COSTCO CONVERSATIONS

The subject of what container I will one day put Michael's ashes in comes up around here more often than you would expect. It comes as a little bit of shock to people who only know me as the widow, to hear that I've put my late husband's ashes in a coffee can. Of course all of us who knew Chris all agree that a coffee can is probably the most fitting place for his ashes. I can't think of anything better really except maybe a bag of beef jerky. It would have to be a really big bag and seal really really well. I can be irreverent when it comes to death. For some reason, every one just assumes that I will also out live Michael. Michael is the first person to point it out. He’s surprised he’s lived this long. I’m surprised he’s lived this long. We are practical and we’ve had the talk about what to do with life insurance money and vaguely about what to do with his ashes. Our friend Jen, suggested a bottle. I was all “Ooh! Good idea!” then started to wonder where I was going to get a bottle big enough.

Costco. That's where I'm going to get a big enough bottle for Michael's ashes. They have an end cap of wine on display and all the bottles were either a three liter or five liter. Michael picked up the five liter and tucked it under his arm. We did not buy the wine because it was almost sixty dollars (and our wine comes out of a box!), but it just looked funny to pick up a five liter bottle of wine and carry it around like you were going to a fancy party. When we first saw the bottle, we both had the same thought. This was the bottle for Michael's ashes. So then we ended up standing there and having this whole discussion about not wasting the wine. First we should all drink the wine and then put his ashes in it. We shouldn't just dump the wine out. Unless it turns out to taste awful. Then, we mix it with fruit and make sangria. Next came the debate over the size of bottle to get. The five liter is funny, but I really feel like it's too big. The three liter would be fine, I think. I did also think that a regular size coffee can was big enough to hold all the ashes of one person. That was an inaccurate. We should probably go with the five liter just to be sure.

As we are having this conversation about what size wine bottle to get for Michael's ashes, I notice that there's a few other customers standing around. Their faces ranged from sad and pitying to what the fuck is wrong with us. They probably thought Michael had some incurable illness and wasn't expected to live long. "Look at that sad couple having to make funeral arrangements while grocery shopping at Costco because they don't have time to do it later." I so want to dead on seriously look them in the eyes and say "No one has time do it later!" Instead I just started laughing because for one thing it's a HUGE bottle of wine and for another thing, I can see a clear image of how ridiculous my bookshelf is going to look one day. Actually, it really is a good excuse to travel more. Eventually I'm going to run out of Chris's ashes and I won't need that coffee can any more.

Then I'll just be left with an enormous bottle and small canisters for all the pets (and I mean ALL the pets).

There was an old woman who swallowed a fly....