Signs of the season are all around us. Christmas music in stores, catalogs invading our homes daily, houses with lights on them, annual suicide threats from my ex husband.
Ah, nothing says Christmas more than a suicide threat and this year is no different.
The build up begins around Halloween peaking on Christmas day and slowly declining mid-January. Initially, you can imagine the horror of this. It was a bit jarring to say the least. Surely, he wasn’t serious, my children and I mused. What would happen to his dogs? Would it be messy? Who would deal with the body? Does this mean I get my fondue pot back?
The questions were numerous and we found ourselves preparing for the worst when this tomfoolery began ten years ago. In order to appreciate this tale, you need to understand the man. He is and always has been a peacock. His looks are more important to him than anything. His clothes have to be the best and I would be erring on the side of conservatism if I said he looked at himself in the mirror twelve times before venturing out. I well remember being in labor with my son for twenty-four hours while he asked if I liked how he looked in his new Ralph Lauren shirt. You can only imagine my reply as I writhed in pain from back labor.
So knowing narcissism is the bane of Boyle’s existence, it’s impossible to believe he would harm himself. It would have to be done in such a way which wouldn’t blemish his body.
One Christmas Eve, the children and I spent the night trying to figure out how he would plan his demise. All of the ways we came up with would have blemished his exterior- a gun shot or knife wound ,for example, wouldn’t be appealing. Poison seemed to be the most likely candidate but I think that’s painful so again, wouldn’t appeal to Boyle. After appearance, comfort was also important to him.
The novelty of these threats was beginning to wear thin so we finally confronted him with it. If he wanted us to believe he’d actually commit the deed then we would be as cooperative as possible. My daughter said to him, “ Dad, we really don’t want you to commit suicide but if you feel you need to, we should plan your funeral.”
Boyle was silent.
My son continued, “ She’s right, Dad. We love you and don’t want to see you go but if you must, you must. We figure we’ll play some Beatle’s tunes in the church and then come back to the house for some Doritos and beer.”
Again, Boyle said nothing. Both kids then asked what he wanted to be laid out in. Did he want the jeans that made his rear end look smaller or the jeans that made his legs look thinner or perhaps the jeans that made his waist look more narrow? These were all things that needed to be taken into consideration and with the conversation focused entirely on him, his interest started to peak. He seemed to forget this was not a dress rehearsal we were discussing but a very final event.
As Boyle began to make dinner that evening, contemplating which jeans would make him look the best in an open casket, he reached for the non-fat butter spray to make his low calorie, non- fat organic omelet but instead grabbed a can of oven cleaner. Honest mistake. Both cans are the same size.
In planning his funeral, we opted for the jeans that made his butt look smaller. We’re sure he would have wanted it that way.