Friday, June 09, 2017

“Time Stands Still For No One”

The mail yesterday wasn’t particularly exciting. Oh, sure, there was a striped jersey from Yala Design. (Even on sale, they cost plenty, but they’re the most comfortable tee-shirts I’ve ever had.) And a bank statement. (Got to turn that into online.)

I was hoping for a check from a client, but nada.

At least there were no bills. No one looking for a donation.

And then there was the curious flyer. “Time Stands Still For No One.” Muted tones of pink and beige. A terra cotta cherub. Dusty pink, fully-blown roses. Pearls on a tray. A decorative glass jar with an ornate20170608_200413 gold knob on the lid. A stop watch. All very late 19th century granny-looking. Delivered with the images all blurred. Or is that my golden-oldie eyesight?

“Time passes so quickly. Before you know it…You start thinking about all those things you need to take care of…but haven’t.”

I have a list that’s the length of my arm chocked full of things I need to take care of…but haven’t. All those old laptops. The kitchen windows that need washing. Finding a home for shoes that I ordered and wore once.

But stepping up the planning for my “final arrangements” wasn’t on the list.

I have done a bit of it. I own an ash plot at Mt. Auburn Cemetery, where I’ll be chilling for eternity (or until the oceans rise enough to obliterate Massachusetts) with my husband, my sister Kath, and her husband. 

But I haven’t done anything else to relieve my loved ones of the “financial and emotional burden” of making decisions that, according to a local funeral home, I am “better prepared to make today.”

I know they mean well, but there are other decisions I’d rather be making.

Oh, I could prepay for my actual cremation. After all, something really should be placed in that pre-paid ash plot. And that something should be ashes in a cardboard box, no? But what if the place I’m prepaying for that cremation service goes belly up? I’m pretty sure that, unless the seas rise really fast, that Mt. Auburn Cemetery will still be around. It’s already managed to stay alive for nearly 200 years.

I guess I should be happy that someone thinks I’m a desirable marketing target.

Sure, there’s dental implants, 50+ vitamins, 55+ living communities, Jitterbug phones, and Depends. Plus I get all those phone calls for “I’m fallen and I can’t get up” devices. None of which I’m interested in. Not yet, anyway. I do get regular missives from health insurance companies looking for my Medicare supplemental business, but I’m happy with my plan. And I suppose if I were a geezer guy instead of a geezer gal, my ears would prick up when an ad for Cialis comes on. But mostly, I understand that, as a consumer, I’m no longer all that desirable.

No one with grey hair in that ad for Pom Wonderful. No one with creaky bones pedaling that Peloton. Young studs only for that F-150.

“If this has reached you at an inappropriate time…we sincerely apologize.”

Nothing to apologize for, sincerely or phonily. But what’s an inappropriate time? The day one gets the news that they’d better call hospice? The day their spouse dies? (Drat! I should have considered advance planning.)

Anyway, if I take advantage of the offer, I get 10% off.

Should I put prearrangements on my bucket list for the bucket list?

Nah. In an actuarial sense at least, I have a few years yet. Maybe between now and then they’ll come up with some kickin’ technology that will render cremation obsolete. As long as there’s a trace of something left to inter. I’d hate to think that I wasted my money on that ash plot.

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