I am not a mean girl; I just have a lot of feelings.
Forget walls. If tombstones could talk they would no doubt share the sordid (morbid?) tales of the increasingly inappropriate way we honour our dearly departed. I will admit I have not been to many funerals but the few I’ve attended always left me recoiling in horror and casting the ultimate side-eye at the lack of tact and blatantly disrespectful foibles. Maybe I am being too hard on the offenders. After all, common sense has always been the ultimate oxymoron. But then “when you know better, you do better.” So here now are a few guidelines that could spare you the anger of disgruntled spirits.
It’s a wake, not a blocko.
I am sure you are all there to offer support to the grieving family. But keep in mind it’s a time of mourning, not Assou Square time. But try telling that to the hordes that descend like a swarm of fruit flies on decaying mangoes on the bereaved family. This is probably why the go-to move nowadays is families asking to mourn in private. Nobody wants to deal with an impromptu version of Marchand Day at their house. But there is no accounting for good taste. If this particular family is cool with hosting a post-funeral street jam . . .
It’s not cool to loot the dearly departed’s closet.
Someone has died, remember. Probably someone you grew up with, a treasured family member, a beloved neighbour. I know that in the depths of your despair the heart aches for a memento or keepsake to keep this special someone forever alive in your memory. Let me assure you: packing five plates of food for you and your family is not the way to go. I am almost certain no one wants to be remembered by a plate of ground provisions, rice, stewed chicken and some grated cabbage and carrot. Equally as déclassé is taking clothing, photos or kitchen utensils from the deceased’s former home. Especially if the items still belong to the living.
This day is not about you.
I once went to a wake where I offered my services in passing out hors d’oeuvres to visitors. One woman asked if she might have apple juice instead of what I was offering. Another asked if I knew where the remote was because it was time for her to catch her daily viewing of the Bold and Beautiful. Really? You saying you can’t miss another installment of Brooke shagging every available Forrester man— then heading back to Ridge?
You never knew the dead person, so why are you here?
A running joke started twenty years ago about the Kevin Bacon algorithm. Three college friends realized the actor had seemingly been in everything, or was connected to some Hollywood actor in less than six degrees of separation. This concept should not be applicable to funerals. Just because the person is your former boyfriend’s cousin’s sister’s mother-in-law’s grandfather doesn’t mean your presence is appropriate. That’s just awkward.
Telebituaries are the devil.
Honestly, listening to the regular obituary on the radio was already grating on the nerves. It served more as a where-arethey-now segment rather than just sharing the relevant details. With the advent of telebituaries, we as a people have officially lost the plot. Where do I begin? The segments are so long that the strains of our musical deity Celine Dion have to be repeated multiple times. Mamaaa, you gave life to meeeee . . . Do we really need to know that someone is studying in Botswana to be a chemical engineer and has already accepted a job offer in Dubai? And why would you have anyone titled “child mother”? Then again, that same person had a list of childhood friends who were all announced by their “better knowns”. Because why would I just call you Donna when Porpotte is so much more charming? But the one that sticks in my craw has to be life in pictures. See number three on this list. It is not about you! So why are there photos of Ti Bwoy’s brother cooling out with padnas? Or Ma Tin Tin’s granddaughter at graduation? Where are the dead people?
This telebutaries thing has become so in that folks now view them while taking morning coffee. Still the deadliest sin of them all has to be . . .
The Graveyard Selfie.
Just no words. I mean, why? Selfie-taking is already one of the more narcissistic practices on the planet. Combine it with the dearly departed and the whole thing is macabre. Again, is this really the memento you want? There is something incredibly disingenuous about a photo of you captioned “I can’t believe you’re gone,” as you gaze seductively at the camera, mouth-pouted, trying to capture perfect light (on your better side, of course). That’s treading on tacky Kardashian territory. It must take mule gonads to go up to a griefstricken family member and request they participate with you in some selfie action. But the real ball breakers are ones who go for the full-on photo spread; I mean, replete with props. What could be more epic than you posing up-close on a tombstone?
Squad! #RIP #Gonetoosoon #Outfitoftheday #Pictureofthedy #Missingyou #FreeLucious #Empire