You think your family has issues? My family has found a whole new way to pressure me into getting married. Allow me to introduce you to my family and our by-laws. Not just any bylaws. We have by-laws on how and who may be buried in the family cemetery. And based on my single status, I am not eligible.
Let’s start at the beginning, three generations back, when my great-great-grandfather had five children and one mountain in Southern Virginia. Those five children went on to produce over 1,600 currently living descendants. And on that one mountain there is a cemetery, which is filling up with my gene pool.
And therein lies the problem. They only built the cemetery with enough space for 355 more people. But we have over 1,600 more warm bodies who want to get in, so a few qualifying criteria were set. First, “double-stacking” will now be implemented. Double-stacking is exactly what it sounds like. Forget six feet under, we’re going ten feet under. We’re getting in deep dirt for doubles. When you signed up to marry that person “till death do we part,” you are no longer getting a reprieve with death. You will now be buried one on top of the other. This is pushing up daisies two at a time. An all-you-can-eat worm buffet. Tomb sharing. An eternal time share. The eternal double decker bus. When it’s your turn to buy the pine condo, expect to sleep in the basement.
Family members without an eternal sleeping partner are encouraged to consider cremation and be placed in the vault. The family that couldn’t let me forget I wasn’t married in life now won’t let me forget it in death either.
Can’t you just see it now? A whole shelf in the family vault dedicated for the sad little single cousins, maybe even in matching urns, taking up as little space as possible. I picture a shelf in the back with a marble plaque hanging over our heads that reads, “Did not find happiness in this life,” or maybe “Did not return with honor,” or my favorite, “Couldn’t find a date for the big dance so she’s here in cold storage with her cousin.”
How will I explain that one when I finally meet my eternal companion on the other side? “Sorry, but I’m here with my cousin. We weren’t kissing cousins until after we died. And now I can’t shake the guy.”
After all of these arrangements there are a few more rules you must comply with to get a seat on the Family Bus to St. Peter’s. All of the obvious rules — such as you must make your headstone out of the approved type of stone. Graves will be assigned by the Trustees (and no dibs may be called in advance). And last, but not least, you have to pay family dues. Yes, family dues. Apparently birthright and bloodline just isn’t good enough anymore. Now you have to pay to be in my family. And I haven’t paid my dues. Ever.
I guess I will just have to get married and find myself a new family. Preferably one with plenty of room left in the gene garden.