Dec 06 2006

The F**cking Candle Story

Seriously? Are you guys telling me that I totally forgot to tell you about the damn candles?

It’s not really that great of a story, but it has caused some impressive irritation in the people who have heard it.

We have a company party in December of each year. We cannot call it a “Christmas” or even a “Holiday” party because an employee, who is much-loved, is a Jehovah’s Witness and will not go if it is associated with anything “Holiday”-like. So we changed it to an “End-of-the-Year” party. Whatever. Silly semantics.

So last year the organizer bought red and green, 4-wick, pillar candles to use as part of the centerpiece at each table. Nobody noticed. Nobody complained. Everybody had a fantastic time. Wonderful!

This year, the regular organizer was feeling a bit overburdened with work and asked if I could help her by checking out WalMart for the candles. She asked for 9 of each color- red and green. No prob!

I went on a Saturday with my mom (the President’s wife, but really- please don’t jump to any conclusions that include the word “nepotism.” I got my job on my own, thank you very much) and Cole in tow. When she found out why I was buying 18 huge candles in red and green she just about threw a hissy.

Mom: “Why are you getting red and green? Those are Christmas colors! This is not a Christmas party! We cannot have anything Christmas! The colors are supposed to be blue and white! BLUE and WHITE!!

Me: “Uh…I’m really just doing as I was told. Besides, the candles were red and green last year and nobody complained.”

Mom:”Well, they’re supposed to be blue and white. I don’t know what [the organizer] is thinking. We CAN’T have red and green.”

Me: “What’s the big deal? They are just COLORS. And anyway- blue and white are Hanukkah colors. Isn’t that equally as offensive?”

Mom: “NO! BLUE AND WHITE ARE WINTER COLORS! IT HAS TO BE BLUE AND WHITE!”

I bought the goddamn red and green anyway because it doesn’t fucking matter and, like I said, it was what I had been told to do.

Two weeks later I got a phone call from the organizer saying that someone had complained and the President was asking us to take back the 18 fucking red and green candles and buy 18 fucking WHITE candles. I know it was my mom.

Back go the candles into my car. Back they go into WalMart (one of my least favorite places in the world, but damn are they cheap. These candles were only $4.88 EACH!). I had to wait in line to try to explain, go get 18 fucking white candles (I’m sorry- it’s the only way I can refer to them anymore) and wait in line again to exchange them. A fucking HOUR of my life wasted on PC bullshit. I believe in being respectful to other ways of thinking (I don’t have to agree, but I won’t necessarily be rude, either), but I don’t think you could call this anything but bullshit.

Since when do colors matter that much? Red and green are color compliments! They look pretty together! WHAT THE FUCK?!

And my mom? She isn’t even religious. We “celebrate” Christmas, but it’s really a celebration of family, not anything spiritual.

So anyway, that’s the story of the candles. Not that exciting, but, like I said, there’s something about it that really gets people riled up. Funny.