Thursday, December 07, 2006

I am a Yearly Decorator

(The following is an essay that I wrote November 16, 1978 for English class. I was 15 and in 10th grade. I have always stressed that everything that I’ve posted on my blog is the truth. Ironically, one of the first “A-plusses” that I received in high school—this essay—is completely made up and a total lie! I don’t think there is one shred of truth in there. I didn’t even use my real first name! I hope that you enjoy my very first fictitious post! )

Well, it’s that time of year again, the time of cheer and goodwill towards men, love, joy, peace, snow—and decorating. Yes, it’s that time when our living room becomes a cheerful victim of my annual decorating job. Scattered all around it are seasonal trinkets of tiny angels, trees, snowmen and Santa’s, with candles gleaming in the windows, wall-to-wall- wreaths, and of course, a giant, jovial tree in the corner that is fat and plump and seems to say, “Everyone is welcome in this home as long as they have love in their hearts” to every person who walks in the front door. ...Can we say "run-on" sentence?

I always try to make everything look as seasonal as possible, even the piano and television, who both get equal amounts of tinsel and false snow. Spelled out across the mirrored wall are the sparkling words, “Merry Christmas”, and songbook after songbook piled on carol books and what-not are on the piano bench, just sitting there patiently waiting to be played. Beneath the twinkling lights in the big front window are three well-carved candles: One red and one green each on the outside, and in the middle a sweet, white angel, all three flickering in the small breeze my father makes as he walks past. I don't think I ever saw my mom light a candle in my whole entire life, unless she was at church. And tinsel and false snow? Not in the "White Glove's" house. It was waaay too messy.

Last but not least, of course, is the beautiful Christmas tree resting in its corner that it will stay in for a few more spirited weeks. A bit modern, it has blinking lights all around, silver garland, and a beautiful lit-up star that sends little butterflies down in your stomach fluttering away. But mostly the tree is antique-looking with balls and bells and angels and stars dating back over forty years. Underneath the tree are presents from each member of the family and for each one. Okay, some of that's true...we did have some real old ornaments, but they were actually bunches of grapes. At least I didn't write about our previous aluminum tree.

I am sad the day I have to see all my treasures going back to the cellar, but I am glad I made so many people smile when they walked into the room.

By,
Lee Scarnato ...I think I was right on schedule for the "I hate my name so let me use a cool nickname" phase.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful!!
You had great imagination!! i like it Lisa, but i like your real name a lot better than the one you used! Have a great weekend!

Lisa said...

Summer,

Thank you for the complement! Actually, the last name IS real, and it means just awful things in Italian (bloodied hands, butchered meat, etc.)! I always hope that my ancestors were butchers and not hit men!

Take good care,
Lisa

Betty said...

You were extremely convincing! The details certainly imply that this fantasy was reality. Thanks for sharing this excursion into your past.

Hugs,
Betty

Teri said...

Dear Lisa...very entertaining chica. I like Lee. She can come decorate my house anytime. ;)

Anonymous said...

Lisa,
Isn't it funny how little girls want to paint a picture of their life much better than it really is?
Every year my granddaughter helps me decorate the tree, and I let her be creative (meaning, oh my god, she can't be serious!) but it's pretty, sort of, and to her it's gorgeous! And I get to scrape that artificial snow off the windows! But its her memories, so let her have them., she's only 8 and one day she might write about them too.
I like stories from the past,,we get a chance to look back at that little girl that still lives inside us., but once in awhile she comes out to play.
Matty

Lisa said...

Betty,

Funny, it seems that my present home resembles my "fantasy" more than the one I lived in when I wrote the essay, although it's not quite as tacky as what I described!

Take good care,
Lisa

Lisa said...

Teri,

"Lee" was a fun, creative person! I'm still trying to figure out what the heck happened to her.

Take good care,
Lee-sa

Lisa said...

Matty,

That is a wonderful gift that you're giving to your granddaughter...the gift of expression. My daughter, her friend and I just had this discussion tonight...my daughter said she couldn't understand how I let her out of the house after she dressed herself at the ripe, old age of 5. I tried to explain to her that it became much easier to "not sweat the small stuff" and just let her wear the red and green plaid pants accompanied by the purple sweater with the pink hearts on it. The temper tantrums just weren't worth it!

Take good care,
Lisa

Anonymous said...

I actually think this was one of your better posts Lisa, I really enjoyed it and the "after comments"!

this week's column is up!

You Can Go Home Again

www.Carine-whatscooking.blogspot.com

Lisa said...

Carine,

Thank you. I'm trying to stay in the holiday spirit this month, and this was easy to post with everything being so hectic right now! Hopefully, I will clear my head enough to come up with something next week. ;)

Take good care,
Lisa

abu_shakuush said...

just wanted to say Aloha, so Aloha:-)

Lisa said...

Abu,

My guess is that you were in Hawaii? Hope you had a wonderful time!

Take good care,
Lisa

Kacey said...

You were the same age as I, when I wrote an essay for Sophomore English. We were assigned the task of writing an essay about Ishmael from "Moby Dick" --- what we thought he looked like and what his character was after reading about half the book. I skimmed through a few dozen pages and then wrote a masterpiece (or figment) of my imagination. The teacher took it to the teacher's lunchroom and asked if any of them knew this girl and did they think it was actually her work or did one of her siblings do it for her? (I was the youngest of five and I actually did their college themes) They all said that it was definitely my work and I, too, got the A+. I felt like such a fake --- but wordsmiths are born, not made. By the time I had this same teacher for Junior English, he picked me up two nights a week and took me to the local university library. I worked on the note cards for his thesis while he was in his master's class. His faith in me was not mistaken and he gave me something I have used throughout my life---"And this, too, shall pass away", Kahlil Gibran. He had written that on the blackboard on the first day of Sophomore English and it has seen me through bad times and wonderful times. We may have faked our way through essays, but our school teachers recognized our abilities before we knew we had them. I know I love your posts! You are special!

Lisa said...

kacey,

My goodness, thank you so much! I love your posts, too, and always look forward to your musings! You have a wonderful wit about you, and your posts make me smile.

Alas, had I only continued on my path to being a creative soul...God blessed me with the talent to draw, but my mom made me go to school for business (probably why I dropped out). I figure by now, I could've been a very successful children's book author/illustrator...Oh well! "It's never too late to be what you might have been." -George Eliot (who's actually a woman named Mary Ann Evans)-that's one of my favorite quotes, especially in this season of my life!

Take good care,
Lisa

Big Dave T said...

You know, I really enjoyed that essay, fictional or not. There were reminders there of Christmas at my house almost fifty years ago.

This is the first time in 54 years that my folks are not going to put up a real Christmas tree. When I heard that, first thing I thought about was those old ornaments we had when I was young. I think you develop an attachment to Xmas ornaments.

We're decorating our own Xmas tree tonight and my son, still at college, warned us that he wanted to put his own special ornaments on the tree himself when he comes home on Saturday.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa,
Great story. Do you keep all your writings from the past ?wow, an essay from 1978.
Sadly, most of my childhood essays are no more. However, now that I maintain a blog I guess it will be
"stored".!

Sham
http://enhancelifethinktank.blogspot.com/

Lisa said...

Dave,

Thanks for popping over!

I can imagine your sadness at the fact that there will be no real Christmas tree when you walk into your parents' house this year! After my mom died almost half my life ago, my dad got rid of the tree, and moved out shortly thereafter. I really miss being able to see my old house decorated for the holidays, and being able to bake with my mom. Gosh, I haven't done that in about forever.

My kids each have their own small box of decorations that they hang--they take it for granted now as teens, but I'll bet in a few years, they will be looking forward to doing it just as much as your son does!

Take good care,
Lisa

Lisa said...

Sham,

Great to hear from you!

Actually, yes, I do have several writings in my attic (I keep this Christmas essay in my yearbook for some reason, so it's always accessable)! They only total about 4 or 5. But I guess my mom thought that they were worth saving, Lord knows it wasn't me who did!

I feel the same way about the "blog": The "comforter is not a bedspread" recording from my first post on here dates back to 1977, and I'm always afraid that the tape will break. Now that it's on the internet, I guess it'll be around until the world ends!

Take good care,
Lisa

Anonymous said...

Lisa,
I've been having a problem as well, can't seem to accept mypassword.