On Thursday night and Friday, I fought vainly that old ennui. You know, the telos versus deontos: Is what I am doing good for something? Or is it good in itself? If so, why am I not going anywhere and not feeling good about being present in the moment much like I have been present in similar moments for the last fifteen years? Pragmatism versus stoicism/Buddhist mindfulness, if you would. And thinking whichever one I was supposed to be doing, I was doing it wrong anyway.
So on Saturday, I headed over to the Hobby Lobby looking for some wire and some camouflage scrapbook paper. I mentioned last year that I wanted to put my father-in-laws waterfowl calls into a shadow box, and in between then and this summer I did. I used camouflage scrapbook paper instead of fabric, and I used fishing line to tie the calls to the shadow box back. Why? Because the shadow box my mother-in-law had built for us used fishing line, which is unobtrusive, in it. But the fishing line knots, inexpertly applied by yours truly, came loose, and the calls partially fell inside the box.
So I thought I’d do with with wire this time. So I headed to Hobby Lobby for more paper and some wire. And Christmas decorations were in full bloom in the Hobby Lobby. So, on a whim, I bought a little resin Santa Claus for $3.50 and stuck him on the mantel in the living room to see if/when anyone notices.
I told my youngest we would be putting up the Christmas tree in a couple of weeks, and he protested, saying we normally don’t decorate until Thanksgiving. I pointed out that is in two weeks, regardless of whether the daily high temperatures are 75 degrees right now. And I mentioned to my beautiful wife that the local radio station that goes to Christmas music has done so for the last two months of the year.
Putting that little Santa on the mantel made me feel a little better, probably more so than the amusement of wondering if/when they will discover it (no one has so far, although everyone walks through the room several times a day) than the Christmas spirit. But it could have been worse: On the way to Hobby Lobby, I passed someone giving away free Australian Shepherd puppies. Now they would have noticed that (and I was tempted, because what eliminate ennui like a puppy?).
At any rate, it’s not like we have put up a small Christmas tree like after our Christmas-themed trunk for Trunk or Treat in 2021 or when I started playing Christmas records in October 2020. So I’m still not that guy. But I am getting closer. Also, I found a Christmas record that was misfiled in the Nogglestead LP library (where the Christmas records are the only ones kept together and sort of organized, apparently only mostly), so it’s on the desk by the record player. So the odds of it finding its way to the turntable in the next couple of days are pretty high.
UPDATE: It was less than ten minutes before I started listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s The Holly and the Ivy, the aforementioned formerly misfiled Christmas record. My beautiful wife, passing through, commented on it. But she has still not seen the Santa.