Hey folks! Today I get to step aside and make way for my very best friend, Candy Sunick! You may know her from such things as:
Me: Any requests from the grocery store? 10yo: A can of Whoop Ass. Me: blank stare 10 yo: You know, so I can open it. #WTFparenting
— Candy Sunick (@candysunick) July 29, 2015
Or perhaps you remember this:
As you can see, Candy and I have A LOT in common which is why I’m excited for her guest blogging extravaganza. Take it away Candy!
There’s a Coffin in my living room.
It’s a ratty-looking black wooden thing and it’s been here for eight years. It’s not real, to be clear. It’s a stage coffin. But it’s full-size, and it sure looks real, by Dracula! The inside is lined in pink imitation satin and smells of moldy sawdust. For a while, we used it as a coffee table, prompting interesting reactions from guests who either loved it or hated it. Nowadays, though, we just use our coffin to store
crap treasured keepsakes and documents. Is it ugly? Yes. Is it too big and ungainly for our small apartment? Yes. Do I sometimes look at it and think “that thing is a serious fire trap?” Yes. Do I want to get rid of it? No effing way.
First, it’s a COFFIN! A person-sized one. You can lie down in it with the lid closed and everything. Think of the possible pranks and party uses! It also appeals deeply to my inner Goth, who is itching to light a bunch of candles and lay down in it while listening to “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” if I’d let her. (I will NOT; someone needs to act like a grownup and get shit done, you know.)
Second, we plan to graduate to living in a house someday, hopefully by the time my son reaches high school. How cool will our rec room be to the teen crowd with a COFFIN as the center piece? Especially if it’s full of snacks and soda and video games?? I also fantasize about filling it with free condoms, LGBTQ-friendly literature and informational brochures about safe sex, crisis hotlines and college planning. (Apparently you can take the writer out of social work, but you can’t take the social worker out of the writer.) Yep, the kids are gonna flock to my house, for sure!
The main reason there’s a coffin in my living room, though, is because it came with my husband, just “part of the territory.” He and a buddy salvaged it from a closing theater when they were in their early twenties, living in their first apartment on Capitol Hill.
“It was too big for our studio,” he told me, grinning, the day he unloaded it from the U-Haul. “And it was a total pain in the ass to carry up the stairs. But we had to take it. I mean, it’s a COFFIN!”
How could I argue with that? Also, since the “part of the territory” items he got with me included one son, one ex-stepdaughter, one ex-husband, one spending addiction and two mental health disorders, I was not about to give him grief over the coffin. He could have had ten coffins and I’d still have had to be like, “OK, no problem! Bring ‘em on in! I think we can put one in the bathroom!”
rarely never look at our coffin hulking over there under the window, taking up almost the whole length of the wall, and consider donating it to the local HS drama club. Instead, I look at it and think, “That’s going to look so cool in teenage Ben’s man cave!” And then I imagine my son lounging around the coffin with friends, laughing, eating junk food, talking about school, video games, movies, music, dating, dreams, life. Just like Joe did. Just like I did. Just like we all did.