I plead guilty to some of these.
No 1…. check. I occasionally react with revulsion and startlement to disfigured people. I usually control my reaction reasonably fast. But I am not cheerful with my attitude.
No 2…. nope. I like going to funerals because they are usually fun. Especially when she’s over 90 and kicked ass.
No 3. Schadenfreude? I recollect a conversation in which I was the only person at the table who pleaded guilty. My goodness, I lower the tone sometimes.
No 4. Playing favourites with the kids. Because my kids have different interests and abilities, I have always, from day 1, treated them differently. I don’t think I play favourites, but they might.
No 5. Weighing the wallet. People who are broke and self-actualized have higher status with me than wealthy emotional deadbeats. But I am middle class, and sometimes I have to tease apart the notion of worth from the notion of flushness. Specially if I’m ‘specting you to buy lunch.
No 6. Thank God it’s finally over. I figured, on the basis of what my GF Tammy said, that I’d be prostrate with grief from my split with Paul. I moved out the beginning of May and I have had three twinges and one crying jag… and the crying jag was about the house, not him. I’m not sorry I had children with him, but I had NO CLUE how relieved I’d be when I didn’t have to live with him any more. He’s not malicious, stupid, dishonest, addicted or lazy – quite the contrary. I’m just not his flavour any more, and vice versa. So yeah, I’m guilty of the not crying when maybe I ought to, but as a kindly relative remarked, I did a lot of grieving before I ever closed that door.
No 7. Whee hee, fantasy. I prefer staying focussed in the moment, with my partner, but that probably has more to do with me being Ye olde school hippye chicke than anything else.
6 thoughts on “Seven deadly sentiments”
Ho ho, I thought you might enjoy this very polite Fuck Off letter from a small australian publisher to a bullying large book chain:
Long live the Australian publishing industry. I had heard about this dustup – but to see the actual TEXT. Outrageous, but the response was well worth reading.
In my world, I have noticed a real downplaying on funeral planning. The ashes of people I have cared about deeply and passed away are presented in small urns with pictures arranged on bristol board. Many have had no ceremony (or urn) at all having their children and grandchildren spread their ashes at a mountain top or lake. I go to funerals to try to get some closure on a loss. In every case, I am sad AND these new world ceremonies do nothing to help with closure. I think there is a place for ceremonies in this world and I think that many native cultures are way ahead of the rest of us with their ancient ways.
I think that what happens to the corpse – note that I avoid the use of euphemism – is entirely irrelevant. I have planned and participated in funerals of all varieties, all forms, most faiths, and the only quarrel I have with any of them is when hypocrisy rules. Mostly I have to go into my Margaret Mead mode because few funerals seem able to omit reference to a supreme being. So there I am, Maggie M., with my tongue flicking in and out (she did that, you know) observing the tribal rites of the Trobriand Islanders. Once, one of the rites had me strangling with suppressed laughter – and this was a serious problem because I sat next to my boss, and the corpse, a world-renowned architect, was being given a high Anglican service, swinging censers and all. The hymn was “To Be A Pilgrim” and the last time I had heard it was in the penultimate scene of the John Cleese movie, Clockwise. The music evoked that scene so powerfully that I very nearly had the same response as at first viewing. I tried to think dead thoughts (and that should evoke memories of ANOTHER movie – my life is strewn with film references) but was seriously challenged to retain a suitable demeanor. We planned my mother’s funeral exactly as she wanted it, that is to say exactly as I don’t want mine, out of love for her. We have planned ours exactly as we want them, which is to depart with as little fuss as may be managed, prepaid. We don’t have urns for our cremains (WHAT a repellent term!) but rather oversized salt-shakers, the better to scatter the bits and bobs in the park.
It’s a personal thing. An aunt has Uncle’s remains in a little box at her bedside. A cousin has her husband’s on the mantel. As for myself, “thus let me live, unseen, unknown, thus unlamented let me die…steal from the earth and not a stone tell where I lie.” Pope said that – he was twelve at the time and wow, did he get that wrong.
What a great comment. Thanks.
Yes, you are right Nautilus3, I am being selfish now that I think about it. It is up to the departed what they want. I am thankful that when my Grandmother passed away she was clear what she wanted. She wanted a Mahogany casket with pink lining. My father and my aunt found exactly what Grandmwanted and the name of the model was Ruby — my Grandma’s name. There were flowers everywhere (just as Grandma would have wanted). The clergy’s talk was both down to earth and heartfelt. I doubt I would ever laugh at a funeral as my probem is trying not to cry. On the other hand, I think the ceremony is also for those that are left behind and need to deal with the loss.