Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Funeral

So, it is no secret that my family is full of characters. We are pretty much divided into two categories: those who have a sense of humor and those who don't.

Now, you may be thinking that the line is pretty clear. Not really. See, of course the ones with the astounding sense of humor are clearly hilarious. But, those who are lacking in the sarcasm department know we are funny, but laugh with the blank look in their eyes that says they know they should be laughing, but really aren't sure what part they are laughing at. Which kinda makes it funnier. Especially when we start to point it in their direction and they are a couple steps behind the joke. Good times.

So I have this aunt, one of my mam's sisters....the eldest. Man, she is a riot. And not the "ha, ha" kind. She is teeny and grey-haired and is very, very long winded. She used to travel from Chicago to visit and bring her cat. Besides the fact that my dear, sweet brother is allergic to cats (like, kinda bad), this cat hid under his bed and by the end of the trip we were all pretty much convinced that Chessy was the anti-Christ coming to kill us all and drag us to hell....right after my Aunt's smoke break.

Naturally, as the years have passed she has gotten crazier...and I mean that nicely? While driving, she is afraid to make left turns, so she won't...she will only turn right. Makes sense. It could be that she has just aged a smite bit, or her favorite cocktail she once accidentally made in the 80's, and never switched from, and the effects are starting to be seen. That would be her Vodka-Vodka. Now, now, I am not judging. Remembering the mixer is hard. We have all been there.

Once she was contacted via a World War II chat room by someone who doing a book report and wanted a personal account of her experience during the war. I can really see how she helped this young boy with her perspective, and the effect the war had on her, and how it made his project a complete success. She was 4 years old at the time of the war after all. Just to clarify, as someone who has also been 4 years old, that is a real pivotal time.....going from two naps down to one.....the social stigmas a young girl had in the 1940's playing in her shirt dresses and little leather Mary Jane's. Tough, tough stuff.

Anyway, so we are at my parent's house after my dad's service and it is packed. People shoulder to shoulder eating and talking, and of course laughing. So many flowers you had to be careful not to trip over them since we ran out of space on the shelves, counters and tables around the house.

So, I am talking with this old neighbor who I haven't spoken to in literally 15 years or so, and my Aunt sitting next to me. The couch is small and the conversation leads itself between all of us. However, in the middle of talking about this or that, my Aunt says with such confidence:

Aunt: "Oh, Jane, you know what your Mam needs to do?"
Jane: ""What? Donate some of the flowers?"
A: "No, adopt a Haitian orphan. I am going to go and tell her that."
J: "Oh, please let me be there when you do."

I can just see it mam, recently widowed, roaming the house with nothing but the sound of Sophie's dog collar jingling and the Haitian orphan playing quietly on a blanket in the front room. They would become bff's and ride on the bike handlebars a la Laverne and Shirley.

I mean, this is a mere couple hours after the memorial service. People are still noshing on their eloquently catered funeral food. We haven't even made a second run to the liquor store yet. And, here is my Aunt, going to tell my mam this suggestion with an intensity that rivaled my hatred that Chic-Fil-A is closed on Sunday. (It's true. They are all bastards.) My mam is also the same one who lost a rescue dog a decade back so I can only imagine how well she would keep up with a malnourished, french speaking child that has recently been displaced due to a horrible catastrophic natural disaster.

Not to mention the logistics of this. Would it go something like:

1. Call the funeral director
2. Find Out About Life Insurance
3. Inquire about Haitian Adoption
4. Sell Dental Practice

Yeah, I can see that situation getting it's own 'Successories' poster real soon.


  1. Jane. Seriously. Crying. Laughing. So. Hard. Haitian orphan? Tell me no!!!

  2. I think this is a brilliant plan. I need your aunt's guidance in my own life.

  3. You know what is great about those particular Aunt suggestions? Thinking about other things that could have been suggested in the same context and seemed as reasonable. Par example:
    Aunt: "Oh, Jane, you know what your Mam needs to do?"
    Jane: ""What? Donate some of the flowers?"
    A: "No, BURN DOWN HER HOUSE FOR THE INSURANCE MONEY. I am going to go and tell her that."
    "No, DEDICATE HER LIFE TO GETTING ON THE PRICE IS RIGHT. I am going to go and tell her that."
    "No, LEARN TO DRIVE A STICK SHIFT. I am going to go and tell her that."
    "No, TAKE PITBULLS INTO NURSING HOMES I am going to go and tell her that."

    - Dear Sweet Brother

  4. I.LOVE.TOM.
    Never met him, but seriously - you guys would have been GRRREAT to have around when I walked these same steps. Course, my family wasn't quite as comical either.