Tuesday, March 17, 2009

dispatches from the sunshine state

I went to my Grandmother's funeral yesterday, it was my first open casket funeral and it did not bode well.

Before the funeral we went over to my Grandpa's house to meet the priest who was performing the service. He stood up to introduce himself to my family. We, not being the church-going type, were super uneasy with this real-life priest just cold shakin' our hands. When my brother introduced himself, the priest didn't catch his name and asked him again, "who are you?". My brother in a crazed panic responded, "God's son". Why would my brother tell a priest that he was Jesus Christ? I don't know, perhaps only God knows. Thus began our day.

At the service, I think the priest was drunk (more on this later). He kept announcing the pages that we were supposed to turn to in the prayer book incorrectly. So we would all be trying to follow along but were at a complete loss. No one really understood what was happening. At one point while the priest was reading a prayer from the book, my cousin, Billy, started reading aloud with him. In a booming voice over the priest. The priest stopped reading and waited for my cousin to finish the prayer, and then he finished it, louder. My mom and I could not stop giggling. Why ever would my cousin do that?

One of my cousins wore a halter mini-dress and heels to the funeral. What the fuck, right?

At the cemetery, while we were burying my Grandma, I was watching two of the funeral home workers who were standing off to the side. A giant bug landed on one of their shoulders. The man started freaking out and tried to swat it away, but he only swatted it onto his back. In panic, he turned around and asked the other man from the funeral home to get it off his back. He swatted it and it flew 20 feet straight towards my Grandpa. Everyone sitting in the back saw this happening, and once again everyone got giggly. It's just, how does that happen? My cousin was saying later that night, that man could have taken that shot 1,000 times and never once been quite so accurate to hit my Grandpa.

The reception was at a restaurant on the water. The priest came and ordered a ... SEX ON THE BEACH, confirming everyone's suspicion that he was drunk all along. Are they allowed to do that? To order Sex on the Beach? Last night Logan was said that it would be more appropriate if he ordered an Abstinence on the Beach. I prefer the Immaculate Conception on the Beach, though I imagine that would be a virgin drink.

After the restaurant we all went back to my Grandpa's house. It went really well until my troll of an aunt got a little tipsy on white wine and started picking fights with me. She told a lovely story about social workers, it went like this: "My friend decided she was going to be a social worker. 2 weeks into the program she was picked up in a van, and she thought she was going to be raped. She started kicking and screaming and got out of the van. She decided that she didn't want to help those people anymore and got a degree in nursing." Oh boy, where to begin on this. Well first what in the fuck does being abducted(?) have to do with getting your masters in social work. She implied that they were connected in some way, as if "those" people cruise the streets of Syracuse(!!) looking for young women earning their masters in social work and attempt to rape them. Now about the nursing degree. Her daughter (the aforementioned halter mini-dress cousin) is currently going to school for nursing. He daughter is the only other granddaughter so from birth my aunt has pitted us against each other. This was just another way for her to tell me that my plans were worthless and that her daughter was on the right track. I really tried not to let her get to me. Bust she is racist, classist, homophobic and holier than thou. Am I totally wrong to think that SHE was out of line when she stood up and pointed her finger in my face and yelled about "those people" never working a day in their lives? Like, that's not me right?

I don't know what the point of this post is. I guess I am feeling like we kind of fucked up my Grandma's funeral. I am not going to remember my Grandma by open caskets, drunken priests or catapulting bugs. But I don't want people (I don't know what people) to think that I was laughing out of disrespect. I don't want people to think we fucked up my Grandma's funeral because we didn't care. I guess I also wanted to bitch a bit about my aunt, who by the way has a serious mullet.


Werd said...

Funerals are usually such a drag, I'm glad to hear that this one at least provided some relief, if only at the expense of your bemulleted aunt, panicked brother, mini-dress-wearing cousin and surprisingly accurate funeral workers.

robert said...

your grandma would probably appreciate the humor. Great story sam

GrrlMonstrr said...

that story made me whisper lol at work for ten minutes. no disrespect to your gramz. when i was just a little ginger headed scarie with translucent glasses that took over 3/4 of my face, i had to go to my first open casket funeral. it was for my great uncle on my dad's side and therefore full of old roman catholic portuguese people. the only living memory i have of my great uncle involves him pounding his cane on the ground to "give the kiddies a scare." at the funeral my grandmother lifted me up and over the side of the casket and urged me to KISS my great uncle. i squeezed my eyes shut and turned my head as she attempted to propel my orphan annie face towards his cane wielding corpse. i thought that kissing dead people in open caskets was perfectly normal until i was 16 and shared this story with my horrified mother. open casket funerals should at least be rated PG-13.