People who know me well are acquainted with the fact that I don’t care much what people think of me. This has made my family wary of being seen with me in public on occasion.

My husband is ultra conservative. He often gives me lectures on what he considers my flamboyant dress. He once tried to tell me I could not be seen at church in a silk skirt that had four-inch fringe on the hem.

Another time when I wore black ankle hugging pants plastered with huge white flowers he tried to sit at a table in the back of the gym where I couldn’t see him. Like our friends for twenty years wouldn’t know we were a couple!

I suppose that is why he is the Bishop and I am not. I am now however aware that in one area at least, I am immensely conscious of people’s opinion.

I came to this realization when Rick, Garret and I were driving home from a funeral. Garret, who’s mind is always computing ways to take two nickels and squeeze them into a 50 cent gold piece said. “I wonder how much that funeral cost.”

“I think they paid for the package several years ago. It would have cost a lot more today.” I said. Notice my rational response?

In normal families, the conversation would have turned to the benefit of pre-planning your funeral. But nope, not in ours.

My husband who rarely has two words to say when we are in the car picks this moment to wax eloquent and with rare passion.

“I don’t want you to spend anything on a coffin for me Jane. It is such a waste of money. Just slap a couple of pieces of old plywood together.”

We have had this conversation before and I opened my mouth to object, as I always do, when I recognized the maniacal look his eyes get when some genius idea juices up his brain.

“In fact,” he burst out, “if there is an old refrigerator box lying around that’s even better. Yup that what I want, a refrigerator box. Heck of a lot cheaper than plywood.”

I don’t know if he has thought out the ramifications of people showing up for his funeral and finding him stuffed in a refrigerator box but I know it will not make me look good—even if I am wearing four inches of fringe on the bottom of my skirt.

“I will not stuff you in a refrigerator box Rick. I still have to live with these people you know. And don’t you even think of stuffing me in a box. I want a coffin. It doesn’t have to be Cadillac but at least make it presentable.”

“Dad’s right mom. Funerals are a ridiculous price.”

Garret never knows when to mind his own business. “I don’t even need a cardboard box. Just throw me in the dumpster.” he said.

At that moment, I couldn’t help looking around to see if there was an empty dumpster nearby.

“In fact, “Garret continued, “I’m good swimming with the fishes. It wouldn't bother me at all to be shark bait. I’ll be dead after all.”

“Stop it.” I said as Rick opened his mouth to espouse the virtues of the refrigerator boxes again.

“I will not stand beside some old refrigerator box as people come to console me. They might be tempted to dump me in there with you. And Garret, you will not go dumpster diving. LET ME BE CLEAR. When I am gone I will be at your mercy but you will not put me in any box you just slapped together, cardboard or otherwise. You better show me some dignity.”

“You’ll be gone mom. You won’t know.”

“Well, that settles it. I am going shopping. I will find my own coffin. Not only that, I will put it at the foot of our bed and if people ask, I’ll tell them it’s a hope chest, and it will be. It will be a symbol of my hope that you will see fit to place me in it when the time comes. Do I need to dry some flowers too?”


Kaylee Baldwin said...

Very cute. Thanks for the laugh :)

C. K. Bryant said...

ROFL! That's funny. Thanks for sharing. Let's just hope none of you have to use any of those containers for your remains any time soon.

Connie said...

I would love to be a mouse in the corner when these conversations take place.

'looking around for a dumpster' had me roaring with laughter.

Funny, funny!

Jenica said...

Haha I have totally had this conversation with Garret before. Don't worry Jane, I got your back ;)

Cathy Witbeck said...

Jane, you so need to hear my boys sing the song "Send me to glory in a glad bag." I think you would appreciate it.

Rebecca said...

"At that moment, I couldn’t help looking around to see if there was an empty dumpster nearby."

That made me laugh out loud!

My mom and I have had similar conversations. There are monks somewhere who make pine coffins, like a simple pine box for MUCH less than traditional coffins cost. I'd like something a little nicer than a refrigerator box, too. After all, if you need to be exhumed someday, you should at least be enclosed in something that will contain your. . .remains.

I believe the phrase is "pushing up the daisies", not "fertilizing the daisies".

Funny post!

Rebecca said...

The word verification was "sackle". Would that be a bag instead of a box for tackle? Maybe your husband would like to be buried in one of those!

Rebecca said...

Next word verif was "existen". As in, get buried in a coffin and you'll be existen forever.

I'm sorry. I'll stop. I'm in a silly mood!

Jane Isfeld Still said...

YOU ALL make me laugh. Thanks for following me and commenting. :)
Cathy,you need to e-mail me those lines. That is hilarious. Every thought of YOU TUBING IT.
I should read my story and then have your boys sing. LOL

kbrebes said...


Annie Bowlby said...

Oh, Jane, too funny! We have had this conversation...only I say, just cremate me! Sprinkle the ashes on the garden and recycle me into next year's veggies! Love you, thanks for the fun...Annie

Cheri Chesley said...

Wait, I've had this conversation. Remember the ol' pine box? Where did that get to...

Very funny! Your posts make me laugh :)

Wendy Swore said...

Awesome Post, Jane. I wouldn't budge on that issue either. Fridge box? *Shudders*

HowLynnTime said...

The hope chest comment got me -that was funny.

I told my family to spend the money on an old boat - wood and some gas - send me out like a viking - hehehe

My son said - the coast guard would put you out and the legal stuff would cost more than a funeral. But if you would like to be blown up, I could put you in something insured and buy some fertilizer ------I looked at him (11 and way to smart) Ok I will spring for the plastic.

My step brought me an advertisement - Walmart now sells coffins.

good to know - I will not be recoverable! thanks. hehehe. I will wander off into the wilderness and fall down a deep deep something....just wanted a nice little boat!


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