Huff Post: Post 50
By Alan Zweibel
Jan 25, 2012
Scene: Robin and I are sitting in our den. We are empty nesters. The TV is on. She’s engrossed in the same program that I’m pretending to be watching when, in fact, I’m wondering why we aren’t naked.
And then a commercial. The one where a woman on the phone has just been told it will cost up to $6,000 for her father’s funeral. She sits at her kitchen table shaking her head. I let it play for a few more beats and then break the silence.
– You think we should get that, Robin?
– Burial insurance?
– So the kids won’t be financially burdened in their moment of unspeakable grief.
– I don’t think so…
– Robin, it’s $6,000. And since I’m fairly certain that someday we’ll both be dead, that’s a
huge chunk of change to make sure they won’t leave us lying around or propped up in
– Look, Alan, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about this…
– Talk to me about what?
– That I want to make other plans for my body after I pass away.
– But we always said we were going to lie next to each other…
– I know…
– With holes on the sides of our caskets so we could reach out and hold hands when
we fly up to heaven…
– I know…
– So what happened?
– I changed my mind, Alan…
– You don’t want to lie next to me anymore?
– It’s not that…
– Is there someone else?
– Someone else…?
– One of your old boyfriends?
– Old boyfriend…?
– Roger Wheeler?
– Will you stop?
– Did he invite you to use his ex-wife’s plot and you said ‘yes’?
– I still can’t believe you went out with a guy who tucks his sweaters into his pants.
– Jesus, will you shut up for one second…
– I wonder if he tucks his underwear into his ass.
– This has nothing to do with you. But I’ve been giving this a lot of thought and have
decided that I want to be cremated.
– Yes, I think cemetery plots are a waste of land.
– And cremations aren’t a waste of urns?
– Look, this is what I want.
– So please respect my wishes?
– You okay?
– You sure?
– Then why are you crying, Alan?
– I’m not crying.
– Wrong choice of words…
– I’ll say…
– Why is your body quaking and there are tears rolling down your cheeks?
– Because you’re breaking up with me.
– I’m what?
– Robin, we’ve been married for 32 years, we have three kids and you’re…
– I’m still here, you idiot.
– For now. But as soon as we’re dead you’re taking off.
– I’m not taking off….
– I don’t want to be down there by myself, okay? You now how I get when I’m left alone for
– Trust me, I know…
– Why are you laughing?
– Because you’re not going to let this go, are you?
– So assuming we live into our 80s you’ll be whining about this for the next
– 35 years?
– Yes, those are my plans.
– God help me…
– God help you? You’re not the one who got dropped in favor of a big oven…
– Look, what if we compromise?
– Well, what do you say you get buried…?
– And I get cremated…?
– Please stop crying, Alan…
– I’m not crying…
– But the urn with my ashes are buried with you?
– …You mean I’ll be holding it?
– So we’ll still be together?
– Feel better?
– I’m glad.
– Thank you, Robin.
– You’re welcome, Alan.
– I love you, Robin.
– I love you, too, Alan. Now shut the hell up so I can watch my show?
She goes back to watching whatever program is on the TV while I go back to just sitting there trying to figure out a way to get us both naked.