Denial: it’s not just a river in Egypt!

Driving along, I noticed a terrible thing.

I pointed it out to my husband: a tree with orange, red and yellow leaves on its outermost branches. “How terrible,” I said. “It’s a sick tree.”

This is a tradition in our family, the wide-eyed denial of the obvious in an attempt at humor. Our portion of the world is blessed with more than its fair share of wintertime, so we ward it off by being stupid. Because as I’ve pointed out before on this weblog, God looks out for fools, drunks, the United States of America, and me.

If I insist we are only seeing a sick tree, then the worst that happens is a dead tree. The tree might, of course, recover. Most likely, what will happen is that all the trees in the area will contract a similar illness, painting the roadside like the top half of a rainbow before fading and creating a thick crunchy carpet all over our lawn. But until that happens, I shake my head (or he shakes his head) and we murmur, “Oh, the poor sick tree.”

We do that a lot. “What’s that white stuff?” I say, staring in horror out the window. “Has powdered detergent fallen out of a passing airplane?” If so, the plane was planning on laundering Europe. The next day, with the world white and frozen, I watch more of the stuff whipping around in the air, and my Patient Husband assures me, “It’s just snow blowing off the roof.” Of course: surely we’re not getting another four inches today. It’s just the stuff on the roof, redistributing itself.

Willful stupidity is a kind of insulation of the brain. As long as I can joke about sick trees and stuff just blowing off the roof, I don’t have to worry just now about the cold, the early dark, the heating bill, and whether the winter coat will last one more year. No worries about ice on the road, or hours of leaf-raking or endless snow-shoveling. It’s just me facing a sick tree.

Patient Husband: The mums are blooming.
Me: They can’t be. Mums bloom when summer ends. That must be a strange colorful fungus on the ends of the stems.
Patient Husband: Of course it is.

Of course, we still humor the world by pretending they know what’s really going on. We will, just to make other people feel better, pull out the thick coats, sweaters, boots and mittens. But it’s really not necessary. After all, it’s just a sick tree.

Advertisements

About philangelus

Mom, freelance writer, novelist, angelphile, Catholic, know-it-all.
This entry was posted in sarcasm. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Denial: it’s not just a river in Egypt!

  1. Ivy says:

    I keep telling myself since Summer of the Stash ends September 21, it can’t really be autumn until then. I’m also trying to convince myself I feel no urge to cast on a sweater.

  2. CricketB says:

    My denial is about how much I can fit into 15 hours of solitude a week. If I stick to it, and avoid the unnecessaries, like reading blogs, and especially commenting on them, and calling Mom, and getting upset when my “you’re being rude” email to someone in RL who insists on sending mega huge emails provokes a “you’re being anal” response.

    Cheers!

  3. knit_tgz says:

    Ivy, technically, you are right. The Autumn equinox is somewhere around that date.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s