I Don’t Want To Plan The Chaperone’s Funeral Over Spring Break
Today kicks off yet another Spring Break Week at our house. I admit, my husband and I take a sliver of pride in our reputation for providing our offspring zero amusement over Spring Break. But this year, through some momentary lapse of judgement or failing sense of family tradition, our oldest son talked us into letting him fly down to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico with a group of kids and their parents from his Senior class.
Ever since we gave him the green light for the trip, I have been filled with maternal dread and worry. I’m just not a big fan of a bunch of American high school students running around the beaches of Mexico. But, I do know that he is being well looked-after down there. His “official chaperones” are the parents of one of his buddies, but I always favor a strong back-up plan. Included in the entourage is one of my closest friends, who is accompanying her daughter, a classmate of our son’s, on the trip.
Kathleen texted me yesterday to get my son’s cell phone number in order to save him to her contacts. That gesture went a long way toward reassuring me that it was her intention to keep excellent tabs on my boy. After I gave her his number, it seemed only appropriate to inquire, what, if anything, I could do for her here while she was away. I think I was a little overwhelmed with gratitude and got swept up in the moment.
I barely had this semi-sincere offer out of my mouth, before she started rattling off a list of instructions. And what an extensive list it was. My head started swimming. I finally said, “Wow, that’s a lot. Can you just email that to me?”
The good news is that I don’t have to do anything unless she dies down there. She hasn’t asked me to water her house plants, feed her cat or bring in her mail. I don’t have to let her dogs out, or even pick the newspaper up off the driveway. But, the bad news is that, should she meet an untimely demise and perish in Mexico this week, I’m going to be busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest.
She is dead set on these instructions…
If i don’t make it home from Mexico:
1) You do my eulogy. My family can fill you in on some cute stories from my life and you do the rest.
2) Song list for mass in red lock box in safe. And check the pallbearer list. I may not still be friends with some of those guys so I may need to pop your hubby in there instead.
3) Use your own discretion on all funeral lists as i was drinking when i made them.
4) Have friends and family give you names of songs that remind them of me and make a CD. Then have a party and listen to those songs and sing and drink. That is after the funeral. If my house is a mess can you have it at yours?
5) Never mind on your house. I joined the country club back home last year when grandma died and that membership’s still good, so just have the party there.
6) I like an open casket unless the plane caught fire. Put me in something that covers my double chin or at least have them prop my head back a little.
I suppose I really don’t mind writing her eulogy. That’s fine. I have actually already written a couple of eulogies before. Like everything else, there’s a formula.
Assuming I can easily locate that “red lock box,” (if it was my house, it will have mysteriously disappeared from the place where I told you it would be…) it will be quick and painless to run that song list up to the church.
No problem splicing in some pallbearers, either. I would think anyone could tote this particular friend down the aisle. Even in a wooden box, she won’t weigh much. Trust me, I happen to know exactly how much she weighs, because she went on a diet three weeks ago for this trip and has texted me her weight every day. Her pall will be easy to bear.
And, I guess I really don’t even mind throwing this party she wants, but at some point I feel like she is starting to get a tad high maintenance. Isn’t it super picky that I have to burn a CD? That’s asking a lot. Why can’t I just take requests and suggestions throughout the evening and play them on my iPad? It’s like she has me confused with her friend Pandora.
On a positive note, I’m starting to worry way less about my son on this trip. He’s a good boy and we’ve done our best to raise him to make good choices. My focus has shifted to the safety and wellbeing of Kathleen down there. I’m really not thrilled over the possibility that my Spring Break could get bogged down in all these funeral-related tasks. There’s a reason we don’t plan anything over Spring Break — it’s because we are trying to relax.
All that notwithstanding, I do enjoy selecting music, so I thought it couldn’t hurt to get a head start on that chore this morning. Kathleen happened to call just now to check in on their layover in Atlanta. I asked her if she liked the song, “Come On Eileen!” from the early 80s. (My thought was that the mourners might be able to substitute the name, “Kathleen,” for, “Eileen,” during this sing-along she has requested.) When she responded, “Not really,” her 18-year-old was as astonished as I was. “Oh my God! Mom, are you dead inside?” I guess her daughter agrees with me about this catchy tune…
But honestly, for the love of Spring Break, I just have my fingers crossed. Not to be callous or anything, but if Kathleen is dead on the inside, that’s her kid’s problem this week in Playa … if she’s dead on the outside, it just became mine.
“Come On Kathleen! At This Moment You Mean Everything!”
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