part 2: brightening the night

There is more to the story about the night we delivered thank you notes for beautiful christmas light displays. And it was only after I was telling my friends Jon and Ali that I realized how worthy of a second blog post that night actually was.

Because it actually went down like this. The second house we stopped at had it's curtains pulled, but I was spotted walking to the door. So I felt obligated to ring the doorbell, lest they think I'm creepy. Everyone inside yelled, "Come in! It's open! Come on in!" I think they thought I was someone else. When I did open the door I had to talk fast because there was a dad on the couch getting his hair gelled in every direction by three middle school girls. He said, "Like my hair?" And the boys on the couch all laughed. I had walked into some family gathering of cousins and kids and a dad with awesome hair. And then I had to explain myself, "Hi. I'm out with my kids tonight and they loved your christmas lights, so we wrote this little note..." They were gracious and I was quick to exit.

I got back to the car and told Rory about the cousin party and he was growing in his own discomfort of this whole thank you note idea. He said, "you can't ring the doorbell. Just tape the note and leave."

So the next house I did that. But again I was spotted, so by the time I got back to the car, the lady had her body half out her front door, "Can I help you?!!" "Oh, right. I just taped a little thank you note for your pretty christmas lights. I'm out with my family and my kids really loved your big tree..."

The next house I was ready. I would tape and leave. Tape it and leave.

This house was close to ours, out in the country. It was kind of a cabin style house with a driveway that made a horse shoe all the way around the back side. I walked to the front door, closest to the road. But it seemed more like a back porch. Rory agreed and drove me to the back of the house, where we saw a little patio that led to sliding glass doors. I got out, walked onto the patio and knocked on the glass.

And then I processed what my eyes were seeing.

I was gazing into a master bedroom. The closet was wide open. And so was the master bathroom, where a woman stood in panty hoes and a shirt, curling her hair.

A huge dog was barking on the other side of the sliding door and an adult daughter was trying to wrestle it into the hallway to close it out so she could open the door to let me in.

And I just had to stand there, processing all that I was peeping into, while slowly acknowledging in my head, "Rory was so right. He was so right. Tape it and Leave." But there I was.

The daughter opened the door and the mom came to the door too. And I started up my sorry story, "Hi, my kids and I are out for a drive looking at christmas lights, and they love yours on your house and wanted you to have this award..."

I used the word award. Because it seemed a bigger deal, necessitating my standing on their back patio that looked into their bedroom on a dark winters night.

And maybe it was because she was in her nylons getting ready for a fun party, or maybe it was because my pitch was so awkward, or maybe it was because she just wanted me off of her deck, but this lady acted so grateful and pleased at the award she had just won. By my two and four year old.

I got in the car and told Rory to, "drive. now. please."

And he didn't laugh nearly as hard as I did. His discomfort was palpable.

But I still got one more house out of him. We drove up to a dark house, except for the stunning outline in colorful lights all around the roof lines. I walked up to the unlit front door, confident no one was home. And as I taped the envelope to the door of this isolated country front door, the large dog that I hadn't noticed woke up beside me, stood tall and started to sniff me out. And I graciously explained to him, "I'm just leaving this award on your door, because we like your lights and I'm going to leave, see, I'm leaving, so..."

And then I told Rory we could call it a night.

Oh we have laughed about this. I still stand by this idea as a quality one. It's got some kinks to be sure, but I still think it's novel and fun.

And now when we drive past the house with the horse shoe driveway Rory tells us all to, "wave to mrs. pantyhose, kids!"


Jennifer Prod said...

this is such a sweet idea. my husband and i do this thing where we drive around and secretly (between the two of us) judge the best lights in the city - i've considered making a printable to hang on the door of the winner :)

Janice Austad said...

Oh my word, this made me laugh until I had tears in my eyes. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Oh, so funny. Perhaps leave the note in the mailbox?

Lacy said...

Hahahahahahaha!!!!!! I'm laughing so hard! Awesome!

Becca Groves said...

Janice, I'm so glad you found this funny! I thought it was hilarious and it keeps getting funnier with the passing of time. For sure your tree over your garage would have gotten an award :)


Nancy Holte said...

Seriously, tears are running down my face because I am laughing so hard. But, I LOVE your idea, and I commend you for doing it!

Nancy Holte said...

Oh seriously, I thought I had missed this story the first time around because I have no recollection of it, and yet, I see my comment from last year right above where I'm now typing. It's still a great story and as I read it tonight for apparently the second time my thought was, "Only Becca." :)