THURSDAY: hospital takes grandpa off his respirator to await the inevitable. mother takes off in a panic to be there in his last hours. Offer to drive her, discover you’ve lost your car, office, and apartment keys. Obviously, she leaves without you.
FRIDAY: grandpa dies, wantonly spend $800 on assorted funeral garb for you and your fiancee, most of which will need to be returned. Spend an hour crying in your car, listening to the radio.
SATURDAY: 6-hour drive to Binghamton, drama with mom about sleeping arrangements for you and your fiancee in light of your grandmother’s generational notions of cohabitation. Drink a horseload of Chardonnay, sleep on blow-up mattress with your sister.
SUNDAY: Plow through hangover. Grieving in the form of extreme retail therapy with cousins at Target. Total damage, $300. Consider cancelling honeymoon.
MONDAY: Five hours at funeral home watching mom and her sisters greet a line of 500 mourners. Learn that grandmother on other side of the family is in kidney failure at nursing home in Massachusetts. Debilitating cramps around bedtime let you know that “that time of the month” has arrived with a vengeance. Three advil and a Trazodone** allow you to reap the benefits of three hours of fitful sleep.
TUESDAY: Funeral. Burial. Your family has given you the honor of doing a reading at the mass, which you completely botch by crumbling into hysterics the moment you reach the lectern. Father leaves town apres-luncheon to be with dying mother while you swill your third Budweiser. (In honor of grandpa – he loved him some Bud.) Email current and future employers, letting them know you may need to be out for another five days, give or take, for funeral numero dos.
WEDNESDAY: On the drive back to Boston, receive speeding ticket from not-so-friendly NY policeman. No dollar amount, only a *court summons* and mail-in form. Citation includes the following: “defendant claims; ‘sorry, I wasn’t paying attention, I’m just coming from my granfather’s funeral’, prompting you to wonder what kind of asshole writes that down on paper and PROCEEDS TO ISSUE A COURT SUMMONS. Arrive home five hours later, leave message for dad, check email, find message from current employer stating that your last day is effectively today, please come by and pick up your stuff whenever. Ponder whether this means that you won’t get paid for the remainder of the week, and if so, whether you will begin being paid at your new job effective Monday despite your being out of town for another funeral and if not, how you will buy your Christmas presents while simultaneously affording heat your apartment. Which, ps, you don’t have keys to anymore. Then cry some more.
And that’s about it, folks. Please wake me up when it’s 2007.
**my old shrink prescribed that to me as a sleeping pill. WTF?