Tag Archives: cartoonist

Grandma Lee’s Funeral

Dress covered in wrinkles and iron juice, I try to seem as put-together as my cousin.

Dress covered in wrinkles and iron juice, I try to seem as put-together as my cousin.

My weekend might have been worse than yours. We flew to Athens, Georgia, for my grandmother’s funeral. Reed calls me the velcro member of “The Family” (the core family: my two sisters and our parents). I am the detachable/re-attachable obligation.

24 hours until the funeral:
Reed, Luc, and I arrive at Bob Hope International Airport relaxed, ready for caffeine, and determined to make the best of a funeral weekend. Michael, our Southwest ticketing agent, cringes as he breaks the news that we are at the wrong airport. Our flight will leave from LAX as scheduled, and we would need teleportation to board on time.

22 hours until the funeral:
The Great Wrong Airport Debacle of 2015 resolved (thank you, Southwest!!), we scuttle through security where I nervously present an expired driver’s license and my antique passport. A text from my sister pings that we should not stop by our parents’ house (both of my sisters are staying there) when we get to town because Mom is stressed. I figure she must only want family around her at a time like this. Oh wait. I am family.

11 hours until the funeral:
We hobble into the Holiday Inn of Athens, Georgia, at 1am. Luc is asleep. I am 18% alive. The empty bottle of saline surprises Reed anew, and he makes his monthly dash to a 24 hour drugstore.

4 hours until the funeral:
A text from my sister pings that we should not go to our parents’ house today before the funeral because Mom is overwhelmed. I figure she must want family around her at a time like this. Oh wait…

3 hours until the funeral:
A text from my sister pings that we should absolutely be on time for the funeral. The Family will arrive promptly at noon, and I’d better be there waiting. Or else. I silently question 5 hours of flying, 4 hours of laying over, and 3 hours of driving for this.

1 hour until the funeral:
The hotel iron is a union member who already worked 40 hours this week. My dress, covered in wrinkles and large ovals of iron juice, has reached a new level of suitcase chic.

11:15 AM:
We arrive at the church and debate parking in the spaces marked “Funeral.” My husband insists we can’t park there because “those spaces are for family only.” Really? Really?? Velcro Girl growls.

Noonish:
The Family arrives. Mom moves and speaks with a quiet fluidity. I think she is medicated. We file into a gargantuan sanctuary. Ambitious choice for a 99 year old’s funeral. Surprise baptism! My sister scheduled an adult baptism for herself. Today. An hour before our grandmother’s funeral. The Family is pleased and does not offer an explanation.

12:15 PM:
Miraculously, energetic, excited-to-see-each-other-after-a-whole-year 5 and 7 year-old cousins remain quietly pretend-somber. Sort of. Mom invites everyone to view a short, silent slide show of Grandma Lee through the years. It loops. And loops. For 45 minutes.

Grammy promises her fading grandchildren tiny, mysterious presents if they behave. Desperate parents hiss time-outs, shoot stink-eyes, and issue death threats to bring the impossible to fruition: happy, hungry, bored, quiet, calm children.

Post Funeral:
The service lasted in the neighborhood of 136 child-years. We file into a room with finger sandwiches and cookie platters. Luc takes a finger sandwich for show, and then shovels 80% of the cookies onto his plate. I pretend not to notice because, frankly, he deserves them.

Eventually we are dismissed and return to the hotel for food and swimming. A stressful, mandatory, The Family style dinner closes the day.

24 Hours Post Funeral:
Reed packed with an air of time abundance. We arrive at our gate hungry and just in time to board. Hopefully trail mix will satiate us for the next 5 hours. “Attention please: we have a passenger on board with a peanut allergy. No peanuts or peanut products will be permitted today. Thank you!” We survive on millions of pretzelito packs and thimbles of orange juice.

Was my weekend worse than yours?

The Fashion Industry Is Trying To Kill Me

I used to keep a blog by this title. In it I posted links to articles about 20 year old girls stepping off fashion runways and dying of heart attacks. I stopped posting for a while. But the media is still telling me that my best look is emaciated famine victim. I disagree. So I juxtapose 2 images against each other to remind myself what true feminine beauty looks like.

Today’s installment:

Erdem Wilhemina 3/4-Sleeve Floral Sheath Dress ($840 at Neiman Marcus)

Erdem Sheath ($840 at Neiman Marcus)

Neiman Marcus shows me that if I stop eating and bathing for six months, I too can be worthy of this expensive Erdem (which sounds a little like “murder” when read backwards) dress.

Or…

Fuzzi, Sizes 14-24 ($595) at Saks

Fuzzi, Sizes 14-24 ($595 at Saks)

Saks Fifth Avenue shows me that if I keep eating a healthy diet, exercise, and lay off the heroine, I can embrace my curves and look like a beautiful woman in this expensive Fuzzi dress.

The Rules

A resident scowls on the other side of the hedges as he silently counts the number of people at the pool.

A resident scowls on the other side of the hedges as he silently counts the number of people at the pool.

The pool rules are few, but strictly enforced … when it comes to us. A resident is allowed to have 6 people (including said resident) at the pool. That is a great number if you are retired. If you are single, you can have five friends over! If you are a couple, you can invite two couples over! Very fair!

However, if you are a family of three, you can invite one family over IF they only have one child. Or you can tell them to leave a child at home.

If a resident wishes to have more than 6 people (including said resident) at the pool, the resident must submit a request in writing to the board two weeks before the event. If the “party” is approved, the resident must post their intent to party in several locations so that all residents can know about it and have an opportunity to complain about it and force you to cancel.

To be honest, I have never submitted a request. I think the rule is unreasonable for our situation and that the spirit of the law should be held rather than the letter. And that has been a problem for me.

I am currently in hot water and have endured several lectures because I invited our neighbor from across the street to the pool. My neighbor has 4 children. I have one. It was two moms and our kids. But uh oh! That means SEVEN people were at the pool! And wait, it gets worse! My husband got home from work, saw us at the pool and joined us. (Cue Psycho shower music.) Now we had EIGHT people at the pool! The horror!!! Three adults and five kids.

I’ve been yelled at by two different people and received several new copies of the pool rules.

Oh my goodness these people are killing me.