the one with the short circuit and plugged all the other strands into each other for half an hour just to be sure.

All the lights stayed on with no trouble for more than half an hour, so I got back to putting them all back on the tree. All the lights went on with no problem and then it was on to the ornaments! We hung the ornaments in record time since by now it was getting late, and I hung the last ornament, the pickle. I turned to my friend and said, "that was the last one!"

And BAM. All the lights went out again.

I'm not kidding. I literally said that I had hung the last ornament and less than a second later all the tree lights went out. Another blown fuse in the first strand. But this time, the plug had become so overheated that the access panel to the fuses had melted. There was only one logical conclusion: the extension cord that I was using was faulty and was allowing too much current to travel through the lights causing all the blown fuses.

That extension cord got dumped, and we were able to get some of the lights going again with multiple extension cords hidden throughout the tree.

 HAHA! Suck on that TREE. I still made you look awesome despite your attempts to destroy Christmas!

So file this one under stories of perseverance. It's not like I overcame a hideous disease or accident, but sometimes Christmas feels just as stressful, am I right?

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