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December 8, 2010 / Maleesha Kovnesky

The Gentle Sound of Tearing Paper

The cold we’ve had lately is tolerable because the snow has been so sparkly.  I would rather have it be really cold and pretty than cold and gray.

All of the sparkles and the cold and the faint scent of cookies make me excited for Christmas.  I love this time of year.  No, I still don’t want a hug.

I went Black Friday shopping in memory of my friend Denise.  Don’t worry Denise is still with us.  I just realized how that sounded.  About five years ago we went Black Friday shopping in Colorado Springs, an area about 500,000 people, give or take several thousand.  We were awestruck by the number of idiots (including us) that woke up before the ass-crack of dawn to drive to Wal-Mart to purchase a four dollar 4-qart food processor.  That’s not a typo.  That is actually how “quart” was spelled on the box of said fabulous deal.  “Qart.”  Of course I bought it.  It was only four dollars.

I haven’t returned to a Black Friday morning until 2010.  How bad could Black Friday in Bozeman, Montana be?  I had one, just one MUST HAVE item on my list.  I needed a new Christmas tree and Target had a nice one with colored lights for only $25.  Doors to open at 4 AM.  I decided that if I got there right at 4, I would get right in and get my tree and leave.  I mean, it’s Bozeman.

I chugged a reheated cup of coffee and jumped in the car.  My breath immediately started to fog the inside of the car windows.  The ice crunched under my tires.  I felt pretty silly.  I didn’t see many cars out and about.  I cursed the idea of Black Friday under my breath.  I approached my turn…it was 3:58.  I would get there right on time, I thought, and would probably just sit in my car for a while so I didn’t have to be the first person in the store.

I arrived at Target…or should I say, near Target.  The parking lot was clearly overflowing, and I had to grab a spot on the street.  I walked in the single-digit air to the front door, where four to five hundred people huddled.  The doors opened and it.  Was.  ON.

I had to wait 30 minutes for a cart.

I did find my tree.

People were mean!

The line…oh, the line!  It wrapped around the store and weaved through aisles.  Remember how I said I got there right at 4 AM?  I didn’t return to my car with the $25 tree until 6:40 AM.

I was already out and about, so I went to several other stores.  The initial psychos were long gone, so the rest of the day was pretty smooth and lines were a lot shorter.  I found some presents for my kids and family and picked out a couple of nice rolls of wrapping paper.

I just love wrapping presents!

I hid the presents in a black lawn and leaf bag tucked deep in a closet.  On top of the bag, I draped two heavy blankets.  The closet is a dark and cramped one, and I was sure that the kids wouldn’t think of going in there.

I cut open the box and started the three-step assemblage of the tree.  It came in three sections…bottom, middle, and top.  Easy peasy!  I found the perfect location in my small condo for a tree like this, so I moved some furniture and strategically placed some items to make the whole thing work.  Then I plugged it in….

….and the top section remained dark.

Don’t worry though…the bottom and middle of the tree were lit brilliantly!

I took some deep breaths.  As I sat on my couch, I closed my eyes and willed my shoulders to release the tension that was vibrating throughout the blades.  I thought of chanting some oms.  Inside my brain, no matter how calm I was trying to be, only one visual kept running through my head. It involved me streaking through the neighborhood covered in blood holding the $25 tree like a javelin.  In this scenario I was shrieking like an angry hawk and people were cowering in fear.  I won’t tell you how the scenario ends just incase you are a Sarah Palin follower…you won’t like what I did with the tree.

In reality though, the tree still stands in my living room.  There is an extra strand of lights on the tree, only at the top, that are slightly mismatched but I don’t think Martha Stewart will be visiting anytime soon.

Later that week, I was boiling pasta and cutting up some lettuce when I heard the gentle sounds of tearing paper.  My son was concentrating, building a tower of Legos in the corner.

“Macy!  Macy, what are you doing?”  I called and came out from the kitchen.  The closet door was cracked open.

<more tearing noises>

“Hey mom,” she called.  What a cheery little voice.  “I’m just openin’ the Cwismas pwesents!”

And did she ever.



Leave a Comment
  1. leafprobably / Dec 19 2010 4:42 pm

    Ah no! I would have given up I think… How on earth did she find them in your closet??!! That’s one determined little girl!

  2. David / Dec 11 2010 7:34 pm

    Nice new layout Maleesha. Liking your tagline too. Glad you’ve been taking up space on the internet. Congratulations on surviving black Friday, and for creating this fun post.

    Nice photos too. I can hear that snow under foot.

  3. Oregon Sunshine / Dec 11 2010 8:32 am

    Oy! Just Oy!

  4. The Girl from the Ghetto / Dec 10 2010 11:01 am

    I love your snow photos, too fabulous with your falling snow blog backdrop! Thanks for stopping by my own blog today!

  5. Allison / Dec 9 2010 3:16 pm

    I’ve known you were a blogger at heart for a long time :-).

    Story well told. Pre-lit trees should come with a complimentary prescription for Xanax.

  6. Cherikooka / Dec 9 2010 10:13 am

    HA! That was great. I miss having little kids around. I love the new layout!

  7. Taoist Biker / Dec 9 2010 8:58 am

    Oh geez. KIDS. 😀

    I did the Black Friday thing ONCE, and after an hourlong wait in a line wrapped around a Best Buy like you described, I’ve never had the urge to repeat it…

  8. Colin / Dec 9 2010 6:53 am

    Fantastic story, Maleesha! Didn’t realize you were a blogger at heart!

  9. fawnahareo / Dec 9 2010 1:20 am

    Oooh, pretty new blog!

    Wow, did you laugh or slap her silly? Just in your imagination, of course. 😉

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