A Tribute to Nons/Creepy Engagement Rings

I spent this past weekend playing in the snow at Schweitzer with J, mostly splitting the time snowboarding, driving and drinking beer. It was awesome. We got back Monday evening, and as I was almost entirely decompressed and ready to start another 4-day work week (my life is very taxing) my Mom called in tears to let me know that my Nonnie (Grandma) had passed away.

It is sad, yes. And believe me, being the cryer that I am I really cried it out. If you had walked in on me, you might have confused me for a pre-pubescent tween making our with her pillow practicing just in case. I should consider having my tear ducts removed to avoid that awful post-cry puffy-eye miserableness. Too much?
Anyway, it was time for Nons to go — and I can confidently say that she is in a much better place now. Alzheimer’s is a bitch of a disease and after three years, I know that she is much happier wherever she is. Thank you to everyone that has offered condolences, and kept tabs on my somewhat cuhrazy family. We really do love each other, I swear.
As I was Driving Ms. Daisy (read: my Mom), helping pack up Nonnie’s things and get all the stuff that comes with death in order, I learned a very valuable lesson. Always take two cars. This way when you pull into the funeral homes parking lot and realize what the next step of the process is, you can U-turn and leave rather than have to park and actually get out of the car. My mother is a very, very smart woman – and she knows that given the opportunity to bail out on any grown-up activity that does not involve tequila or spending money on myself, I will do so quickly. (Note to self: finish doing taxes. Gah!) That’s right folks, she made me go with her and my Auntie to the funeral home.
Holy hell.
First off, funeral homes are a cash cow. I wish my family would have thought ahead and bought up a big piece of land then sold it off piece by piece to grieving families. They sell EVERYTHING. It’s like the Target of Death. Flowers? Got ’em. Brochures? Sure thing. Bag piper? Yup, just let us know when and where. My family is smarter than that, don’t you worry. My Mom and my Aunt were sliding memorial program examples my way, just so we could ‘review’ them. Yah right. They know I have Adobe Illustrator. They know I can layout a brochure. Sneaky, sneaky Thompson girls.
Secondly, why does the funeral director have an engagement ring the size of the Big Island? You mean to tell me that this average looking woman who plans funerals is engaged and/or already married to a doctor/lawyer/Jewish man? How do you even talk about work at home with a dead-person party planner?
“You’d NEVER believe who died today..” “And then they picked an urn with dolphins on it. Dolphins! Can you believe that?” …great dinner conversation, Morticia.
(Also, wtf? Who designs these things and why would a want a teddy bear with the ashes of my Nonnie anywhere in my house?!)
After gawking for, oh the entire time we sat in the conference room, we are all lucky that when it was question time I didn’t say, “Yes, I am mostly hoping you could tell me how you landed that rock?” I know you are thinking that my staring is rude. Yes — BUT have you ever sat in a funeral home conference room? They have a 27′ flat screen slide showing headstones/gravesides/funerals. On repeat. Believe it, you’d stare at anything else, too. And the family services guys’ comb over is less appealing than a clear replica of J.Lo’s rock. I’ll tell you this much, they need more pictures – and you know they have them because like I said: cash cow.