A little background for the new readers. Mom is a packrat of the most fanatical kind. Dad fought for a neat home for many years, but the passion for the good fight has left him, and he is resigned to his clutter-filled demise. This has not, however, diminished his sense of humor about it.
We three were in the middle of Chik-fil-a, lunching and loudly discussing the rattiest pair of slippers that needed to be retired.
Now, in trying to explain the difference between sane keeping of stuff and the obsessive need to accumulate, I used what I believed to be a facetious example…. ‘that would be like if grandma died, and someone kept her body in the spare bedroom because they miss her."
To this, my mother began to sputter, to clutch her hands to her face, and make unidentifiable noises… at first I believed it to be laughter, but tears at her eyes had me worried. Her mother passed away some 6 years ago, and it can sometimes be a soft spot.
ME: (to Dad) is she crying?
DAD: I don’t know
MOM: (napkin to her eyes, shaking head no, mumbles thru hysteria) murffle, mrgh… flr ooom.
ME: uh…. Um…. One more time mom.
MOM: (now clearly laughing) My mother’s ashes are in the spare room. (more laughter)
DAD: Ahhh, see…. Your Grandmother has gone from collecting clutter, to becoming clutter.
Yeah…. In ANYONE ELSE’s family… it would have been a facetious example.