Thursday, December 29, 2011

The December we almost went insane

For anyone who cares about their insanity, heed the following counsel: do not take on a "finish the basement" project while planning a wedding that takes place the week before Christmas. There's a pretty good chance that you will lose your mind.

In fact, I'm pretty sure my dad has already lost his mind, and it won't be long until the rest of us join him at the happy place beyond the breaking point.

The aftermath of Christmas is usually enough to make anyone start to get a little panicky: no matter how many times the parents threaten the children, not all presents make it to their owners' rooms; the mounds of chocolate and other goodies from the neighbors overtake all of the pantry and counter space in the kitchen, making us sincerely wish that we weren't so popular; the Christmas decorations start to sag pathetically and the tree becomes nothing but a nuisance; the garbage accumulated from Christmas morning takes several weeks to get rid of; and the oodles of free time afforded those who are "blessed" with a Christmas vacation turns into slothfulness as our brains become hazy, and the most thought we put into anything is when we're trying to figure out what day of the week it is.

Well, Christmas wasn't the event of our December this year; in fact, it was very much an afterthought, something that at times felt like it was just another thing to check off our list. But we've still had to deal with the Christmas aftermath.

We've also had to deal with the aftermath of the basement not being done in time for the newlyweds to move in.

Which means that the downstairs bedrooms became dusty storage facilities for wedding gifts and unending piles of other stuff that is supposed to somehow fit into that tiny apartment. It means that the upstairs accumulates piles of dust every day (we had to dust the sibling Christmas presents several times before we opened them Christmas morning). It means that Kimberly and Jeremy's Christmas presents are still in the corner of the family room, and their stuff from the honeymoon is spread across the upper level of the house. And of course there are the leftovers from the reception—the huge bowl of crab salad that I swear I ate it at some point without feeling like I was punishing myself, the miraculously untempting trays of fudge, and the overflowing bags of pecan logs—stuff that we usually like, but that we have slowly come to disdain as the food diminishes slower than our appetites can handle.

And that's just from my perspective, one of the girls who knows nothing about building stuff and who can try to ignore the chaos around her by reading princess books, and is also comforted by the fact that she can return to her clean and orderly apartment before the madness subsides here.

The newlyweds, on the other hand, returned from a blissful honeymoon in Idaho only to find that they would be homeless for at least another week. Dad works on that apartment every day, but the cursed basement insists on throwing time-wasting problem after time-wasting problem at him. He keeps getting cabinets, only to find that these ones don't fit either and that he'll have to borrow a truck the next day and head back to Home Depot for the tenth time, where the workers are probably making bets on how many more trips it'll take before my dad cracks and tries to bring back cabinets that were mysteriously smashed during a rampage no one wants to talk about. (What they don't know, however, is that my dad has already lost his mind, and that every problem the basement throws at him at this point will simply make him more detached from the life he knew before the basement, his travel schedule, and his bishop duties consumed it.)

I'm pretty sure this family won't be sad to see the world return to its normal pace. A bit of normalcy should do just the trick to cure this insanity—assuming we survive the next few weeks.

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