There are two types of houses, those that decorate for Halloween and those that do not. Our home tends to fall under the category of those who decorate for Halloween-plus; the plus being that after a few strategic post-Halloween maneuvers, our decorations extend into Thanksgiving.
In the past our Halloween-plus decorations were usually put up by my husband, but this year I decided to take on the task. After all, how hard could it be? I plunked down a few pumpkins (and simultaneously covered a few weeds, thus eliminating that task), staked in some Halloweeny lawn ornaments, and voila, I was just about done. My husband typically incorporated hay and cornstalks, but I opted not to because I was too busy (read: lazy, cornstalks tend to leave messes that need to be cleaned up). To compensate for lack of au-natural materials, I decided to supplement with decorative lighting, since I’ve hung lights around my rectangular deck before and it was easy-peasy.
Except.....hanging lights turned out to be a bigger project than I initially predicted. In fact at one point, I actually started wondering was there is an art to hanging up decorative lighting. Then after two hours of dealing with stupid lights, I decided hanging up decorative lighting completely stinks for the following reasons:
- Strands of lights have been manufactured by evil lighting companies to get tangled up. I don't know how they manage to make it happen, I just know they do.
- Individual lights break if you barely step on them. In fact, some spontaneously explode when glanced upon. (And those replacement lights that are suppose to fix such a predicament? LIES.)
- Unbelievably, 20,000 feet of (tangled) lighting is somehow not enough to cover six small bushes.
- Big ugly hairy spiders have a tendency to be, right where lights need to be hung. (And exactly what do spiders do? Sit? Stand? Lay?).
- Scotch tape does not work on door frame wood like it does on wrapping paper (although it kind of works on evergreens if enough is used). This leads directly to #6.
- One can never find the damn duct tape when it is needed (this can usually be blamed the on the kids. Or the husband. Or possibly, the cat.)
- Neighbors stop to ask inane questions while one is hanging up or entangled in lights. Questions like, “Oh, are you hanging up Halloween lights?” (No ass wipe, it just looks like I’m doing that; but what I’m really doing is setting up a hidden camera to see if that is your dog leaving a big steaming pile of poo on my front lawn every morning).
- One is required to have an advanced degree in topology in order to string several strands of lights together so that they work, cover a portion of the area in need of decorating, AND can be plugged into the outlet that is actually situated on the OTHER side of the front door.
Unfortunately, the initial vision in my head does not translate to the actual vision in my yard. Thus in an effort to aid other novice lighting decorators, I am sharing a few things I learned about the outdoor light decorating process:
- It should be left to pros (Read: husbands/friends/children/ siblings/basically anyone else).
- Those of us who do not hang lights should show more empathy towards those that do (but that doesn’t mean we should help; in fact it is altogether certain I will continue to pretend I don’t hear my husband calling me when he is outside hanging up lights. I will however remember to compliment him on their cuteness when he’s done).
- If you are the dupe left stuck to hang up lights, it is infinity easier if you use the following tools in this order: a step ladder, a large beer mug of wine to consume at the beginning/middle of hanging, a bag of ranch-flavored corn nuts to consume throughout hanging, and another large beer mug of wine to be consumed during the middle/end of hanging. I understand the beer mug of wine could be construed as a paradox to some, but honestly, a beer mug can hold copious amount of wine, which aids in the conclusion that unevenly hung tangled lights have character and actually look great. Plus if you don't like beer, you can pretend to be celebrating OktoberFest because of the mug. It’s all unexpectedly synergistic.
Ultimately it occurred to me a couple of days ago there was a real downer regarding all my efforts. I realized that since I omitted the hay and cornstalks, it would be hard for me to extend the decorations to Thanksgiving. Because really? Halloweeny decorations coupled with purple and orange lights do not evoke feelings of Thanksgiving. This means I will have to take down everything, including the lights….right after Halloween. Dang. And I just washed and put away the beer mug too.