Did you know that a small, kinda largish number of people don’t keep up with me on my blog? I know, crazy, right? I’ve been documenting my progress on Operation Decorate-Before-My-Guy-Comes-Home-For-Thanksgiving on Facebook for the past week–I told you all about it in my previous blog post–and I gotta tell you, it’s an uphill battle. Even worse, an unexpected uphill battle. I have this thing with establishing a tradition and then sticking with it. When it comes to Christmas, it starts wayyyyy back in my childhood. Dad would put the tree up–I’d help–then I’d decorate. This changed when I turned 14, though.
Why 14? Because VHS became slightly affordable. Don’t worry, it’s part of the tradition thing and I didn’t suddenly jump the shark. Anyway, one of the first jobs I ever had was as a dishwasher and the first item I ever bought with my check was Star Trek: The Motion Picture. From K-Mart. 15 Mile and Groesbeck. There’s a piece of trivia for you. Christmas came around that year–as it does every year–and I not only took over putting the tree up, but decorating it, which I did while watching the Star Trek tape.
This became the norm every year and I added a new Star Trek film whenever one was released. I moved out of my folks home after I graduated from college and they gave me the tree to take with me. That was 18 years ago. And each year, I’d put the tree up and watch the Star Trek films while I decorated. Right up until about three years ago. Pookie came home for the holidays, decided he’d help me decorate, then insisted we put something else in besides Star Trek. I was aghast. I was indignant. He ignored my reactions and put something else in. He was summarily cut out of assisting with the tree after that until he agreed to watch the films I’d been watching all these many years. I’m not allowed to mess with Chinese tradition and he’s not allowed to mess with Trek!
Flash forward to two nights ago. I wanted to surprise him and have the entire place decorated before he arrives for Thanksgiving, only the tree was missing pieces. It was missing pieces I can’t fix, recreate or make up for. The poor thing doesn’t owe me anything. It’s been with my family for 35+ years, existed through all our dogs and, truth be told, it’s been ready to retire for a number of years now. Pookie and I were just too attached to the tradition of having it to let it go.
They don’t make them like this anymore. I searched a number of stores last night and the trees are just…kinda awful-ish. They’re pre-lit (that’s cheating!) and flimsy, even the expensive ones. Our old one was strong, a combination of wire stuck into a wooden frame and it had a history. I’m actually still misty-eyed at the thought of no longer having it.
But, I look at it this way. This is a time to start new traditions. My guy and I are getting married in a few months. How incredible is it that any gay couple can get married? Who knew we’d ever see it? The world is changing around us, but it doesn’t mean we can’t hold on to some of the traditions we…er…one of us has loved throughout the years. Come hell or high water, I’m still going to watch Star Trek movies while I decorate the tree.
And I still have pictures of my old tree to go along with the memories the holiday will bring up. So here’s to tradition and making some new ones during the upcoming months!
Kage Alan is Star Trek: The Motion Picture watching, Il Divo listening author of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to My Sexual Orientation,” “Andy Stevenson Vs. the Lord of the Loins” and the first book in a separate series, “Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell.” There’s a rumor that Superman IV is a horrible movie. It is. It shouldn’t be a rumor. But, if you listen to the commentary, you’ll know why. It wasn’t anybody in the production’s fault. Damn studio… As awful as it is, I still have to wonder what the original director’s cut was with the additional 40 minutes.