Friday, February 19, 2010

What Would Martha Do?

I'm in a Catch - 22 here.  Somebody I know has died a sudden, tragic, unexpected death. He had a heart attack, which so many people survive nowadays, but it turns out they couldn't save him even with stents or an artificial heart.  
     Here's the truly terrible news -- he was only 38, and left a wife and two little children.  
     It gets worse!!!
     Apparently he just found out the company he owned was about to go under, because his business partner had been robbing him blind. So, along with dying, there isn't a dime for his children. 
     I'm just getting started. Here comes the really hard part for me -- since this is all about ME you know. 
     His mother and stepfather live two doors down. His real father was a bi-polar drunk who once shot his .357 magnum through the living room ceiling into his son's bedroom. Luckily the kid was away at camp or dad might have killed him. 
     His mother used to bring him and his brother over to my house at midnight to escape dear old dad's latest rampage. I encouraged her to divorce the jerk and she did. I told her she'd be remarried in two years because she had sons. She told me later she remembered that when she divorced him. Because I was right. 
     However, somewhere along the way she has become the neighborhood know it all. Anyone who has followed this blog knows that I can't stand her. How bad is it? I was on my parkway one day last fall when she drove by. As soon as she looked at me, I gave her the finger. 
     For some reason she has dedicated the last couple of years to calling the cops to do wellness checks on me. She doesn't even try to reach me on the phone first. The cops don't call me either. Cops being cops, they think the Patriot Act gives them carte blanche with anyone over sixty. They don't need no f**king warrant, because they are performing a public service. [Don't get me started].
     She called in the last one when I wasn't even living in my home. I had temporarily moved to my stepmom's following a burst pipe and two hip surgeries. 
    Knowing that this bitch lurks around, I left notes telling the cops to stay out of my house unless I gave them permission to enter. I put one on my front door and one on my back door, sure that she'd sneak up and read them. 
     At the bottom of the note, as a Lucky Strike extra, I wrote, "If Mrs. Asshead [not her real name] is such a busybody that she gets close enough to read this, she can go f**k herself." 
     Based on the weird looks I've been getting, I'm sure she read it. 
     So now her dorky, un-athletic, unattractive, personality-free older son has died. Way too young. He hadn't been feeling well for a couple of weeks, apparently. He had ignored the symptoms. Heck, he was only 38, anybody would. 
     But I think his heart attack got started a long time before that. Most people who have been through what he went through as a boy would have been acting out with anger, drugs, drinking, or something, anything, as a teenager. His father was not only drunk, but mentally ill.  
     Instead, as a boy, he always kept his pain inside, barely speaking unless spoken to. Following a straight and narrow path through high school and college. Getting married. Having kids. Now after learning that his business was going under, with a family to support, I can see how keeping things bottled up for so many years was a little like shaking a can of pop. Once it opened up a crack it was going to explode. 
     Which brings me to my dilemma -- I could easily send flowers to his parents' house here, but NOOOOOOO. His wife in North Carolina has done one of those "In lieu of flowers" things. They want money donated to a college fund for the kids. Oh, crap. Flowers to his parents two doors down are so much easier. Then they don't know how much I spent either. If I donate I have to give more than the flowers would cost because THEY'LL KNOW.
     Ack. What would Martha do?  
     P.S. Anybody notice the resemblance between Martha and me? Squint your eyes. Now do you see it?  Okay, close your eyes. Now?


Chelle said...

send flowers anyways... they are not family.

Tiny Elvis said...

Flowers or a pie. We made potato salad for a neighbor whose kid died a few years back and they were grateful. And we gave them paper cups for the wake.

EmcogNEATO! said...

Martha would fly to Switzerland for the chocolate that goes in the fondant icing on a 17 layer cake she brings to family's house as part of a 7-course meal. You know, just a little something so they can grieve instead of worry about dinner. You should stick with flowers.

Remo said...

Martha would query: "Is this about the son or about the asswench making your life miserable?"

They're kids and they deserve better. Maybe the money will keep them from the clutches of Bitchy-Dearest.


Chris said...

If the fund for the kids is truly a trust and not just a bank account, I'd probably donate to it in lieu of flowers.

Anna said...

Hmm. I'm late to the advice party, so I will only say that I am sure you did the right thing and that you are better looking than Martha--I don't even need to close my eyes to see that. :)