I am an infamous control freak. I would even like to control everything from the other side. I dictate plans to my husband all the time about my fantasy funeral. Then I test him. I'm not sick or dying -- this is for my in-the-distant-future funeral, kenehora. Here goes. Listen closely.
Forget the whole quickie Jewish in-the-ground-and-goodbye thing. Screw that. Wait it out. Let it settle. It's CRAZY when a person dies and the family has to plan and throw a funeral in a day. What is up with that? That's not for me and I'm thinking it won't be for my kids. We want time for the grief to build.
Of course, I can be cremated without ceremony. It's no biggie. They pick up. More on this later.
Moving on. A month or so later, have a party. Okay, you can call it a memorial. I want everyone invited. I do mean everyone. Put it on Facebook, put it on Twitter (I have at least 30 Twitter friends), put it on the popular social media of the day in the distant, distant future -- spread the word. No one is to feel left out. It will be like my 8th grade graduation party where my mother and father said tell all four schools, everyone is invited. So, yes, all the peeps from Beverly Vista, and yes, the other three schools too, and all the actress friends I made in my twenties, and -- EVERYONE. Got it? Good. Note to self: decide later about the ex-husband. Not to sound evil, but maybe he'll die first. I mean he is a year older. Uh-oh, kenehora time. I should delete but I won't.
Venue to be decided. I do like the Kehillat Israel Temple in the Palisades. I like the Writers Guild Theater. The Self-Realization Temple would be ideal. Staples Center? Nah, keep it humble. Guess it depends on how many friends are still alive. You know, like if I lived a long life, and no one's still around, I'm fine with my living room. If for any reason, I am so old that I'm unable to live alone and someone put me in a "facility," then that is NOT the place I want the party to be. And by the way, shame on you for putting me in a facility. For the record, I do not want to be put in a facility. What I want is full-time care in my own home -- surrounded by my animals that my caretakers feed and walk.
Man or woman in cloth. I choose man. I also choose gentile. I'm half and half, I'm allowed. It will be Gabriel Ferrer, a close friend and minister. He knows me well, which is why I choose him. I guess Gabri could be joined by the former Rabbi in the Palisades, but then again, he doesn't really know me, even though he did preside at my mother's and father's funerals.
I want my son Oliver to make a nice montage, filled with many pictures of my fun-filled life. So -- no pictures of me in a fetal position, depressed. I also trust him with music even though we exchanged these texts over what music my friend should pick for her sister's funeral.
ME: Oliver, what are some good songs to use at a funeral?
10 seconds later.
OLIVER: Spice Girls' 'What I Really Really Want' and the theme song from I Love Lucy.
When I dictate to my husband what happens next after the montage, he says, "What is this, a bar mitzvah?" Here is what comes next. Make a note. It has to be orchestrated well, no pun intended. The very second the 8 to 10 minute of clips of me in national commercials, photos, and maybe some footage of me and my kids and dad in home movies end (I'll just make the DVD myself) the room will go black. No sound whatsoever. And as the audience sits in the quiet darkness, they will be jolted to attention by thunderous drums. Lights up to reveal a line of drummers marching in. I'm good with the Santa Monica High School drum line, providing they have one. Contact Joy Horowitz, whose kids were in the orchestra and band over at SAMO High. She will hook you up, I'm pretty sure. Though I can't be positive, because this is hopefully in the extremely distant future.
I'm a traditionalist when it comes to food at a funeral. I like to see platters of Nate n' Al's deli. I don't like to see fake platters of deli from random markets like Ralph's or Costco. So, write it down. I want people eating the real deal. Food that brings us home. I'm 100 percent Jewish when it comes to the spread.
I'm great at delegating jobs. And I give the job of writing the obit to my husband because he's a gifted writer and I know he will do an obit so much more justice than anything I could ever write myself. I am counting on him to outlive me -- at least long enough to write this -- even though he is seven years older and a male and the odds are not that good, statistically. But I know not to take that on. It will be short. I didn't really accomplish that much. It will say something like she loved her three kids. Her three kids thought she loved her three animals more. On second thought, I just wrote my obit.
By now, my "cremains" have been returned in a cardboard box. Don't go for a pricey urn because I'm not staying. Here are the places I would like my ashes to be scattered. Yes, it's more than one place.
My favorite spot is Malibu, in particular Old Malibu Road, so, for sure, some ought to be spread there. Keep it on the DL because there's probably a regulation. And I would love it to be a surfer-style "paddle out," in which case someone needs to contact my daughter Augie's first boyfriend, my favorite hunter-gatherer, Luke, to be in charge of this.
I also love the North Shore of Kauai, so throw some in the ocean there and take a big family vacation to do this. Fun!
AND, last but never least -- Manhattan. Not sure where or how -- maybe it should just be in front of my favorite restaurant, Prune. Although, I'm a little angry at Prune since they no longer have lunch where they served the world's best cheeseburger. I may have to go with Morandi. I'll leave it up to my kids' and husband's creativity. But if they're reading this, I'm leaning toward Morandi.
When I test my husband on what will be done with my ashes, he answers, "You're such a cat freak, we'll use them instead of sand in the litter box." His other answer when I drill him is, "You'll be dead, you won't know." Sorry, but that's just not the answer a control freak wants to hear.