A Rainy Day, Lost Luggage, and Christmas Lights

A Rainy Day, Lost Luggage, and Christmas Lights


I love these as a litmus test.
We should be able to stand behind one of those one-way mirrors that they have in police stations and episodes of Law and Order, and put that “special someone who we’re thinking of committing to, through these circumstances.

They don’t have to pass all three – how about two out of three? I’m not a total ass.


I’ve seen men walk with a CLOSED umbrella over their heads. Like its emasculating to try to stay dry. “Real men get wet.” Sorry guys, that’s a fail.
Kinda like not turning on the windshield wipers until you can barely see – so as not to scratch the glass. (One guy’s excuse, as we narrowly missed hitting a pedestrian) Fail.


I once traveled overseas with a guy who had purchased brand new expensive Hartmann luggage.
The whole matching set. They were so new and beautiful they screamed STEAL ME.
Alas, the garment bag didn’t show up for 24 hours.
He didn’t need ANYTHING in that bag that day; it was 2am when we landed. He had his toiletries and two other suitcases of stuff, yet he pitched a fit that came close to starting an International incident, in a room that had one naked little lightbulb hanging from the ceiling and a clerk who I’m positive spoke not one word of English. He just kept nodding, handing us coffee, and paperwork to fill out. Mountains and mountains of paperwork.

Well played airport luggage guy. I didn’t sleep for two days from all the strong coffee, but I found out who I was dealing with the minute I landed on foreign soil.


Now, I can snark away at the previous failures because it is I who fail the tangled Christmas light test. EVERY FRICKIN’ YEAR.

I will swear under oath, on my mother’s life, that I put them away neatly wrapped into a tight circle with the ends plugged into each other, yet, when I take them down from the attic every year, they look as if they have been stolen by honey badgers to make a nest, or used to light the Eiffel Tower or to start a yarn ball; and then thrown back in the box as the biggest, tangled mess that ever existed.
Lights are missing; some are broken.
How is that even possible? They obviously live a life from January to December; that I know nothing about.

AND they NEVER light the second year. What’s up with that?

The box guarantees: will light up even if lights are missing.
It’s a mortal sin to lie at Christmas – Christmas Light Company. Don’t BS a Catholic.

Impossibly tangled with only half the strand lit up. I can feel my blood pressure spike.

Now it’s a thing. They do it to mock me.

But I’ve created my own solution:
I have two imaginary twin sons that help me decorate for Christmas, since my husband is related to the Grinch and stays as far way as possible on tree trimming day.
Timmy and Tommy.
They are gay and they are fabulous. They wear Christmas sweater vests and make Martha Stewart look like a hack.
We make cider and put on the carols and then I make them take the lights out of the box. I see them trying to hide the tangled mess from me, behind their backs. I’ve kicked my Christmas tree until it begged for mercy – out of frustration.
Two hours to untangle the fucking lights and then they don’t light? Do you blame me?

So the past few years I’ve just gotten drunk on egg nog or spiked cider, sung my Karen Carpenter carols and let my imaginary boys do it all for me.

So now you know. I have a wicked temper, a vivid imagination and I need to get a life.

Hey, I said two out of three, remember?
Maybe my husband isn’t the Grinch. Maybe he’s just smart.

What are your two out of three?



  • wishing4peace says:

    Well, for goodness sake, what do you expect when you practically macrame the lights onto the tree? lol 🙂

    I have tried my Dad’s famous tree-light packing technique where you use a section of wrapping paper roll (cut above and below the bent part that occurred because you just HAD to whap someone over the head with it) and gently and methodically wrap the lights around in a neat spiral. Tuck the ends in to small cuts at each end to secure them so they do not tangle. Layer gently in the red and green plastic bin with layers of the cotton “snow” so they are protected for next year.

    November 26, the following year, drag out previously mentioned bin (plus the four other Christmas bins.) Gently remove the light strands that were so carefully stored, plug them in… :-/
    Of course they do not light.
    And then … throw the m’f’n things away and storm off to Target (or more recently…the dollar store) and buy new ones.

    Do you really want to know the saddest part of this? I did not throw the old ones away. There is one bin specifically dedicated to Christmas lights that will no longer light because SOMEDAY, when I HAVE TIME, I intend to try to fix them. This bin has at least one strand of lights from every Christmas for the past eight years.

    Lost luggage? Ummm, ever fly out of Miami? The letters that represent the airport are M I A, which will be the status of your luggage upon departure.

    Umbrellas? Now I have a fun ideology with umbrellas. This is Southern Florida. It rains pretty much everyday. Short little storms roll through in the afternoon last for about 15min to an hour. Lots of people here have adopted the philosophy of “take one, leave one” when it comes to umbrellas. That is fine, as long as the “leave one” part is observed. If you have a plain, black or otherwise desirable umbrella it will walk away. To combat this little social phenomenon I have adopted the tendency to keep the most obnoxiously patterned umbrellas on hand. Blue butterfly, leopard, zebra, cartoons etc. etc. I have managed to keep all four for over 2 years now. Mission accomplished.

    Big Hugs!!

  • Dominator says:

    Litmus test:
    1. Table manner (how you hold a fork in particular).
    2. How you treat service people.
    3. How my dog feels about you.
    No two out of three here… This is a no tolerance zone.
    I’m an ass!

  • bwcarey says:

    you should write comedy, two out of three ain’t bad, but what about the bathroom, is that not the litmus test, if men are behaving like women, as they have been for years, hey where did you put the mirror dear, has anyone seen my makeup bag, it’s time to change the medication, great post

    • jbertolus says:

      Thank you! You know, sharing a bathroom is one of the ultimate litmus tests. So is traveling with someone. I’ll have to start another list. 😉

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