Putting up the tree is one of my favorite parts of the year. My family always made a big deal of it, with a crackling fire and hot cocoa and Nat King Cole. Last year I got my first apartment and my first Christmas tree, and I was so excited about carrying on the cutesy traditions in my own home.
But last December was awful for me. I was very depressed, in an abusive relationship and trying so hard to convince myself and everyone else that we were madly in love. Reading my blogs from last fall and winter–not early summer, because that was still genuine–I can’t believe how fake it all was. I’m not even sure I realized it at the time, though. I was deceiving myself, insisting I was happy even though I resented him so much for refusing to leave my apartment no matter how much I begged.
Again, come this time of year, I was very excited to give my new Christmas traditions a second try. And then, ironically enough, he came back into my life in an unexpected way, terrorizing me again a year later. But, this time, even though it’s been emotionally excruciating, it’s still for the best. No regrets at all. It has been painful, but it’s progress.
Anyway, what I wanted to share was not all that pain and disappointment, but how I was pleasantly surprised last night, when I forced myself to put up all the Christmas decorations even though I was sick to my stomach when I started.
Colin and I built the tree together (yeah, it’s a fake tree, but stop judging me for my need for convenience), but then he accidentally got too stoned and had to sit down and veg for awhile. For some reason, I was really intimidated by the idea of putting the lights on. It’s silly in retrospect, but I’d never put lights on a tree before, and my dad always bitched and moaned about it, so I was worried. But, I did it! I strung all the lights myself, while Colin DJed and gave a stoner-grin of approval.
I explained to him which ornaments were most important to me, and why I valued them so much, as I placed them on the tree. He watched me and really listened. Sure, it was partly the weed, but I felt a real sense of peace and happiness that I hadn’t expected to feel. It was the best I’d felt after an emotionally grueling week.
Then, it was like a movie. Love scenes in romance films are always so contrived and fake, and most people never have those kinds of experiences, because they’re not usually realistic. (Again, in terms of our experience, I’m sure the weed factored in.) But he came up to me next to the tree and gave me a peck on the lips, and that peck immediately turned into making out. I pulled his body against mine, kissing him deeply and running my hands through his hair as I felt him get excited against me. We groaned and kissed and fell into bed (pretty literally, since it’s a small apartment), and it was like the main sex scene in every rom com–clothes flying, stealing kisses in between unbuttoning jeans, nails dragging across each other’s backs. We proceeded to have the kind of unbridled, screaming sex that the whole neighborhood can hear. What we did, I’d always thought of as a movie cliche. And maybe it is, but it happened for us, for whatever reason.
Instead of basking in the afterglow, though, he picked up the laptop right away and put on a song, Queen’s “Love Of My Life,” and he belted it out to me, even louder than the wild sex we’d just had, and I thought it was so silly and cute. This was immediately followed by simply making funny faces at each other and laughing until our abs hurt, because we were stoned and giddy and in love.
Then we finished decorating the tree naked.