Accidental Kleptomania, Christmas Light Debacles, and Almost Fires

Well, I really suck at updating every single day like I wanted to in honor of Nanowrimo. If it helps, I also suck at Nanowrimo. By the tenth I had over forty-three thousand words. As of now, I’m still a thousand away from my goal. Take this month, mix it with decorating for Thanksgiving / winter, my birthday, Thanksgiving, tearing down the Thanksgiving decorations and redecorating for Christmas, Christmas shopping, and preparing for my mom’s birthday on the first of December, and you have my source of complete suckage. I know that’s not a word, but just amuse me.

All of that, however, is okay, because I have an awesome post full with stupidly fun stories for all of you, if I do say so myself. And I do. Which means probably no one else will agree. That sounds about right.

But first and foremost, how was Thanksgiving for all of my American readers? I hope it went well for all of you. There was only three of us and somehow mine ended up being a train wreck, because I found out the day before that no one picked up what they were supposed to, and ended up running around like a chicken with my head cut off. At first I lost my shiz, but then I took on a new mantra. What would Lemon Breeland do? She would smile, and then get up and walk right out of the room and eat alone when someone would not stop treating her like a slave and she had had enough. And that’s exactly what I did. I’m going to use that mantra for Christmas too. But let’s move on to fun things, like stories.

Folks, I am an accidental kleptomaniac. Since I know some of you are new readers and don’t know me from my other blog, this apparently runs in the family. My Aunt Bev is also an accidental kleptomaniac. Just go right on ahead and click that link for the prior story. You know you want to. I’ll wait.

And now that you’re caught up with that, let me tell you about my little adventure. Yesterday, I was happily working outside on an unseasonal sixty some degree day and trying to get my Christmas lights up and such. Low and behold, not one, but TWO strings of lights decided to commit suicide over the winter, while shoved in boxes above the garage and feeling unloved. These two particular sets of lights, of course, strung around the lattice of the porch and were needed in order to make my Christmas display cheery. Therefore, I was forced to throw clothes on, looking all a mess in order to get back in time to put the new lights up in the daylight, and run to the store.

While I was at the store, I ended up buying extremely cute snowflake lights that switch from white to blue and make me a million kinds of happy. That was all I was supposed to buy. I was so excited over the Christmas decorations at the store that another lady and I ended up decorating our yards together as we stood in the store in front of the wide variety or lawn ornamentation. At one point her husband even came over, said “oh gees,” and walked far, far away from us. I knew I was in trouble when I happily left the store with the lights I needed, plus a lighted window snowman, a small santa and reindeer display for the yard, and antique candle pathway lights. Oops.

When I left the light store, I ran to the store next door to pick up rug scrubber solution. I was going to explain why, but then realized that was pretty self-explanatory. I was also looking for one last gift for my mom, so as I was trolling the aisles, I came across some holiday throw rugs that were on sale. Ours are getting so old that they no longer lay flat on the ground like a rug should do, and their hobbies now enjoy tripping us as we walk and entangling a cat within them. I’m pretty sure they laugh, too. Our human ears just can’t hear it.

Anyway, seeing how cheap these rugs were on sale, I snatched one of those suckers up, put it in my cart, and was immediately distracted by something else that I wanted for my mom like it was shiny, even though it was not. I threw it in the cart on top of the rug I had bought, and then realized that the rugs were a two-for sale, and with the points I had on my card, they’d be two for five dollars, and who can pass up a deal like that? Not me, so I grabbed another one. I then looked around for a present for a friend and went to the front to wait in line. Since there was only one register open, I waited for twenty minutes just to get to the check out. Seeing as it was the Saturday after Thanksgiving, this was not wise on their part, but I digress. When I did finally make it to the check out, the woman and I chatted as I got checked out, and I watched her scan my items. She picked up both of my rugs separately, scanned them separately, and put them back into the buggy separately. I collected my purchases an went on my way.

Later, as I was unloading my purchases, I picked up both rugs, together, and the one item I had put in, that same thin little item for my mom that I threw in between my rug excitement, fell out and onto the ground. It wasn’t in a bag. I pulled out my receipt, having forgotten totally about it and not remembering the woman scanning it, to find that she had not scanned it. In fact, even though she had picked up both rugs separately, I had not seen it and forgotten about it until just that moment. I have no idea how it was missed and didn’t fall out sooner. Logistically, it makes no sense. It was one of those magical things like how, when my family and myself arrived home from a shopping trip, this reindeer stuffed animal that I wanted and my mom and grandma told me they couldn’t afford ended up in the bags when we got home and no one had paid for it or known how it got there. That was twenty years ago, and to this day it still befuddles us.

And, as I was standing there in awe of this seemingly mysterious event, that’s when I realized that I was now officially an accidental kleptomaniac. And here I was with Aunt Bev just six months ago wondering how in the heck that even happens. Now, just as Aunt Bev has done, I will right my wrong. I feel so dirty having stolen merchandise, even though I didn’t purposely steal it. But I will go back and pay for it and explain what happened while handing over my $3.49 and hope that no one arrests me or exiles me from the store. They don’t arrest you for three-dollars and forty-nine cents, right? Especially when you go back and pay for it. Now I’m thinking like Aunt Bev. But what makes this even funnier is I have enough points with this store to pay for it, so I’m going to go back and go “Hi, I accidentally stole this, but I have enough points to pay for it, so I didn’t really come back to pay for it in cash, but to redeem my points on it.” That should be beyond awkward. Maybe I’ll just hand them money.

After I finally got over the shock of being an accidental criminal, I decided to hang the lights. As is par for the course with any time I attempt to put lights up, I didn’t buy enough. To be fair, I had done that on purpose, planning to use another set of snowman lights I had in between the snowflake lights, so that the snowman were flanked in snowflakes. It ended up being a lot cuter in my head than it actually was, so today I had to run back out and get more snowflake lights and find a new home for the snowmen. On a good note, I had a $10 coupon, which, since the lights were on sale, paid for my last box.

After my purchase, I merrily came home and used my Christmas spirit to finish lighting up the house. At least that’s how it was supposed to go and went in my head. The snowflake lights went up like champs, and I nearly sang Christmas carols to them in delight, but stopped seeing as I was outside and might assault the horses across the street with my bizarre singing of the carols. After that, I delightfully started to go through the outside lights for our one tree display. An hour later, one strand in the garbage, and nearly fifty burnt out bulbs, I had two strands of lights to use. Yes, it was absolutely as pathetic as it sounds. To make it more pathetic, it wasn’t supposed to rain today, but did. After it got dark, it stopped raining and warmed up, so then there I was outside like a loon putting up Christmas lights in the dark. I would, in fact, be that crazy neighbor everyone talks about and stares at, but just for today. Usually that honor goes to our neighbor who is high all the time. I don’t know if I should feel honored or insulted that I one-upped her.

And when I thought the fun with lights was over, I noticed my strand of lights for the regular Christmas tree was half burned out and completely unfixable. Just half. Now I have to go back out to get more Christmas lights. In retrospect, I did this to myself, because I should have checked the Christmas tree lights out, too, but since the tree wasn’t up and I hadn’t gotten in the box with the indoor lights yet, it was an out of sight and out of mind issue. So with all my light issues, when I noticed two small lights burned out on the strand on my railing, I just shook my hand at them and went in the house. These Christmas lights are much smarter than me. But I learned an important lesson today: When you start calling the Christmas lights smarmy little jerks, it’s time to put down the electrical tape walk away.

When I walked away, I came inside and went into my room. My first thought upon entering was “Oh my damn, something smells nasty.” My second thought was to find that smell. When I did locate the smell, this is what I found.

Yeah, Folks, at one time, in another life, that was the box to my dehumidifier. The dehumidifier is fine. Go figure. This box is, however, toast. To add insult to injury, this isn’t even my dehumidifier. It was Aunt Bev’s, and she had lent it to me to try and help with my mold problem. To add injury to a pre-existing injury that was already aggravated by insult, this baby was sitting all on its lonesome and apparently decided, without touching anything else in the room except the floor, that it was just going to go right on ahead and not only melt, but somehow manage to collect any random dog hair that was floating around the room. For an inanimate object, it sure is a crafty little sucker.

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