Wednesday, October 10, 2007

So damn happy to be home, even if it is a mess

I must say, funerals can be quite comedic. I know, they're not supposed to be, but life is full of humor and I would think that the deceased would want his family and friends to laugh a little.

Remember how in my last post I was thinking about wearing leopard print shoes with my all-black outfit but wondering if that would be tacky? I need not have worried.

My sister and I got to the funeral home and one of the first people we saw was a women wearing a black dress with rainbow-hued rhinestones all over it. It looked like a unicorn had puked on her. Definitely a good dress for the Homecoming dance or a pageant, but not a funeral. Even better, she was wearing her black Birkenstocks with it.

Most everyone else was dressed appropriately. Suits, dresses, tasteful clothes, etc. My sister, the Chief of the Fashion Police, approved.

[Side note: I didn't actually wear the leopard print shoes. My sister took one look and said something to the tune of, "Over my dead body." Since we already had one funeral on our hands, I decided to spare my family. I still think I could have gotten away with it. Read on...]

And then, another woman arrived at a 2:00 funeral, ready for a night on the town. She was of ample proportions and was wearing a black cocktail dress. It was sleeveless and cut down low. The skirt was layer upon billowy layer of sheer black fabric. Sort of like a tutu for hookers. Upon further reflection, I do believe my grandfather would have loved it.

The service itself was, um, interesting.

The minister had never met the deceased and it was obvious, especially when he talked about my grandfather as a "devoted husband and loving father."

The Good Reverend opted to fill about 20 of the 30 minutes with a good old fashioned Southern Baptist sermon that had absolutely nothing to do with the funeral and everything to do with converting the sinners who were present. Instead of actually paying attention, I went to my Happy Place and pondered other things, such as: why do people like NASCAR?

I'm not sure what was going on with the organist during the service. Possibly she was back there smoking pot. Maybe she had started Happy Hour early -- after all, it was 5:00 somewhere. All I know is that the first verse of "Amazing Grace" was funereal and quite dramatic. Sort of like what Celine Dion would choose for her own funeral. The second verse, however, well that was when the organist just decided, "To hell with tradition! I'm having FUN! Wheeee!!!" We have now dubbed that part of the hymn "Amazing Grace as Circus Music." To cover my laughter, I bent forward and covered my face, hoping everyone would think that I was merely overcome with emotion.

My stepmother leaned over and whispered, "Don't you dare play this at my funeral."

To which I responded, "Don't worry, you're getting the Rolling Stones."

At that point, my sister looked over at us and mouthed, "Stop it." Party pooper.

We got through the rest of the service and went to the cemetery. The service was short and sweet. I even got a little misty-eyed when the Army officers folded the flag and presented to my grandmother.

Then, we had the Dove Ceremony.

Y'all know what that is, right?

I didn't then, but I sure as hell do now.

The minister talked about the symbolism of the dove, blah blah blah, and then my aunt -- the one who planned this whole shebang, including the shiteous country music song that played as we left the chapel -- released a dove, which then hightailed it the hell out of there.

I leaned over to my stepmother and whispered, "When it's your turn, I'm getting a parrot. [pause] And it's going to cuss like a sailor when we release it."

Who said funerals aren't fun?


melissa said...

I want amazing grace as circus music at my funeral. Can you get an mp3 of that.

Suzanne said...

Sisters can be so bossy. Why do they think they get to determine the rules the rest of us are supposed to live by??

Glad you made it through without embarrassing your sister too, too horribly.

Still looking forward to seeing the wondrous shoes. Where do you plan to wear them??

Lela said...

ROFL, when my mom's parents died (at separate times) my mom and her 2 of her siblings sat in the front pew cracking jokes through the whole service. It wouldn't be my family if we didn't all act like we were puffin' before we walked in the door...

Linda and her Surroundings said...

When my husband's uncle died, four unknown children of his turned up at the funeral. They had been adopted out by his mistress (who became his second wife) around 40 or so years beforehand. It was quite shocking - to say the least. No-body knew about these children. We weren't there as it was in Scotland - but the story was horribly funny.

Marijean said...

That's the only way to do a funeral. I only wish you'd worn the shoes.

This is a great post, btw.

alison said...

You had me at Celine Dion. Very funny post! Am now dabbing at tea stains on the front of my top. Almost made me wish I'd been at the funeral with you. (I have leopard-print flats, we could have matched.)

Lisa@Take90West said...

Sounds like the funeral was very entertaining. I felt bad laughing at your post because it was, after all, about a funeral, but it was so funny!
Great post!

Kristin said...

At my grandfather's funeral his neighbor's (people who had known him about a year) were wailing and sobbing so loudly I missed most of the service... which, I think, is ok.

(I think you could have pulled off the leopard)

Patience_Crabstick said...

I'm sorry about your grandfather.

The Hotfessional said...

I did that "overcome with emotion" thing when my uncle showed up at a great-aunts funeral wearing a YELLOW suit. My dad leaned over to us and said, "Look, Uncle B came as an ear of corn."

Josie said...

Thinking the leopard print flats would have defintely fit in :)
Spit my coffee out at the amazing grace as circus music...too funny.

Flutterby said...

My sister and I have to stay away from each other at things like this; we would so embarrass ourselves... or the family. Doves huh... usually they decide to crap all over the place when they fly off like that. I am not having a funeral or anything of the sort. Hub already knows to have me cremated and then have my ashes mixed with one of those It definitely gives a whole new meaning to the term "sleeping with the fishes". And Jen... at least the cocktail dress was black. You gotta give her credit for that!

Daddy Dan said...

You are so funny. I'd love to hear Amazing Grace as circus music. That said, I'm sorry about your grandfather.

Jennifer (Jen on the Edge) said...

Melissa: If ONLY I had known in advance, I would have been prepared and that particular jaunty hymn would now be on the internet.

Suzanne: I'll get photos up soon, I swear. I have no clue where the shoes will get worn, but they will. Possibly the Police concert next month?

Linda: Interesting you mention that, because we were expecting something similar, which thankfully didn't occur. Remember how I said my grandfather was unfaithful? There's a whole story there I'm not allowed to post here because my sister will surely kill me if I do.

(Anyone who's dying to know can email me offline.)

Hotfessional: You're shitting me, right? Well, hell, that definitely trumps the clip-on suspenders with baggy old-man jeans I saw yesterday. Oh, and the very pregnant woman puffing on a cig at the cemetery. She wasn't one of my people.

Flutterby: I came home last night and reminded Pete of a few truths he must remember: Cremation, no minister, lots of booze afterward. Otherwise, to paraphrase my stepmother, I will come back and haunt him.

MizMell said...

Funerals (because of their serious nature, I guess) seem to bring out the silliness in all of us. But Jen, I am SO with you on the NASCAR thing--what is that all about anyway?

Dana said...

My sister and I are always getting in trouble at funerals. We haven't been to a single one that we didn't get the "evil eye" by one relative or another(or all of them for that matter).

The Guider said...

Still laughing at the parrot!