mercredi 25 mars 2009

The old rugged cross

So, the dinner went smoothly enough.

The four of us sat down to lovely souris d'agneau and confit de canard, generally chowing down on some pretty fine food.  We were at the Café Crème on rue de Birague - a favourite of mine for ages now, most visitors end up there with me at some point.

The dinner went smoothly enough until we started to talk about dead people that we knew.  Well, they started to talk about dead people that we knew.  I was happy talking about how handsome the waiter was, to be frank.  

At the change in conversation, my cousin scuttled off for a crafty fag.  I wished that I smoked.

My Mother produced a whole series of things from her handbag and started to get all teary-eyed.  "Now these things," she started, "these things all need to be buried with me.  They're always in my handbag and they need to be buried with me."  At which point she started to cry.

She handed me the last photograph she'd had taken with my father.  The last note he'd ever left her.  The last card he'd ever bought her.  Apparently these things are always with her.

Not wanting to be outdone, my Aunt chimed in with "well, I want to be buried with my cross".  And she proceeded to produce a cross from her handbag that she also carries everywhere with her.

Now, I know what you are thinking.  You're thinking that this is a small cross, that hangs on a necklace.  Maybe gold or silver? Maybe decorated with a stone or two?

No.

This is a wooden cross.  

It is a good five inches high with a pointed end.  

It looks like something you'd use if you were a Victorian gent who'd been sent to Transylvania to save your sweetheart from the clutches of an evil Count.

I waited for her to produce a vial of holy water and a clove of garlic.  She didn't.

"Where did you get that from?" me and my Mom both blurted out at the same time.

"From off Grandma's grave," she said.  Apparently, it had been the grave marker before the stone was in place.

I leaned back in my chair and looked at these two women.  I marvelled at the fact that we are living on the same planet, let alone that we are from the same family.

My cousin came back inside from the terrace.

"Did I miss anything?"

Please.  Someone.  Send in the troops and get me out of here.

26 commentaires:

A Lewis a dit…

So, did your Aunt miss anything?? Only about 30 minutes worth of sit-com. I swear, I love the conversations and situations we find ourselves in. You can bury me with some 20 year old hunk. Naked. And a wooden cross if you wish.

aims a dit…

What the hell? You just had your brother for how long and now this?

Come on - send me a pic. I bet you anything you have a sign pinned to your back that reads - kick me 'cause I'm having too good a life.

Rob Inukshuk a dit…

Are you sure you're related to these people? Mistakes have been made you know!

Do all women, or just widows, carry their coffin kit with them? Bizarre!

12ontheinside a dit…

HA!
Carrying around a big wooden cross is funny. Even funnier that she pinched it off Grandma's grave.
Your family sounds almost as mad as mine.

Louise a dit…

I wonder if Grandmother wanted to rest in piece with the grave marker.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Lewis, i'll see what I can do on the hunk front. Might take some explaining at the funeral home tho...

Aims, oh yeah, kick me all right! No, really, it's nice to see them. That's what I keep telling myelf...

Rob, I'm going to go and check out the hospital records next time I'm in the UK...

travelling, but not in love a dit…

12oti - crazy, crazy, crazy. I was stunned when she produced it.

Louise, I think that maybe grave robbing isn't seen as so bad if it's "one of your own"...Lord only knows.

conortje a dit…

I'm shocked Travelling, did you pass up a chance to outdo them and announce what you'd have with you in the coffin?

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Big C, alas, I didn't have my copy of 'Hot Latino Hunks' and a Dieux du Stade calendar with me...he he.

Pure Poser a dit…

thats all old peple talk about. dying and dead people, that they used to know. it's one of the reasons i can't stand sitting in the same room as my gran.

thank god i hardly ever see her.

i don't get why 2 women didn't want to talk about a fit waiter. it's not right!

wontletlifedefineme a dit…

Take the first train to Rotterdam and I'll come and pick you up from the station.

Isn't it heavy to carry such a cross with you all the time? I would have thrown it out of my bag a long time ago. But then I wouldn't have taken it from the grave in the first place...

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Poser, he he, you make me laugh. And no, I don't know why they wouldn't want to look at the waiter either! The boy was a hottie!

Marjolein, if only I could escape! And the cross isn't heavy really - it's just made of a thin bit of wood. But it's definitely strange...

amy a dit…

At least the food was good! And what a nice son you are to sit by so patiently and supportively (and then share the details with us later)

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Amy, I pretty much just sat there thinking alternately 'blog post, blog post, blog post' and 'I was adopted, I was adopted, I was adopted'....but that's what I do whenever i'm with my family to be honest.

cb a dit…

You need to hire a gypsy to steal both handbags. It's really the only kind thing to do.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

CB, by the time I get home tonight I'm sure that that's what will have happened. Or something else equally disastrous....

Daryl a dit…

Brilliant .. I think you have the best comedic timing I have ever read ... I am dying (sorry) here over the cross .. (at least not ON the cross)

Pure Poser a dit…

nice to kno i can make someone laugh :D

back to the waiter - was he shaggable as well as hot?

david mcmahon a dit…

Daryl told me I just HAD to come here and read this!

She was right!

Lane a dit…

Soo funny.

For you - not so much but for me....

thank you:-)

travelling, but not in love a dit…

D, I aim to please. Glad this tickled you...

Poser, oh yeah. Absolutely ;-)

David, hey there, nice to see you...

Lane, it's also funny for me too. I can see the humour in it, luckily.

ArneA a dit…

Great.
no further comments needed. You have made it yourself.
Thanks for sharing.

Tarolino a dit…

A most amusing story and written with such finess. I could never come up with something like this. Congartulations on winning POTD. It was well earned.

Valleys Mam a dit…

On one of our trips to France ,I took my Danish non religious husband to Lourdes,he had not heard of the sory of Bernadette etc.
We parked the car and there walking down the road were two American women.One had a humunus cross over her shoulder that she was dragging behind her.
The conversation that floated back to us was " I just can't wait to see Gemmie's face when she sees this darling cross we bought for her in Lourdes"
I think if she had see my husbands face she would have had a preview.
To tell you about the other hilarious episodes of that day, including second hand six foot candles would take a book !

lmerie a dit…

Oh my goodness!! When you said grave marker, I got what you meant by the size of the cross! How histerical! And she carries it around?!?

Very deserving of POTD - Congrats!

Eddie Bluelights a dit…

Came over from David. Congratulations on POTD.
I enjoyed reading your post very much.