...though some might say that's a bad thing.
One of the worst things about a death in the family (besides the death itself, the grief, the annoying family members, the funeral directors who feel the need to regale you with amusing anecdotes from their personal history, the paperwork, the ridiculously convoluted orchestration of numerous bureaucratic entities, and so forth and so on) is that people of a certain mindset start to treat you... differently. Everything must be very solemn, everyone must walk on eggshells, no one must risk upsetting the recently bereaved. All utterances must be quiet and serious and oozing with deep concern.
Look, I don't mind if you ask me how I'm doing or if I'm bearing up okay or if there's anything you can do for me--these are the incantations people say to show concern and, really, I appreciate it, but for Gawd's sake, would some of you (not any of you reading this, thank heavens; I'm just being all rhetorical 'n' stuff) smile and crack a joke once in a while? Say something silly. Say something crude. Make not-so-vague sexual references about my friend Adam's mom, preferably in front of Adam. I'm not going to fall to pieces.
Enter Super-Secret Support Group friend Big Gay Cliff.
BG Cliff and I have a long-standing arrangement whereby we send each other goofy text messages during the day and thereby ease the monotony of our respective jobs. He makes obscene comments about what he'd like to do to various mutual male aquaintances; I offer nigh-on impossible... uh... refinements, usually involving Shetland ponies, Cherry Garcia ice cream, and Margaret Mead masks. He sends me quotes from Support Your Local Sheriff; I respond with Life of Brian references. He comments on Adam's ass; I comment on Adam's mom's ass.
We have a strange and wonderful relationship.
Today, knowing that I'd just gone through making funeral arrangements, choosing a casket, picking out clothes for Dad, ordering a casket spray, dealing with lawyers and guardians and conservators, basically just being too darn adult and serious, he texts:
well, now you have no choice but to find someone to produce a male heir to carry on the family name
And the following exchange occurred:
GW: Oh, yeah? Know anyone with bad eyesight and low standards?
BGC: that would be me
GW: Uh, I think we need to review a little basic biology...
BGC: how about (19-yr.-old coffee shop girl) she's just your type she has issues
GW: I'm not looking to open a newsstand.
BGC: yeah, given her history you'd need a combat condom anyway
BGC: combat condom because love is a battlefield
GW: COMBAT CONDOM? Oh sweet Jeebus! I HAVE ONE!
Whereupon I sent him a pic of co-worker Carolyn I'd taken the other day and just happened to have in my cell phone*:
BGC: you are one sick and twisted f*** that's why i love you
And that's why I love BG Cliff.
* That's a stainless steel Sorvall centrifuge tube holder in case you're wondering, not a sex toy.