First, I have to apologize to my wife for what I’m about to publicly acknowledge. She probably didn’t see this coming and I don’t mean to be such an embarrassment. On the other hand, it’s not like she didn’t know what she was getting into when she married me. All the “fanboy” signs were there for anyone to see.
My other passion had been in remission the past few years, so I guess she can be forgiven if she thought she had finally won. Age and children have a way of dampening the enthusiasms of youth. This year, though, it’s back and on full display on our Christmas tree.
My zeal was rekindled this holiday season after we cut down our tree, strapped it to the top of the Jeep and brought it home to stand in our living room. My wife and daughter usually revel in putting on some holiday music, donning those fuzzy, red and white Santa hats and breaking out the ornaments. This year was no exception, though I suspect my wife wishes she had thought to purge our decorations of anything that might trigger a relapse.
But she didn’t and now it’s too late. Once again, she’s just going to have to compete with Star Trek for my affections.
My affinity for the venerable Trek franchise began way before my wife and I ever met. But our life together, at least in the early going, can be recalled through my collection of Star Trek-themed Christmas tree ornaments.
The first was a wedding gift — a reproduction of the shuttle craft from the original series when Captain Kirk was in charge. There’s a button on the underside of it that, when pressed, used to play a holiday greeting from Mr. Spock.
I’m sure my wife thought it harmless and somewhat amusing at first — at first. But I could never resist the urge to push that button anytime I was anywhere near our tree. Much to my disappointment, it’s so old now (sabotaged?), it doesn’t work anymore.
In subsequent years, it became something of a tradition for me to receive a new Trek-themed ornament. We have the shuttle’s mother-ship, the original series “Enterprise” hanging from our tree. The Next Generation’s “Enterprise” is there, too. So is a Romulan “Warbird,” a Klingon “Bird of Prey,” and ships from the Voyager series and Deep Space Nine, not to mention assorted other Trek-themed baubles.
When I saw them emerging from the depths of the bin where we store our ornaments, my Star Trek obsession came beaming back to me. I gingerly removed each one from the original box they came in and carefully picked the perfect spot to hang them to maximize their presence. I was completely absorbed.
However, I was snapped out of my reverie shortly after hanging the last one, my “Next Generation” Captain Picard. I never should have turned away after boldly placing him right beneath the star perched atop our tree. When I came back he had been moved to a position an ornament of his caliber has never been before. He now hangs, slightly askew, around the back of the tree. It was as though he’d stepped into a transporter. It was that quick. At least, his pattern didn’t get mixed up while he was being beamed. Otherwise, I never would have seen him again.
I haven’t received a new Star Trek ornament in years and I’d really like to add to my collection. Judging by what happened to Picard, though, I fear that if I go on a mission to seek strange, new ornaments, I’ll be on my own.