Monday, September 29, 2008

Surprise (part 1)

The intricacies of putting a loved one to rest are, at times, overwhelming . One specific instance for me, though, was enraging.

I recently received a phone call from the cemetary, where my cousin's body now lays, regarding payment for the plot. This was a shock to me considering 1) the payment for the plot was arranged through one of her life insurance policies, and 2) the call came three months after her burial. The representative we worked with tried to politely point out that I, along with her mother, had signed a promissory note that legally bound us to pay this debt. Also, since my percentage of the insurance payout was 60%, I needed to pay 60% of the bill.

It was at this moment, that last statement, when my blood started to boil. I could understand up until that point that this man was doing his job, just trying to collect what his company was owed. But he asking me to pay what amounted to $1000 more that my familial counterpart went too far. Obviously he had spoken to her first. This woman's conniving just would not end.

When paying for the funeral home, the insurance agency took the amount off the top for the bill and then paid out the remainder. The cemetary, or just this representative, didn't see it this way. I was being penalized because that woman manipulated the situation.

This story does have a somewhat pleasant ending. The insurance company did in fact pay the cemetary bill, my uncashed check was mailed back to me, and I have not heard from the cemetary representative, or that woman, in about a month.

Going through the death of such a close relative has been hard enough. Dealing with her mother, however, has been almost unbearable. She wasn't a part of my life before Ella died. I hope she stops interjecting herself into my life in the time to come.

Friday, September 26, 2008


The first political conversation I can remember having was around the age of 8. It was 1991 and the political campaigns of George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton were on everyone’s mind. My family sat in the living room watching local news.

Now, before I go on, I need to preface what happens next. I was raised in a family of Democrats, only Democrats. Not everyone was highly educated, but they all were intelligent, articulate, and opinionated. From a young age, I showed promise academically and intellectually. I suppose this is why my opinions were allowed in adult conversations. Most of the time, I knew what I was talking about.

As we watched the news, I began to comment on how there was no way Governor Clinton was going to loose. Of course, there was an immediate rebuttal. “Really, why?” “Well”, I began, “I can’t see myself voting for a president who lied to everyone about taxes and then picked a Vice President who can’t spell the word potatoes. I can spell potatoes. He’s an idiot.” I left that modifier dangling, but you understood my 8 year old opinion. And thus politics entered my life and has never left it.

I am liberal. Okay, I’m ultra-liberal. I’m Pro-Choice, anti Iraq War, pro universal healthcare, anti death penalty, okay with high taxes and government aid in my everyday life, liberal. Let’s see what passionate and frustrated rants I will have in the next six weeks before the election and beyond.

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