a ubiquitous Christmas entry was necessary
This story came to me while I was putting up my first fake tree of my life ever this past week. I have always been a purist when it comes to having a real tree, and I feel as though a part of my childhood died when I bought the PVC tree. But I just couldn't imagine pine needles everywhere in my brand new house. Isn't that a terrible reason to switch to fake? But I bought a white PVC tree, I figured if you're going to go fake don't make people ask if it's fake, be as blatantly fake as possible.
You know how your parents tell you to not put anything in the electrical socket? I listened. I was a really obedient child, I had seven examples of what not to do ahead of me and knew that if I didn't listen consequences were imminent, not something to be toyed with. I am not a parent, and when I do have kids I plan on telling my kids once. If they are near the stove and hear me say no then touch the hot pot I think they will learn that I mean business pretty quick. I say this in the hopes that you will keep me accountable because I'm sure having a mini me is going to soften that resolve pretty quickly. So, anyway, I never put anything that didn't belong in the socket, it was a healthy fear but it wasn't a fully understood fear. I knew that I could get hurt but understanding how electricity was conducted was never discussed. I'm not asking to go back in time and ask my parents to let me jam a fork in the plug, just maybe some clarity as to why may have helped to alleviate some confusion.
I was six or seven, it was Christmas time, and my sister had just braided my hair in twin french braids. I was wearing onesie pyjamas that were made of some awful polymer that was like wearing a garbage bag to bed, and it had booties attached to make it a mini sauna, honestly, my mother wonders why I was such a violent sleeper, it could have had something to do with the heat chamber of death that I wore to bed every night. Of course I thrashed, I dreamt I was in a house fire every time I slept.
So, there I am, just after a bath, warm and snuggly in my sauna pyjamas, braids down my head in the poor-man's curlers, and I was asked to go unplug the Christmas tree. The presents were set out already and I was small enough to squeak by and reach the plug. Every one was in the TV room and the tree was in the living room. I tip toed by the presents and mission-impossibled it to the outlet. I was precariously wedged between a real tree and a small fragile coffee table hovering over the presents and barely balancing. I reached down and tried to pull out the plug. It was stuck in quite tightly.
I wiggled it.
I wiggled it harder. It just wouldn't budge.
I thought, 'maybe I should get a better grip on it' and I moved my tiny fingers closer to the wall outlet and gripped the metal prongs of the plug.
The tree's lights went out and I felt this really odd sensation rip through my body. It felt like my blood vibrated within my veins. I had no idea what happened. I gingerly made my way away from the tree and stood looking at it, as though I was asking it, "what happened?". I gave my body a little shake a la hokey pokey in an effort to get rid of the current that pulsed within me. I felt like my body got a little reset button pressed.
But here's the real kicker, I was embarrassed that I didn't know what had occurred so I didn't tell anyone. I didn't know that I was actually electrocuted. It was the oddest sensation, and it must have been a pretty good shock because I had little frizzy hairs sticking out of my braids atop my head.
I lived to tell the tale. But man, being electrocuted is such an odd feeling. It's shocking. And I think of that every time that I am decorating the tree at Christmas time. Be merry.