Plan Your Epitaph Day

headstone
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There are actually two international Plan Your Epitaph days, so if this one has caught you unprepared you’ll have another chance on November 2. It’s never too early to plan for your inevitable demise.

Goths have a reputation for being “obsessed with death” but in my experience we’re really not. It’s more that non-goths are so obsessed with avoiding death that they get weird the moment you bring it up. Even goths can be more interested in abstract death and dying than our own plans for the future, but it pays to be prepared.

If I didn’t believe that before, it became all too clear a few Aprils ago when a good friend died in surgery. She, like so many people, didn’t have much of a plan and would not have approved of all the decisions made in her name. Since then, every April my thoughts turn both to her and to my own future affairs.

To that end, Mr. Robot and I have bought life insurance and written wills. We’ve discussed organ donation (hell yes) and what point we want each other to stop live-saving measures. And we’ve made basic plans for our funerals and remains. I plan to be cremated and, if I die too long before Mr. Robot, to have my ashes put in a tasteful urn (red and black preferred) and prominently placed in the living room. Mr. Robot is hoping for a green burial–one where they plant a tree over your grave–and I’d like my ashes spread and buried with him. Our kids like the idea that we’d be “in the tree,” continuing the cycling and recycling of life.

This plan doesn’t really need an epitaph, but I wouldn’t mind a tasteful plaque near our tree. I’d quite like this quote from the Mahabharata:

What is the greatest wonder? Death strikes every day, yet we live as if we were immortal.

May you live long, die well, and leave timeless last words. In the meantime, perhaps these epitaphs will entertain and inspire you.

Day 24: My Favorite Shoes

Since the next challenge is shoes I love but never wear, I’m taking “favorite” to mean the shoes I wear the most. I mentioned that I wear cushiony house shoes for my plantar fasciitis . . . I bought these shoes specifically for that.house shoes 1

They’re not much to look at but they’re soft and quick to slip on and off so I wear them pretty much every day at home. These Skechers have seen my feet through some hard times. I’d like to pretend I don’t wear them outside but sometimes I totally do. Especially when I’m tired or in a hurry.

So there you have it. I promise the next day’s shoes will be much cuter.

house shoes 2

Day 23: My Lucky Bracelet

A couple years ago my friend Tammy went on a Mediterranean cruise and was nice enough to bring me some souvenirs, including this bracelet from Turkey. It’s supposed to protect me from the Evil Eye. I’ve had reasonably decent luck since then so it must be working, right?

You’ll notice it has a little elephant charm, which my mom would consider bonus good luck. She always had a small collection of lucky elephants, all with their trunks pointed up “so the luck won’t run out.”

I don’t much believe in lucky talismans but I am lucky to have good friends who bring me pretty things.

Day 22: Summer Something

A lot of goths are all about the boots. Whether it’s stompy buckled platforms or prim Victorian heels, we will love and wear those boots every. single. day. Doesn’t matter how hot the summer or icy the winter, we won’t sacrifice our style for comfortable footwear. I support that. I get it. I used to be like that until I got old.

sandal 1Just kidding, I’m not that old. Well, I am that old, but it was plantar fasciitis that made me compromise on shoes, not age. A couple years ago I developed this wicked heel pain that lasted for months and months, and it turns out the main cure is lots of rest, stretching your feet, and wearing sensible shoes like, all the time. Even around the house. So my sexy boots and classy heels drifted to the back of the closet in favor of soft house slippers and well-cushioned flats.

On top of that, I really do hate to be hot. Back in my twenties and even most of my thirties I’d just deal with it, but lately I just can’t. My feet (and the rest of me) need to breathe, dammit!

Oh my gods! I’ve become my mom! She’s lived in Birkenstock sandals and Dr. Scholl’s originals since I was little, and I always thought they were a middle-aged mom’s idea of hippie sandals. I shouldn’t have rolled my eyes; now I’m a middle-aged mom who spends all summer in pretty much the same thing. Only in black. Because goth. sandals 2

Also, my toenails are terrible. It’s not actually summer yet so I’ve kind of ignored them of late.

The top sandal is Earth Origins (Tracy style) and the bottom is Minnetonka something-or-other. If you squint real hard and like me a lot they can pass for tribal goth, I guess. But I still feel old. 😉

How about you? Are you part of the “boots only army” or do your feet need to breathe? Anything else you’ve adapted or changed with age?

 

Day 20: My Favorite Jewelry

When my dad was young he spent a couple years in Japan, and he’d always wanted to go back. With his vague government job and large family to support it didn’t seem super likely, but when I was eleven or twelve he got hired to help open an office in Tokyo. My dad was thrilled, but it also meant a couple of months-long trips out by himself before the office was ready and we all got to go.

This necklace was a gift he brought home from one of those solo trips. I used to wear it all the time as a kid. I rarely wear it now but I’m still very attached, and I hope to one day pass it on to the right kid or grandkid.

Day 19: All My Jewelry

 

I have a lot of jewelry. Buying jewelry is an affordable way to support local artisans and an indulgence for me. I also have trouble getting rid of things once I’ve grown attached, so once I have a piece I usually keep it forever. I feel like either a total packrat or a crass consumer showing y’all this, but if you can’t trust the internet to be kind and understanding, then who can you trust? 😉

Day 18: Jewelry I Have Made (Sort of)

I have no talent for making jewelry. I knit, I crochet, I can sew a straight seam (more or less), and I can string a basic bead, but I’ve never made anything that I love to wear. I’ve made a few strings of pagan devotional beads in my time; that’s the closest I’ve come to jewelry and the knots are woefully amateur. It was enough to inspire my oldest kid, though, who now loves to make bracelets and necklaces for her friends. She’s even made a couple for me. I proudly display them on my bedroom wall, but I don’t really wear them. That might make me the world’s worst mom, but my blessed daughter seems to understand that they’re perfect where they are.

Day 17: Clothing I Have Made

I tweaked the challenge. I was supposed to show you clothing I’ve altered but I couldn’t think of a single thing. I’m just such a lazy and terrible tailor that the only thing I’ve altered in the last year is my kids’ taekwondo pants. (They’re all so very, very short.) So sure, here’s a picture of that, but I’m also showing the sweater and shawl I crocheted from scratch. My youngest is home with a cold today, so she kindly agreed to be my model between sneezes. I might have to steal her shawl-as-headscarf idea.

Day 16: Someone Wearing Matching Clothes

This one was hard. All my friends and I are suburban housewives, and we pretty much dress like it. A couple have fantasy colors in their hair, and a couple wear the occasional stompy combat boot, but that’s about it.

Now I’m super sad because I just realized I’m by far the edgiest person in my circle of friends and I’m really not that edgy. For a long time I toned it way down to fit in and “be responsible,” but it just wasn’t me. Now that I’m ramping the black up to the level that makes me happy I stick out like a sore thumb (with black nailpolish on it). I don’t get shit from anyone, but no one’s jumping to dress like me either. Still, I’ve got something for you. I had to reach back a ways for these– they’re both about 4 years old–but they sort of fit the challenge.

The one on the left was my friend’s idea–the second lady from the left, with the necklace and the sunglasses on her head, wanted us all to wear “little black dresses” and come to her house for a party. It’s probably obvious, but I’m the one with the curly hair and the leopard print boobs.

The one on the right was my son’s idea. My kids are not goth in the slightest (I should write about that one of these days) but my boy is very into “scary” fantasy stuff like the Lord of the Rings. He decided that those were his “hobbit shorts” and insisted that I wear my “hobbit shorts” too so we could match. He looks like an adorable punk toddler here. I love it.