Wednesday, February 3, 2010

In which I plan Primo's funeral

Oh like you don't think about this sort of thing. Or maybe you don't. Maybe you don't have a "be ready for the worst possible situation" mentality as I do. I've always planned for the worst. Well, maybe not always, but not being able to find a job for almost two years when I returned from my two-year stint with the Peace Corps,* watching my otherwise healthy father be diagnosed with cancer and die within eight months,** then being laid off after eight years with my job has instilled in me a waiting for the next shoe to fall attitude. If nothing else, I am always wearing clean underwear. They will not be laughing at me in the ambulance. No sir.

Anyhow. Yes. I lie awake in bed at night thinking of what I need to do if Primo dies in a plane crash. It's always a plane crash. He doesn't drive that much, being that he works from home and all and is unlikely to die from a fall as he walks down to the basement to get the Pringles Dill Pickle potato chips he has hidden from himself. But he does fly a lot in his work travels, so a plane crash is more likely than a car crash just because he flies more. Yes. I know plane travel is statistically safer than car travel. Although have they considered how many drunk drivers there are in our state where drunk driving is the state sport?

There are the obvious things: throw away all the boxes of junk in the basement that he moved here after he split with Isabel and has not opened in ten years, with stuff like Claudia's tuition receipts. (I have opened the boxes.) Claudia is married, expecting a baby. Claudia graduated from college over ten years ago. It's safe to throw those papers away. Really.

We can also toss the calendars from 1990 that Primo saw the other day when he was moving boxes so the plumber could get to something. Primo didn't throw them away because 1. it wasn't in the scope of the move the boxes project and 2. the calendars had trains on them.

The big things: Sell this house and move back to someplace warm. I love Primo and mostly like living here but I hate the winter weather.

Then the immediate death details. Do I make Isabel file for her life insurance (part of the divorce settlement) on her own or do I do it for her, knowing that she is lazy and incompetent and just wouldn't do it?*** Do I take the high road? Oh heck I take the high road. I don't need that on my conscience. She would lose her house without the alimony payment, which of course I would not make, so she would have to have the insurance fast. I am a gossipy, spiteful person, but I am not that mean. I'll let someone else handle vengeance.

Do I have a funeral? Primo's really good friends live far from here. Do I make them travel? Yes. Yes. I think I do. We would have one heck of a wake. Have I mentioned there are over 300 bottles of wine in the basement and that I am a fabulous cook? They come here for the funeral, stay at the house, and we send Primo off in style. We mourn, but we mourn with good food and drink.

Now to the main part. Sly and Doris.

I never have to talk to them again. That's the one good thing about Primo being dead.

Well, that and I get to get all his crap out of the basement.

Primo asked if I wouldn't even send them a Christmas card.

I don't send them one now,**** but OK. I'll send them a card. Fine. If he wants me to send them a Christmas card after he is dead, I will do it.

But I don't have to talk to them. If they call, I don't have to answer the phone. If they email, I can just hit delete.

I would miss Primo so much that I wouldn't be able to stand it. We broke up once for a month and I was miserable. His death would crater me. But there would be a tiny, very thin silver lining to that enormous black cloud.

* Mind you, I had an MBA from a top-20 school with a 4.0 GPA with five years work experience at a Fortune 100 company in addition to the Peace Corps experience, so it wasn't as if I was some slacker who had spent my time in the Peace Corps getting high on nutmeg.

** He thought he'd pulled a muscle running a 10K. The good part is the cancer and my unemployment happened at the same time.

*** She didn't fight for child support even before she married Primo - when it really would have been in her financial interests.

**** Primo is in charge of his parents' birthdays, of Mother's Day, Father's Day, and of their Christmas. His parents, his responsibility.


  1. OMG, you've done it again! How do you come up with this stuff, day after day!
    I can't believe the details you've thought of. Primo should be touched....I think...

  2. And your terrible sorrow would be too deep, really, to allow for irony. And then what. And when what.

  3. Maureen. Obviously, I have way too much time on my hands.

    LPC. Well. For a while, anyhow.

  4. I'm enjoying your blog, so far. You are a good person because if my hubby had a Bertha, I say "eff it, it's about taking care of me first."

  5. Babe, I'm not that good a person. It's just that it would cost too much to change the divorce decree and we'd still probably have to have Bertha's consent, which she would never give. (see: Bertha's not stupid.)

    I am still kicking myself for not interfering in the divorce negotiations. I kept telling myself it was none of my business. Ha. TOTALLY my business. I had no idea how guilty Primo felt for leaving Bertha. I'm glad I'm married to a man with a conscience, but I wish he could have turned it off for his divorce. :)

  6. So, having written all this down, do you have REAL plans for what happens when he dies? It is when you know, not if.

    Does he have life insurance? Do you? Do you know the passwords to his computer accounts? Do you have full access to all the bank accounts? Has he made you the beneficiary on his office life insurance/pension fund/retirement accounts?

    Have you had the "if I'm in a car crash and am going to be a vegetable" conversations? Do you both know if the other wants to be an organ donor? Do you both know the extent to which the other would want doctors to work to "keep you alive"? Do you both know what kind of funeral the other person WANTS? Do you both know if the other prefers burial or cremation?

    I could go on ... but I won't. I think you get my drift, and you know where I'm coming from.

    1. I'm such a ray of sunshine. :D

    2. Yes! We have done ALL OF THIS! I am always convinced that disaster is just around the corner. As soon as we got married, I had him make a will and I updated mine. I had him change all his beneficiaries. We did POA and medical decision stuff. He moved all his banking to USAA with me. It took me a while to get his passwords, but I finally got them. He wants to be cremated, I don't care. If my mom is alive, bury me, otherwise, burn me.

      I completely agree with you - it is so important to have these things organized.

      His parents - it's going to be a mess. Their affairs are so disorganized.