When Dan and I moved into our new home in 1997, we struck up a conversation about where we would put our Christmas tree, if we had one, which we do not. I felt strongly that our fictional tree should go in the living room in the front of the house, in front of a huge window so it would look pretty looking in to the house. Dan felt strongly that the fictional tree should go in the back of the house, in the family room, since that’s where we spend all our time. Metaphorically our choices speak volumes but that’s beside the point. For now.
We agreed to disagree that first year, as we have ultimately done every year we’ve been in our house, because we have the same discussion/argument every December. We never let a minor fact (that we don’t have a tree because we don’t celebrate Christmas) get in the way of a good argument. I mean, discussion. The point is that one of us must be 100% right, and Dan must be 100% wrong, and the whole matter needs to be settled.
I think it’s pretty awesome that we don’t have enough real issues to argue about that we make stuff up, but on the other hand, maybe we could both be satisfied with not arguing at all. Nah, not for me. I love the heated back and forth of a fake argument. We’re like our own little debate team, except that one of us is very smug and Dan is not.
Every year, Dan attempts to convince me that we should actually have a Christmas tree. He points out that it is a pagan, not Christian, tradition, but it still makes no sense because we are neither Christian nor pagan. Heck, we’re just barely Jewish enough to know the secret handshake.
There are decorations to be decided upon as well. If we had lights for example, I absolutely, positively would have lights outlining our roof, and of course Santa, his sleigh, and at least half the reindeer. Dan feels equally certain that he would not be climbing around on a roof, because it’s not that much fun to fall. He thinks that argument is going to theoretically get him out of hanging theoretical lights? No sir, I don’t think so. I also think the outside decorations should be way over the top, but in a completely tasteful manner. Something classy like pink flamingos with Santa hats—only a dozen or so because I don’t want it to look tacky or anything.
Why stop at Christmas when there are so many other hypothetical issues to discuss? There is the matter of what we would have named our kids if we’d decided to have kids; we are oceans apart on that so it’s probably best that we didn’t have kids. When I am angry, upset or just incredulous about a situation, Dan likes to remind me that in a parallel universe things might be working out differently. Maybe everything is perfect but I just don’t know it because I’m in this universe while parallel Jill is living it up in another. Seriously, WTF? If I don’t know about it why does it matter? Dan says why do you know about it if it doesn’t matter? I get confused and point out that one of the cats is being super adorable to distract him from the fact that I have no idea what we’re even talking about anymore.
We have occasionally had an argument about how bad it would be to have so many cats as to appear eccentric. Oh I don’t know, 4, just to pick a number at random. I don’t know how many of our cats are with us in parallel universe(s), but right here in this universe the argument is no longer hypothetical.
Anyway, I have another bone to pick with Dan. If we were Christian, would he try to talk me out of having a tree because it’s a pagan tradition? It’s an important matter that we shall settle…eventually.