Monday, March 29, 2010

Morbid Monday, or a pre-posthumous letter from the first wife to her replacement.

Dear Second Wife,

I have no intentions of dying any time soon, but I'm all about being prepared. And controlling. Even from the grave. In fact, I am so controlling that I'll reach out to the competition (hate to phrase it that way, but you are, my dear). Helpfulness is not my middle name, but it will be if it means Real Gil and the children are happy. In all honesty, your happiness is somewhat secondary, but not by much. After all, you've taken on my children with all of their odd idiosyncrasies and flesh patterns. Thank you for doing it. They are well worth the stress, laundry, and diapers. Real Gil, well, I'm not sure I'm ready to say thank you for that. He's my best friend, and in fifty years, I still won't be ready to hand him over. But because I love him so obsessively, I do want him to be happy, even if it's with you...after he's cried a lot about me. By the way, he hates this Morbid Monday post idea. (And I'm really glad.) But like I said, I thank you for taking on my lovely human children and the running of the house.

Maybe you are wondering why, all of a sudden, I have decided to write down all of my instructions, tips, confessions, and sarcasms to you, the second wife. It's really quite simple, and it happened this week. You see, I was suffering a miserable bout of the stomach flu. Without going into detail, suffice it to say that I saw THE bowl through your eyes. And it scared me! What if you didn't know that it was THE bowl? What if you saw it and thought to yourself, "I'm going to make a fresh salad in this perfectly sized bowl!" This first wife would roll over in her grave! So much so that even in my suffering state, I got out of bed, located a Sharpie pen, and clearly labeled the bowl. The only thing that should ever be tossed in it are cookies. And not the edible kind.

So I, Karen, do bequeath you THE bowl. The Ralph bowl. Have fun with that one.

What else do I give you? Lots of good quality thrift store purchases and hand-me-d0wn furniture. You can have The Meadow picture, and my mini-van. You can wear my clothes, use my make-up, even my new triple-barrel iron. There's my Kitchen-Aid and lots of favorite books on the bookshelf. In an act of self-sacrifice, I'll even give you my wedding dress. Good luck getting into it - I was one skinny bride. Harumph. Totally not connected, there's a treadmill in the back room if you need it. It's all yours.

This might be a little awkward. But there are a few things that you cannot have.

1. The Dave Barnes song, Nothing Fancy, is my song. I claim it and talk about it all the time with Real Gil. I know that since it is Dave Barnes' song, it's impossible for it to be mine. But it is and you can't have it. 'Nuf said.

2. I am sure you will be a great cook. But after 12 years of collecting recipes, you cannot have my personal cookbook. I want the children to remember the smells of my cooking and not confuse it with yours. (This may sound harsh, but I have informed my mother and sisters of this so don't try anything underhanded.)

3. You can't have my blog. You can guest blog any time you want and you probably should review it. It'll give you a pretty good idea about what goes on around this house - family worship time around the warm fire, apron-donned mother stirring dinner while her homeschooled children sit at the kitchen table and practice how to win spelling bees, perfect order and belly laughs abound. Or, on second thought, don't read the blog. You don't want to get overly intimidated by me. But you should probably take a few minutes during your transition to our house to introduce yourself to my blog readers. They will probably want to harshly judge warmly welcome you.

I'm exhausted. This is hard stuff to write. I'll continue next week if I can think of anything more you should know about this family. Until then, second wife, thank you for putting up with my words. Do you think we'll meet in this lifetime? It might be convenient for me to hand-pick you, but that might be a bit too extreme, even for this control freak.


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