Thursday, 13 December 2012

Not The Christmas Tutorial You Were Expecting.

I had this bright idea to craft a Christmas tree out of some twigs and then paint it all arty-like. I usually don't do things like this .. battling mental health issues at this time of year is work enough.

Thing is, we have new carpet in the bucket-bong beach house so it doesn't smell like a bucket bong anymore! I wanted to make it festive. Dave told me he'd even help find some appropriate twigs. There's a few Christmas miracles at play here:

1) Dave and I aren't tearing each others heads off like we always do at Christmastime in this stupid stressed out world.

2) We are doing craft together.

He said he's grab his handsaw from his ute and came back with just a plain saw.

Me: "That's a plain saw."
Dave: "Yeah - you hold it in your hand. HANDSAW."

We took his "handsaw" down the back gully of the beach house. Three steps in, Dave wondered if he could pull the last of the lantana down because it was really giving him the irrits.

Our whole Christmas craft project was hijacked. Could we pull down this dead lantana eyesore? Eleven years ago we went to see the film Lantana, just days before Max was born. I couldn't get comfortable in my seat but man that film was good. About the complexities of relationships, parenthood, marriage.

Marriage is bullshit. It gets thrust upon us like some societal ideal. It's constant compromise, soul-wearingly difficult hard work. People don't talk about it out in the open like this. I don't know why.

Of course Dave got the lantana down. This guy can do anything. He is the strongest, surest, most capable and headstrong man I will ever meet in my life. He thinks in black and white. I may dream in colour but I think in grey.

There were a lot of dead branches to choose from. I kept laughing that we were doing craft together. Dave was fully into it and used the leftover aerosol paint from my blog header while I watched. Rocco took a break from fighting with Max to come outside and watch too.

Sad for the other branches that didn't make the cut. You were good too, other branches! You almost won! We threw them back into the bush. I wonder if they're down there all rejected, obsessing over their looks.

There was deft hammering to be done. (Euphemism.) And then the placement of the branch on the paint-tin just right.

Dave gave Rocco the name "Rocco" and I didn't really like it. I just gave Dave full naming rights because if he died from his cancer at least Rocco would be able to tell people that his father named him.

Of course, Rocco could never be anything but a Rocco. On his next birthday he will turn five years old, which means Dave moves from remission to cured.

I still haven't bought any Christmas presents yet. I'm trying to refuse to be drawn in to the bullshit and fiasco that always, always happens this time of year.

But it's hard. There's a lot of photos of alcoholic drinks around. Beautiful shots .... you can see the harbour or a freshly-made dessert straight through the glass of a nice red, or delicious bubbly! I don't think recreational heroin users ever Instagram their fully-laden syringes. My brain can't work out the difference.

The tree looked amazing when it was finished. We even put on the Bing Crosby "White Christmas" record that mum gave me. The boys were watching and eating candy canes, Dave and I kissed ... and if I tried hard enough I could have shed a tear. This is it! Marriage nirvana! And it was. It truly was, and I love my husband so much even though I hate the word "husband" as much as I hate the word "wife" and at this stage of my life I've just plain ran out of labels.

CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEA: Labelmaker. With refills.

I forgot to take a photo of the finished tree, because this was never meant to be a tutorial. I was just so happy that we were all getting along that I had to document the occasion. A family is only as happy as its unhappiest member. We left the paint tin just as it was, because it looks rustic but also because our motto for most things is "Fuck it."

I used some candy canes and some of Cate Bolts buttons from Skull Buttonry to decorate the bottom bit.

It looked all beautiful, and then we had to leave. Of course.

On my way to the ute I turned around and snapped some photos from outside because it just looked so damn pretty. Dave ran in and slid on his knees to do that thing we've been doing in photos for twelve years.

How can one man wearing such silky sports shorts be SO macho hot and cool? And mine?

He is the devil I know. I am his. I love him so hard that I punch him. That we are still together and striving and trying after all these years truly is a Christmas miracle.

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