Fiber optic Christmas trees have not quite become all the rage, but there is a kind of rich quality to their kitsch-ness that, if only by assonance with Christmas, seems to work. “At any rate,” your save-the-planet neighbor will officiously muse, “At least they didn’t have to kill a tree for the holiday.” Also, the advantage of buying a fiber optic tree, especially one that changes colors, is that you can truly astound your spouse. I remember doing this a few years back. My wife was out of town for a conference in November. When she returned, I had the tree all set up and decorated—not just any tree, but a brand new tacky fiber optic tree that I bought at Walmart. Her jaw dropped, and if only for that moment of something like surprise and horror combined, it was worth saving the life, as it were, of a living pine. And virtually all of our friends and neighbors were both shocked, even mystified when during that festive season they came to our house, the house of a writer, to find the kind of tree that they felt did not befit such an “intellectual” household. The shock factor was definitely worth it.
But what could be more amazing than a fiber optic Christmas tree? I suppose a fiber optic wedding dress could be. Yes, they’re all the rage—or maybe they’re not, but at least as much “all the rage” as fiber optic Christmas trees are. Still, they have the advantage of 1) offending no one in these times when practically anything can offend anyone. A fiber optic wedding dress can’t really offend anyone, even if it doesn’t sit well with their taste. Certainly “offend” would be overstating merely transgressing anyone’s taste. Even grandma will have to say, “Well, dear, that’s very twinkly,” or something to that effect. And advantage number 2) the groom will have no trouble identifying the bride as she comes down the aisle. “Yep, that’s her,” he will think. Thirdly, the pastor can modify his question from “Who gives this woman?” to “Who gives this radiant woman?” or the like. And she will literally be radiant, or at least her raiment will. Fourthly, after the ceremony everyone will say, “She just glowed, didn’t she?” And they will never have to lie about that, as they will certainly mean it.
But, if she divorces and has a divorce party and decides to light her dress afire, then she will have to be especially careful, for fiber optic dresses burn, I would wager, much more quickly than traditional chiffon or lace gowns do. Which is a fifth reason to opt for fiber optic dresses: divorce rates could well go down, as no doubt fiber optic dresses will bear the warning label: “IN CASE OF DIVORCE, DO NO INCINERATE OR EXPLODE.” And some will even add the further admonition: “RECOMMENDED: DO NOT DIVORCE.”
So that’s the moral of this enlightening story: save a tree at Christmas and surprise your spouse (if you have one already) and, at the very least, shock your extended family and neighbors by buying a fiber optic tree. If unmarried, using that as a spring board, when you do get married, buy a fiber optic wedding dress; finally, avoid an exploding dress simply by not divorcing. Lesson learned.