Sunday, December 14, 2014

The White Lights

I never thought I would celebrate Christmas again.  I put the kibosh on the whole charade 20 years ago.  I believe in neither God nor holiday capitalism, so what was the point?  A religious family which was dogging/godding me at every turn did not make for pleasant digestion, so I would spend my Eves at dive bars commiserating with the lonely barflies and spend my Days hung over.  The way it should be.

Then I got The Love, The Marriage and all dat.  My baby wants to celebrate Xmas, so why not?  Why let the Miserable Bastard ruin her Xmas?  This year she went completely Christmas crazy: baking dozens of batches of cookies in dozens of styles, combining ancient Czech recipes with ancient Google ones--and even rummaging through the forest for pine needles to make a hand made wreath.  I’m shocked.  In a good way.

Then came the Xmas lights. One day last week, a cheap handful of small colorful lights were dropped on my lap with the orders to hang them somewhere festive.  There they hang, in the side window of our garden cottage, just bright enough for the next door neighbors to witness our seasonal solidarity.

Then came the most unpleasant part, the ugly beast which I had sworn I had slain:  The Christmas Shopping.  You see, you can’t just have one of those fucking potato chips; you have to eat the whole bag.  Eight scrawny lights in the window weren’t enough.  We needed to bedazzle this bitch, apparently. Eight hours of shopping in at least 8 different places yielded the same result: no colored Xmas lights.  Apparently the colored lights hanging in our window were a one-off shopping deal at a small market.  Undaunted, our search raged on. We even ran the foul and frenetic gauntlet at IKEA with the other Saturday rats in the maze.  I don’t think IKEA makes a gazillion dollars because their pseudo-balsa-wood furniture is so goddamned chic.  They make a gazillion dollars because they FORCE you to walk through a sense-addling maze and view EVERY SINGLE FUCKING THING THEY SELL.  Even the ‘shortcuts’ are a ruse.  You just go back to another part of the maze you wanted to avoid.  You can’t get out of there without spending at least 50 EUR and that’s the trap.

We noticed a trend in Berlin; maybe it’s the same in the rest of Germany outside of our island of weird:  all of the Xmas lighting is white.  Try and try, walk and walk, bitch and bitch as I may, nobody had the goods.  When my baby asked the tall Aryan man in the IKEA vest where we could find colored xmas lights, he responded—in a loud and proud voice, I might add—“Nur weiss! (Only white!).

I’m not sure what is was that made that seem odd to me; maybe it was his blond hair, his blue eyes, or his square jaw hoisted in the air when he said ‘Only white!’ with pride.  White pride.  Or maybe I’m being paranoid.  Maybe it was the 8 hours on my feet with my goddamn dogs barking.  Maybe he did not in fact mean ‘You are here in Germany.  All we have to offer you are white lights.  Und you vill like zem.  Colored lights are for other countries with colorful persons and colorful personalities.’

You can have your xmas lights in any color you want--as long as it's WHITE.

But there is something weird going on here.  As we were dragging our defeated asses home with no lighting assets (and 10 EUR worth of IKEA shit we hadn’t planned on buying—HA-HA! We didn’t spend 50), we noticed that the very few houses on our block that had Xmas lights had only white ones.

Goddamn racist bastards.