SO, the Wolverine observes, apropos of absolutely nothing that we can see, guitar music is total class.
Good, right, good, we respond awkwardly, trying to sound interested and engaged as recommended by the latest award-winning teen-parenting book we'd bought ourselves for Christmas.
How come she didn't ask for a guitar for Christmas, then?
God, no, she'd zero interest in playing one! Nah! She just thought, she observes absent-mindedly, that a guitar would be nice at our wedding. Instead of, like, organ music. Organ music is so pathetic and old-fashioned.
What wedding? we inquire.
Your wedding, she says with some irritation.
Our wedding? But we got married 20 years ago you say, bewildered.
Your husband rolls his eyes.
Oh, yeah, sorry, she meant your funeral.
Your funeral, she repeats impatiently; like, you know, when you die and get buried.
Oh, right, we say, thanks.
The Wolverine heaves a sigh.
Lookit, remember the big mass organised by the transition year students -- of which she is a proud member -- before Christmas?
Though, she adds in a snippy aside, as usual Madeleine -- teacher's daughter and everybody's pet -- got to boss everyone around and hoover up all the credit.
But anyway, Madeleine got Niamh, Roisin and Margaret to play their guitars and it sounded brilliant and everybody said it was way better than boring old organ music.
Right there and then, the Wolverine reveals, she had an epiphany. She decided that she'd get all of her friends in to play at her parents' funeral Mass. Much cooler, she told us earnestly.
But, her father intervenes, with the straightest of faces, and ignoring my kick to his ankle, he doesn't want a funeral Mass and a burial.
Instead, he plans to attend the nearest crematorium where the organ music is pre-recorded and the blathering is kept to a minimum.
Following the cremation, however, he would like his urn to be placed at the centre of the Wolverine's mantelpiece, so that she can look at his ashes and weep -- just the way he feels like crying these days every time he looks at her.
The Wolverine rises up in a white fury. Nothing she says in this house is ever taken seriously! She was just trying to be nice!
Slam, bang, stamp, wail -- slam.
You glare at your husband.
Wow, 10 out of 10 for sensitivity, you say, walloping him with the parenting book. At least he has the grace to look sheepish.
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