This week is not going so hot.
But on to a much more cheerful topic than workaday doings: death!
On Monday I went to a wake for someone I didnâ€™t even know (extended extended family of Mr. H). I had to fake Catholic or risk looking like some kind of disrespectful jerk. I come from a family that never even attempted any religious affiliation. I was never baptized, and Christmas was distilled to the purest form of commerce. Presents were half-heartedly wrapped in non-Christmas paper, stacked on the couch, and marked with a note that read “from ‘Santa.'” Luckily I went to an Episcopal high school, so at least I know most of the words to all the top 5 prayers.
So I crossed to the left, I crossed to the right, I bobbed, weaved, mouthed a Hail Mary here and there. I got blessed by Officer Nightstick, er, Father Buzz Cut. This guy was right out of a Tom of Finland illo, verrrry studly. When in Rome, right?
The most awkward part was the kneeler at the casket. Iâ€™d made it through the grieving receiving line, trying to be as supportive as could be given that Iâ€™d never met the olâ€™ gal. So there I was, next to Mr. H, with an actual dead person right at eye level. I am not particularly upset by death, but I did note that if I am ever to be displayed in death, I would like to make sure my nails are painted. Preferably She-dragon red. Itâ€™s just like women and sunscreen: they always forget to do the hands.
â€œWhat are you supposed to do up there?â€ I asked him later.
â€œOh, I usually just say an Our Father to get the timing right.â€ So there you have it.
I have decided that my own coffin will be lined with white fun fur and equipped with a sun lamp in the roof, and I will be sporting a bikini. Lambchop said, â€œI want an open-toe casket!â€ So even in final repose, we mustn’t neglect our pedicure. Tropical drinks will be served. Nothing like a little Harry Belafonte to lighten the mood. Coconut shrimp on skewers, bacon wrapped scallops. Mm-mm. Everyone must compliment their neighbor’s attire and say one nice thing about me.
â€œShe always flossed.â€
â€œShe could rip out checks without tearing them.â€
“She really liked cheese.”
Thus shall be my legacy, thus it is written.