Kate, my always awesome step-daughter, is turning 14 this weekend. I remember how mature I thought I was at 14 and I can only ruefully laugh at myself. Now Kate has grown up plenty. It used to be that I could make double entendres and the like for Nicole’s benefit and they’d go right over Kate’s little head. Now Kate makes a point of saying, “I understood that,” and glaring at me disapprovingly when I’m too saucy. It’s very cute.
But Kate is not all the way grown up just yet. Yesterday she and Nicole went shopping for a Xmas tree. We opted for a wee tree this year, which suits our house well. When they got home, Nicole explained it took them a while to find a good one. Apparently many of the trees had been crushed or bent out of shape or crushed when stacked up in storage.
“It was so sad,” Kate said. “They really need a tree fluffer to fix them.”
I smiled at her like she was being cute, while desperately holding in a belly laugh. “A tree fluffer?” I queried, meeting Nicole’s eye.
“Yeah, you know,” she replied. “Someone who can fluff the trees and get them back into the right shape.”
“Ah, yes,” I said, “an important job. I guess that’d be seasonal work.”
“Yup!” she agreed. “You wouldn’t need a tree fluffer in any other part of the year.”
I let it drop there and Nicole and I managed not to fall over laughing. I was not about to explain to my step-daughter what a fluffer was. Nicole and I had a good laugh about it after Kate went to bed though.
And when I got home from work today, the first words out of Kate's twin-separated-at-birth Miranda were, "Oh good, Daddy's home. He can fluff the Christmas tree for us." Then in an aside to one of her friends, "Daddy's our official tree fluffer."
Which means the artificial Christmas tree is once more out of the box and on the stand, but its branches look like they just spent a year in a box and could use a little — well — fluffing.
Funny enough "fluffing" Is the actual term for spreading the limbs and arranging a fake tree.
I work retail and our guide for setting up our displays used the exact wording. So for at least 4 hours that first days I was a professional tree assembler and fluff'er.
Sounds like Kate was right and you two "adults" were just acting childish because a word sounded funny to you. =P