Now I know why I don’t necessarily blog, tweet or write on my wall (Facebook) every day. That’s because if I did I wouldn’t have a column to write. Many times I’ve gone to the computer and started to post something thought-provoking, unique or crazy-funny (usually something told TO me), but then stopped myself. Last week’s a good example: I went to Old Time Pottery, where something very strange happened. I then came home and posted a couple sentences (on Facebook), but decided I’d save it for this week’s column.
Shopping in the Pottery, I bought silver and gold wired ribbon, a couple of ornaments, and then noticed a massive wall of beautiful, high-quality silk flowers. Every size and description were there, including several holiday arrangements. A few fall ones remained, but mostly I saw Christmas themes, and I’d been wanting a new Christmas wreath. It didn’t take long for me to spot the 30% off sign, either. I spent twenty minutes searching through them to find the perfect one (reaching on my tippy-toes, then kneeling on the floor—getting a workout, in the meantime). Soon, a sweet, little old lady came by and joined me, searching for a wreath, herself. She asked my opinion on a fall decoration and I told her it was beautiful—especially the tiny pumpkins that looked so real. She said she was going to hang it on her husband’s office door. Fine, I thought, I’ll go ahead and make my selection to hang on my front door at home.
I picked up the best of the best and placed the lush, colorful wreath at eye level in my cart, then stood back to get a good view. There were strands of boxwood, thick holly leaves, large berries and gorgeous velvety cranberry-colored poinsettias. However, I did notice a tacky sprig of gold glitter that I knew I’d just pull out and replace with something more authentic. Martha Stewart would be proud of me: she may not approve of a total fake (albeit silk) wreath, but she would approve of my adding some juniper and pittosporum from my own front yard.
But something was wrong with this wreath. I couldn’t decide what, at first. I closed one eye and held up my hands like a picture frame. Then I came forward and inspected it closely. Oh—that was it! There was no HOLE in the middle. I turned it over and noticed two (not one) metal hangers on the back—most unusual. I knew it wouldn’t fit on my over-the-door hanger. My jaw dropped open, surprised. What was the problem?
That’s when I realized—these weren’t regular wreaths. A large sign read, “Cemetery arrangements.” Uh-oh! I was holding a funeral wreath. Yes I was! I almost dropped it. The thought of it seemed morbid to me. I even told the lady with the pumpkin wreath my findings and she said she didn’t care, she was buying hers anyway.
Not me. I can’t explain why, but it seemed wrong to buy this wreath. I felt like a fake (even though I wasn’t and it was). Why? I don’t know. I hesitated—I almost felt like someone with a real loss needed it worse than me, especially since I didn’t have any loss at all. Other thoughts and curiosities filled my (confused) head: I have never, ever driven past a cemetery and seen flowers of this calibre. In fact, something this beautiful wouldn’t stay that way very long outside, what with fading from the scorching sun and shredding from the wind and rain. But, wait, I thought to myself “This is silly.” I put it in the cart again. I rolled forward a few feet and stopped, thinking, “No, this is just too weird.” Then I thought back to the pumpkin wreath lady and thought, “Well, if it’s good enough for her…” But I couldn’t do it. I put it back, for whatever reason.
I’m glad I did too. For one thing, Russell would NEVER let me live it down (no pun intended). He’d have so much fun announcing to his golfing buddies and coworkers what a strange purchase I made. He’d probably also fuss about the price—saying, “Why’d you buy a new one? We have a dozen wreaths in the garage!” (Do not.) But this much is true: last year’s wreath may not be perfect, but I made it myself for the purpose of displaying on our front door for the Christmas holidays and it REALLY is a wreath—it even has a hole in the middle!