I’ve started planning my funeral. No, I am not dying. I cancelled my Netflix subscription so I need something to do.
My children, both in their twenties, find this horrifying. I’d like to think they can’t live without my love and guidance, but that’s delusional. They’re old enough to find food and shelter. Both know how to operate a car and a washing machine. One knows how to change a toilet paper roll. But neither knows how to make my mac-n-cheese; losing me would trigger an existential crisis. A good mother might make it a priority to teach them the recipe.
Instead, I showed my daughter how to plant my ashes with a seed to turn me into a tree. She reminded me she’s killed every plant I ever gave her. Fair point. She’d have to constantly explain a dead philodendron to guests.
She called to tell me there is a place that turns cremains into diamond rings. Great idea, I said, until she loses the ring. She didn’t appreciate my dramatization of her in tearful hysterics, explaining to mall security that she set me down while trying on clothes and she is certain somebody stole me. She hung up before I got to the part about the pawn shop.
I said I want party favors, like a wedding – everyone gets a tiny jar filled with candy or something. Nobody wants the stupid favor, but they take them home, put them on a hutch and throw them away after a few years. It’s tradition. I’ve instructed my kids to fill 200 jars with my ashes. (Granted, 200 is ambitious; I can’t get six people to show up for a dinner party.) Giggling, I visualize the mortified expressions when people are told what’s in the jars and there’s no polite way to refuse to take me home with them. I’m also amused by the ensuing crisis of conscience I am gifting everyone who will one day stand in front of a trash compactor, wanting to get rid of my grotesque party favor but fearing eternal damnation.
My son, who inherited my sense of humor, thought this was pretty funny. My daughter started googling “adult onset psychosis.”
He doesn’t know the life insurance lapsed, so he isn’t as put off by the notion of my passing. He came up with the idea of propping a selfie stick in my casket and turning on the Facebook “live” feature so that hundreds will see my lifeless body under the caption, “(___) is live now.” I love that kid so much it hurts.
Of course, I love them both. Just not enough to show them how to make the mac-n-cheese.
Not just yet.
Susan Keller is an unpublished writer who has been chronicling her aberrant life and thought processes on Facebook for years, to the amusement (and chagrin) of friends. She raised 2 fabulous children who arrived at adulthood with all fingers and toes intact. Now she splits her time between cleaning houses for money, writing for laughs, and dreaming of the day the two switch places.