My mother-in-law is in town.
She came over Tuesday, and after dinner we settled the kids with the iPad, made coffee, and prepared to get all the Family Gossip. Somehow we got on the topic of her Eventual Demise and she started giving instructions on what she wants.
MIL: I don’t want to ever move again. I don’t want to go through all that stuff. I’ll just leave it for you guys and it will be your problem
Me: I hope you don’t expect me to keep everything you’ve ever inherited. I don’t even keep my own stuff.
MIL, sighing: I know.
MIL: I still have all those potties.
(When Jim and I first got married, my mother-in-law tried to pawn this collection of potties (yes. potties) off on me. Apparently some relative collected them and no one could bear to part with them. Again – we’re talking about little collectible pottie tchotchke thingys. Like Precious Moments statues. Except, you know. Toilets. Displayed on a shelf. Because decorative?)
Jim: We’ll put those potties in your casket and you can take them with you. (see, it’s not just me who is mean)
MIL: I don’t want to be buried. I can’t think about the worms getting me. I want to be cremated.
Me: The worms won’t get you.
MIL: How do you KNOW, though?
Me, patiently: Because. They don’t just put the coffin in the DIRT, they have to pour a concrete vault. Worms won’t get you, I promise. You’ll just turn into People Soup.
MIL, jumping up: PEOPLE SOUP! GAH!
MIL: No, I want to be cremated and then you guys can take my ashes to all the places I want to be.
Jim and I: ALL the places?
MIL: Yeah. There’s only five.
Me: Is there a budget for this Ashes Sprinkling Junket?
MIL, rolling her eyes: Fine, I’ll leave some money so you can go on a cruise.
Me: I can work with that.
MIL. So, you have to take some to Kansas, and some to the mountains, and…
Me, interrupting: I thought you said there was a cruise? So far I’m just driving to Kansas.
MIL: Royal Caribbean has a package where you can sprinkle ashes at sea and they have a ceremony and everything.
Me: Like a Vegas Wedding, but with dead people?
Jim: WE WILL PUT THE ASHES IN THE POTTIES AND BURY THEM!
MIL: In all of them? There are 40, you know. (40! FORTY POTTIES!)
Me: No, just the best five.
MIL, making a face: What if I don’t like the ones you pick?
Me, slowly: Well. Then I guess you can Suck It from the Great Beyond.
She laughed. Thank goodness.
Later, she said, “I guess you’ll have a story to tell your knitting group now, huh?
And I said, “Oh, don’t you worry, I am TOTALLY telling this story.”