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A last request

Yesterday's local newspaper contained an obituary for a woman named Alice. She died Friday, age 78.

A funeral was held Saturday at a church in a nearby village. The obituary listed the church name and location, the time of the funeral, and the pastor who would be officiating. Then I saw a line I've never seen before in an obituary:

"It's Alice's request that everyone dress up and be on time."

What a sad last wish—not because it says something about Alice, but rather because it says something about our times. Not that long ago—certainly within my lifetime—she would not have had to make such a request.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 19th, 2012 06:19 pm (UTC)
That really resonates with me. Maybe it's my age and the way I was raised, but... I have to wonder about people who don't grasp those points of simple daily interaction. It really bothers me to be at a funeral/wedding/other very important occasion and see people dressed sloppily and wander in when they feel like it.
Aug. 19th, 2012 07:09 pm (UTC)
I hear you. Sometimes I think I'm shouting into a gale about etiquette—or rather, what seems to be its slow death—but I've never had to apologize for being over-dressed and early to such events.
Aug. 19th, 2012 07:20 pm (UTC)
Every day is Casual Friday. Last week, I saw the head cashier taking some new hires on their tour of the store, part of their first day of training on the job... and one of them was wearing shorts and a tank top. I predict her employment will not last long. If she doesn't have the (un)common sense to dress appropriately for her first day at work, then surely she will not be able to grasp the importance of company policies & procedures.
I'm getting old...I remember wearing a dress and pantyhose when I went job-hunting - for a summer job, not even a "real" job! (Brought my own pen, too.)
Aug. 19th, 2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
That trainee proves part of Bernie's assessment of modern America: louder, meaner, dumber.
Aug. 19th, 2012 10:17 pm (UTC)
Part of me wonders if it's meant to be gentler--perhaps Alice was a stickler about presentation and punctuality, and the people who knew her would get a kick out of this last request. I can see my dad wanting his obit to say that his last request was that no one dilly-dallies by the coffin (he's always been one for efficiency).
Aug. 19th, 2012 11:13 pm (UTC)
Maybe it was an inside joke, true.
Aug. 20th, 2012 06:27 am (UTC)
That was my first thought too.

My next thought was that whoever wrote the obituary is getting a dig in at a particular cousin or uncle or granddaughter or someone who they hate and who is late or in-their-eyes poorly dressed. But this might say more about my family's interactions and their skill for passive-aggressiveness than anything else :)

Either way, I'm sure Alice gave a lot of obituary-readers the joy and pleasure of getting to work up a good lather of alienation and disgust at modern society.
Aug. 20th, 2012 11:02 am (UTC)
Truth be told, I never considered the idea that the statement should be taken any way but literally.
Aug. 19th, 2012 10:23 pm (UTC)
Good for Alice. I think that's kind of a cool request. I suppose she could've requested they all wear a clown nose or something...
Aug. 19th, 2012 11:12 pm (UTC)
Coulda been worse ...
Aug. 21st, 2012 05:39 am (UTC)
I got a kick out of it, as I live in a place where everyone is so bad about being punctual that they call it "Homer Time." No one is on time for anything, nothing starts on time, and every time I comment on it I'm told that I need to relax and get used to it. I usually come back with how I'm going to start programming the radio station that way, where I am then told how I can't do that, as they expect their favorite show to start on time. As you can guess, that's when I use their own words against them. People usually see my point by then, but that hasn't made any of them actually change their behavior.

In the workplace I have been known to make people reschedule with me, even if I don't have anything else going on, if they are more than 10 minutes late for an appointment with me.
I consider a lack of punctuality a sign of laziness and a lack of respect for whomever you are supposed to meet.
Aug. 21st, 2012 11:28 am (UTC)
I wonder if Homer Time is anything like Tulsa Time.
Aug. 21st, 2012 03:38 pm (UTC)
Exactly like that, but opposite.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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