The Missus and me was talkin’ about it the other day. Well, we’re getting to the age where we’re considerin’ buyin’ our tickets for the grim reaper’s bus. Not that we’re anxious to get on board or anythin’, but you gotta take care o’ business sooner or later, an’ the later is gettin’ shorter an’ shorter.
That wasn’t really the subject matter. We was yakkin’ about how many married couples we know can’t stand one another. Stayin’ together seems to be a giant grudge match of mammoth proportions. Nothin’ mind you, more than words in most cases, but the kind o’ words to make a longshoreman blush nevertheless. The venomous poison that comes out o’ their mouths can turn the air blue in no time flat. These people are married – to each other – and they’re mortal enemies.
Fast forward now to when one o’ them croaks after a bout of cancer or a stroke or heart failure. During the sickness nobody comes to visit other than friends. Husband/wife don’t come. Kids don’t come, and finally the patient expires and it’s game over, well all except the obituary. You suddenly discover, much to your amazement that the late spouse was a faithful and loyal husband (or wife), usually the love of the other’s life who died with his/her loving family by his/her side after a courageous battle with whatever was ailing them. Holy crap! Uncle Henry never ever had THAT much manure on his compost pile!
I remember our neighbor when we were kids, old Mr. Orlofsky who couldn’t work anymore since he’d lost his leg in an industrial accident. He’d putter around in his back yard with a pile of old lumber; piling and re-piling it while Mrs. Orlofsky would be in the garden doing her weeding. Well the constant verbal exchange was such that you never knew whether it was them or the feral cats that used to rule the alley where we lived. Of course it escalated in spring and fall when it was time to clean the stovepipes.
Well, low and behold, when the old boy finally bit the dust, they held him a grand funeral, even passing by the house one last time on the way to the cemetery and he was the finest husband and father to ever walk the face of the earth. How ‘bout that!
I don’t know whether it’s a perceived curse to speak evil of the dead cause they might come back to haunt you, or they were just B.S.ing in the first place. It’s hard to tell because nobody but the finest people show up in the obituaries – ever. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.