The Joining of Obituaries

Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is “Write your own eulogy.” As you might have noticed, I don’t typically write posts based on the daily prompt, and today will be no exception. You won’t be reading my eulogy here.

However, it did remind me of a time when I wrote my husband’s fake obituary. At the time, he was not my husband, he was a co-worker and friend. I was working on a huge project at work, and had several piles of papers and photographs on my desk – all organized in a way that made sense to me. Each item had been placed in a specific pile for a specific reason, and for the most part, the piles were ordered by importance, from top to bottom.

I left the office for several hours to attend a meeting, and when I returned, the piles were gone. Hubby had decided it would be funny to stack everything in one (large) pile, and put that pile into a desk drawer. He was wrong. It was not funny. My stress and frustration was only assuaged by sitting down and drawing a stick man hanging by the neck from a rope, and writing about the fake life and death of the guy who caused it. I don’t recall the text of the obituary, other than I made sure to point out that he died lonely and unloved, and lived a life that was not merely unremarkable, but without achievement or happiness.

He responded in-kind, and as we worked together over the next few years, if one of us did something that frustrated the other, that frustration would be exhibited in drawing form – a drawing of a stick person dying a gruesome death. The drawing would be “anonymously” left on the desk of the offender. At some point, we stopped threatening each other with drawings of murder, but we have not stopped metaphorically writing each other’s obituaries. Every time we change jobs, move to a new home, acquire a new family member – it adds another line to our collective obituary. What started as two unique lives, with separate obituaries, have merged, because we’re in this together. Even if one of us does have to duck a flaming arrow, or run from a winged shark on occasion.  

Image

Decorating for Christmas

A year ago, after having moved across the country just five months previously, we moved even farther east on Dec. 17. Our agreement upon moving was that we would return home for Christmas every year, which is how I found myself begging our daughter to have my brother help her move our 7 1/2 foot tree from its box in the basement to the living room upstairs. Neither seemed very inclined to help with the process, but as I was flying in on Dec. 19, and the tree is too heavy for me to lift, I begged and cajoled, and then my husband ordered her to make it happen. I assured her she wouldn’t have to help decorate – I’d do all of that – I just needed help getting the tree into position.

That is all a long story to explain how I came home to find this:

Image

Darth Tree. Also known as “Darth Tree and the horse he rode in on.” It’s not a great picture, but there is the tree, as requested, with a Darth Vader mask my brother wore in the ’70s, my daughter’s light saber, and at the bottom, her old stick horse. Those two really had to search the archives for this one. And since you asked, yes, I did leave it exactly like that, and was happy to check “decorate the tree” off my long list of things to do.

While they were going through the Halloween stuff, they also found an old skull:

Image

To this, they added a light-up Santa hat headband, and light-up glasses purchased at an Elton John concert.

How lovely to come home to a fully-decorated house, and not to have to worry about decorating after packing, moving, unpacking, then flying cross-country. I haven’t moved this year, and I don’t expect similar decorating assistance, but it’s fun to imagine how those two would decorate this year.

What items do you have packed away in storage that some silly person might use to decorate your home for the holidays? Any silly decorating traditions?