deathics and chocolate yogurt
I'd planned to be serious and contemplative and say something marginally insightful or interesting regarding the mess that is the legal fight surrounding Terri Schiavo, but then I managed to splatter chocolate yogurt down most of my bare leg, and most of my thought processes got devoted to whether or not I actually had the flexibility to lick most of it off.I thought about doing it, and then I realized that I've apparently inhaled WAY too much cat fur, because no sane human would ever admit to thinking such a thing. So I just reached down and scooped it off with a finger.
Hey, my leg was clean -- but, I think, the post is pretty much lost to the ether.
We'll get back to the flexibility issue after a brief, maundering segue into the realm of the serious.
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Have your own opinion on the battle going on between Terri Schiavo's husband and her parents, but take this away from it no matter your opinion: put your wishes in writing. It's awful to think about, and hard to hear from someone you love, but tell your family and your loved ones what choices they should make for you regarding your life and/or death if you are no longer able to make those choices for yourself.
When not under the gun, it is so very easy to say "Pull the plug." When it is your loved one lying there, breathing, warm, and still ostensibly living, knowing that your decision is the one that will effectively terminate life, such decisions become infinitely more difficult.
I'd like to think that mine are obvious - I have been pretty vocal about not wanting body-sustaining measures if the truest measure of my life, my mind, is gone - but I do not have this in writing, and I need to fix that. Should I ever lie still and silent, unable to recover, unable to function, honor the way I lived my life and let it end with some measure of the dignity and class I never quite managed in life.
That said, let me move on to the funnier, yet equally gruesome, part. (Quit squirming, it'll be over soon.) I ask that the following wishes be respected & followed on penalty of serious, lifelong, really annoying haunting from yours truly:
Should I have the bad taste to croak first, leaving you to make the decisions, don't stick me in the ground. Where in the world would you put me, anyway? In Arkansas, with my family? Or in Alabama, where I carried on my adult life and had a wide base of friends? Barring a Solomon-esque half-and-half decision, there's no good choice. So just don't go there, okay?
While I recognize the sadness of the occasion (forgive me for the hubris of hoping that you will consider it a sad occasion instead of jumping up and down and yelling "The bitch is dead! I want my stuff back!") I would greatly appreciate it if you would memorialize me in the way that I lived.
Two words. Well, three. RAGING IRISH WAKE. And don't buy that crap beer, either. Buy the good stuff. Get a keg. Or two. Or maybe just a bottle, depending on how many people show up (it'll likely depend on whether or not I had enough time to make my Deathbed Pronouncement, which will likely be opinionated enough to piss everyone off). I require you all to sit around in a room, preferably one that doesn't have enough chairs for all of you so that some of you have to stand around and grouse about how the cheap bitch should've bought more chairs … and swap stories about me. I was there for most of them; some of them are pretty damn good, and I can guarantee that most of you will hear something new about me that will make you gasp and say, "Oh, my God, I was FRIENDS with that woman?"
Buy good beer. Tell stories. Laugh. Remember me as the person I am -- was -- whatever, tenses are somewhat difficult in this instance … contradictory, funny, occasionally bitchy, sometimes even loyal and protective given enough money or just a reasonable amount of cajoling.
(Side note: while I am loath to invite people to my own heretofore-date-undetermined wake…should Matthew Marlay and Monica Revor have the bad taste to outlive me, make sure they're there. To my knowledge, all my "you must NEVER tell anyone about this" statements regarding my stunts and shenanigans are null and void upon my death. Trust me. They're both excellent repositories for stories that will never, ever see the light of day on this site; you'll want to make the 9:00 performance.)
Then, when you're done, and the stories are told and the beer is drunk and maybe you've cried and laughed and forgiven me for all the shitty things you didn't know I said, respect my last wish:
Divvy up the powdery bits, and scatter my ashes in the places I loved. There are lots of those; I won't mind if you miss a few. True, I loved the majestic view of the Grand Canyon from the South Rim, the incredible views I saw from the prow of the Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay ferry, and the incredible feeling of peace I got from staring out over the Pacific from one of the many piers near Redondo Beach … but overwhelmingly, the places I love come from times spent with the people I loved. Find some place in your daily life that reminds you of me (not your cat's litterbox … I heard that!) and let 'em fly.
It's just ash, y'know. It's not like I'm going to know, but you will. That's the importance of memorialization.
There. Now you know. You no longer have an excuse. Don't say I didn't tell you, and don't make me haunt your ass. Can we move on? I'd rather talk about the chocolate yogurt on my leg.
* * * * *
When there's time, and our schedules permit, Mary is giving me beginning yoga lessons. See? We're back to the flexibility thing again. She says I'm pretty decent. She also didn't see me try to get out of bed this morning. (I distinctly heard creaking noises.) It appears that my spine filed a complaint overnight, while I slept.
(I'm contemplating an "it's good for you" countersuit.)
There is a certain indefinable satisfaction in proving to yourself that yes, you can crouch down, press your knees against your elbows, and balance yourself in a cute little pretzel using only your hands, while your feet dangle behind you like cute, useless appendages. Without dying afterwards, I might add.
Certain things become infinitely easier after a strenuous program of ass reduction. Now that I've shrunk down past the uncharted realm of Plus Sizes, it's becoming far more difficult to set size-related goals due to the general inability of clothing manufacturers to decide what a size actually is. I have an appalling range of sizes in my closet right now: shirts ranging from XS to 1X that currently fit, and pairs of jeans and shorts labeled everything from 12 to 18. It makes me want to grab a semiautomatic and do some serious pistol-whipping of clothing designers, just to make my bloody point (or my point bloody, depending on which side of the pond you're from).
Since I can't use sizes as a goal any more, I'm having to come up with maddeningly concrete things, like waist measurements, strength levels, and flexibility benchmarks.
As soon as I can wrap my ankles around my head, I'll let you know. In the meantime, I'm going to wash my leg. It's kind of sticky now. :)