Terrorized by the thought of all the work that needs to get done before Friday, I turn to avoiding it all by checking out what's going on in the great big world. I hear from a friend that okra, one of my favorite vegies, is a great vegie. Has lots of fiber, absorbs bad cholesterol and helps good bacteria (or pro-biotics) in our intestinal tract. I will have to eat more okra, steamed with a bit of calamansi and a splash of patis with a small cup of brown rice. Or in a good pinakbet! Those ilocanos know a good thing.
Then I linked up through Mr. Ed Levine's blog to a list of ice cream sandwiches (calling Ian! Read up the bit about the hazelnut ice cream cookie sandwich!), and saw the link to New York Magazine's best ice cream sandwiches, followed by an article reviewing the new Max Brenner in New York (another case of Manila beating the big apple; we did have Beard Papa before they did), and finally, a list of great dessert lounges in the city. Something to share with a couple of friends who are thinking of a concept for our fair-ish city.
This gave me rhyme and reason to sign up for regular articles from NYMag, mostly for the travel and editorials and restaurant reviews. I care not a whit for the shopping, real estate, and other stuff.
I headed back to my list of blogs and came across a link from one site that led me to this post (first posted on craigslist/new york):
Date: 2005-03-23, 11:12PM EST
So, first of all, congratulations to my good friends who got married last weekend. Congratulations, “mazel tov,” good luck. It was great and I hope you guys are happy forever. That said, I couldn’t help but look around at your wedding and think, “Wow. I don’t want any of this.” But don’t think that your wedding specifically turned me off to weddings. No, we are all now in our late twenties and wedding invitations appear in the mail with almost the same frequency that delivery guys slip take-out menus under my door. And now, having attended and been in a few weddings, I can’t help but think “I don’t want any of it.” I don’t want a country club or a church. I don’t want a hotel ballroom or a big white tent. I don’t want a priest or a rabbi. I don’t want 200 people there who I don’t even know. I don’t want numbered tables. I don’t want to put all of my random “single” friends at one table in the corner of the room, making them feel even more alienated than they already are at a stereotypically “coupled” event. I don’t want bridesmaid drama. I don’t want all of my bridesmaids wearing the same ugly color and the same ugly dress and hating their shoes so much that they curse me behind my back. I don’t think I even want bridesmaids. I don’t want anyone to sign a guestbook where they have to come up with some spontaneous wisdom about love and happiness. I don’t want cute little party favors with the bride’s and groom’s names scripted in gold, proclaiming “our special day.” I don’t want people to figure out their seating arrangements by picking up their party favors, which are also wrapped in pink chiffon. I don’t want a big white dress. I don’t want to have to ask friends and cousins whom I see maybe once a year if their 5-year-old son/daughter whom I don’t even really like can be my ring bearer/flower girl. I don’t want guys in blue shirts and khaki pants measuring each others’ dicks with the phrase, “So, what do you do?” I don’t want bored out of their mind cater waiters and bartenders, who hate weddings in a way that even I will never understand. I don’t want “cocktail hour” and passed hors d’oeuvres and most people only caring about getting buzzed before the open bar ends. I don't want to mail out then sort through 300 invitations to find out who wants steak and who wants salmon. I don’t want to be registered at Crate&Barrel. I don’t want my friends finding that all the cheaper items on my registry are gone and that, like, five of them have to go in on a set of overpriced knives. I don’t think I want a registry at all. I don’t want to have to kiss all of my mother’s friends on the cheek, or, even worse, all of my future mother-in-law’s friends. I don’t want a color “scheme.” I don’t want a creepy DJ or a weird band that does a cover of YMCA. And I don’t want the place turning the lights up at 10:30 telling us it’s time to leave. But I do want cake.
Last night, I attended the wake of the mother of my friend J. Years ago, J opened her house to a few of us who wanted a place to meet each Sunday for chinese painting. We spent a few hours each week striving to reach oriental perfection, I continue to strive, yet fear I will never gain perfection. But it's all in the process of getting there I suppose. Anyway, at the wake, I looked around and the inevitable thought popped into my head: am I prepared to die? Do I have the wherewithal to pay for a decent funeral? Do I have my will set up? Who gets my benches? I'm just about to get a cat, what will happen to her? Will anyone attend the memorial service? What music do I want played?
So here's my ode to Funeral Cake.
Dear Mrs. J, sorry to hear you had to go. You bought us the real brushes for our painting class all the way in some dinky Shanghai shop. And you were always generous with the glasses of juice and corn chips. I hope you find the sanctuary from life ever after whereever you are now. Your family is sad to see you go, and they have brought us here to celebrate your life. All these people, all these kids, all these flowers. And it makes me think how I don't want any of it. I am not ready to die just yet, as my will isn't prepared and the living room is a mess. But when I go, I want a cremation, and then the ashes are going straight out to sea. No memorial, no flowers, no mass cards. Any money left over from my savings, I want my friends to spend on the best meal possible, enjoy a fantastic dinner, sing their favorite songs, and go on living. And have cake. Ice cream cake. The best of both worlds.