Of Boot Camps and Burials

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Yes, I know that is a picture of items related to a wedding and not to either Boot Camps or burials. You may also notice that the introductory line or “excerpt” for this particular post reads “Somehow this blog got from here to there and back to here.”

And it does.

I was driving to Boot Camp the other day, listening to Black Beauty’s radio, when I heard the morning DJ’s talking about the fact that funeral homes, in an effort to diversify, are now offering to do weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, baby showers, etc. Well, upon hearing this, I almost stopped …wait for it! … ”dead” in my tracks. (I couldn’t resist; sorry!)

But first I must do an aside here, since it’s something about which I frequently wonder. That is, my personal impact on Boot Camp.

I am the absolute worst visual testimonial for what is really a great hour or so of exercise. Our fearless leader, Kelly Mac, a personal trainer who frequently contributes to this website, should ban me from wearing anything with her logo on it. But, I really like to wear her t-shirts because they are of excellent quality and have a nice, full cut which serves to camouflage my “muffin tops”…so many muffin tops that a not-too-nice person may suggest that I have enough to open a bakery.

Being almost double in age of some of my younger work-out pals, I am the “grande dame” of the group  and I never miss an opportunity to remind everyone of that.  I do what I can do and we all encourage each other and sometimes even collapse into gales of laughter when one of us totally screws up. It is really a lot of fun and it really does work. However, as you will see below, the t-shirts have Boot Camp Junkie emblazoned across the front and Fit Happens across the back. By being seen in public in these,  I am not sure I’m helping Kelly expand her clientele base. How convinced can someone be of the success of her programs when they see I am a slightly overweight, slightly past middle-aged grandmother of eight?  I suppose if I were built like, say, Angelina Jolie or Gwyneth Paltrow and wearing the t-shirt…well, then it may help the Boot Camp biz. Here’s what I wear nearly every morning during the week:

Anyway, back to what I started out to write…I was driving to Boot Camp the other day when the morning DJ’s began discussing what is apparently this new trend of “alternative uses” for funeral homes, and it’s been happening right here, in Southern California, or as some of my east coast friends call it, “La La Land.”


Well, yes…really!

In an effort to grab more business, many Funeral Directors (the preferred term to “mortician” or “undertaker”…although I’m not sure whether they are “directing” the deceased or the family of the deceased) have modernized their places of business and upgraded them so that they can easily accommodate a celebration as easily as they can a cremation.  

It is not at all unusual to find these new centers (and some are incorporating the word “Community” into their business name) fully decked out with marble and granite, beautifully detailed woodwork, plush carpeting, soaring ceilings and in some, even a gala rotunda. Plus there are some very enticing incentives…and yes, I even read about one that offers a package that allows you not only to pre-plan and pre-pay your wedding, but also your entire funeral for whenever that may occur. Sort of a “two-for-one” or “BOGO” deal, I guess.

Now, here’s the thing that I’m struggling with…how do they manage scheduling?

Say you want to get married on July 10th. Mary Smith goes to meet her maker on July 9th. Do you turn down the funeral, even though you’ve buried every other Smith in the town since the turn-of-the-century? How do you say, “Oops…no can do! We’ve got the Jones-Murphy wedding here then.” Is it possible that they could do both? I have visions of guests arriving and instead of being asked “Bride or groom?” they are asked “Life or Death?” And what happens with late-comers? Suppose there is no one there to guide them to the appropriate venue? I once wandered into the wrong room when I arrived too early for a wake and came upon a stranger laid out in her coffin. I jumped about ten feet when someone came up behind me and said “I see you’ve met Mrs. Buckley.” Well, I wasn’t there to meet Mrs. Buckley, God rest her eternal soul… and the creepy guy (sorry, but he was the stereotypical undertaker, not one of the cute guys from Six Feet Under) very nearly had me as a new client with his silent, sneaky and yes, almost deadly entry into the room in which I inadvertently had arrived.

Sometimes I think I spend entirely too much time thinking about these things. Time that would be better spent doing push-ups on picnic tables and walking lunges down the beach.

Please share your opinion…would you opt for a wedding or a shower at a “home” if it meant considerable savings?

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2 Responses to Of Boot Camps and Burials

  1. Chelly says:

    Life or death? You crack me up! No I can not imaging having a wedding at a funeral home! No matter how lovely the community might be….

  2. P. J. OUELLETTE says:

    Not on your “life” would I be caught “dead” getting married in a funeral home!

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