Yesterday I attended the beautiful funeral mass of a great man. The room was filled with tons of people who knew and loved him. It was a wonderful tribute.
The whole drive back from Wichita, I thought about my own life and death. What would my dream memorial event be like if I could plan it? Well, I’ll tell you…
- Two words: Destination Funeral. The setting? A white marble lobby of a luxury hotel overlooking the ocean. The décor will be simple blue and white vases filled with white chrysanthemums (mums are my birthday month flower) and stephanotis as an homage to Jackie O, her exact specifications for her own funeral.
- The dress code will be black cocktail attire with a pop of leopard and I want all the women wearing oversized Kentucky Derby hats. When guests arrive they will be entertained by a live band, preferably The Roots from The Tonight Show.
- A montage of black and white photos of me at my skinniest and most attractive phases of life will play on a slideshow, interspersed between black and white pictures of Heidi Klum just to see if people are really paying attention.
- Each guest will be handed their choice of a flute of champagne, a bloody mary, a dirty martini, or a skinny vanilla latte to take with them to their seat and enjoy during the program.
- If I precede my husband in death, I’d like him to make a grand entrance. As he slowly walks down the aisle with a tear-streaked face and trembling lip, I would like the music of Jay Z to start booming over the speakers, “If you havin’ girl problems, I feel bad for you, Son. I got 99 problems but a b*tch ain’t one. (Hit me!)” At first he will think it’s a mortifying technical mishap, but then he will realize what I’ve done, prompting him to look at the sky and say something inappropriate like “Damnit, Emily!” For a moment, everyone will be shocked and horrified, until they realize it’s a charming private joke and their hearts will be warmed as they wipe a single tear from their eyes and put on a brave smile and whisper to themselves knowingly, “Damnit Emily, indeed.”
- I’ll be cremated and my urn better be bold and sexy, maybe something in a Tory Burch orange with gold accents. I want a real look-at-me urn so when my husband puts it in the sitting room, future dates will always ask about “that gorgeous vahz!” And he will say, “Everytime I look at it, I see Emily.” And they’ll get all sympathetic, putting their hand on his leg and be like, “Oh you poor thing. It belonged to your wife?” And he will have to say, “No, it IS my wife Emily. Like, inside.” And the date will get super awkward.
- As my urn is wheeled down the aisle on a gold bamboo Bar Cart, I’d like everyone to stand while the band plays “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder.
- I’d like my brother Steve to supply two white tigers from Cedar Cove, flanking my urn in gold cages filled with Morrocan style pillows.
- Guests will get to vote on my top ten lifetime highlights ahead of time which will then be read David-Letterman-style by a british Officiant. The british accent is very important so as to make my accomplishments sound more distinguished and lend an air of formality to the occasion.
- I want a popular TV star of the day in attendance, someone not famous enough to take the attention off me, but well-known enough to make people wonder “What was she really up to, anyway?” Like a Real Housewife or a Top Chef or what-have-you. Any Bravo star will do.
- In tribute to my support of the LGBT community, I’d like a drag queen to sing Aretha Franklin’s “Natural Woman” backed by an enormous Gospel Choir.
- My best friend Lauren will do a reading from the Book of Tina Fey:
- My best friend Jessica will do an interpretive dance to Britney Spears’ “Everytime” that she makes up on the spot, after several drinks.
- Half way through the ceremony, I’d like two Millikin University musical theater students to randomly stand up in the audience and perform The Confrontation from Les Mis, have a brief scuffle and exit stage left. I would like the Officiant to then proceed as if nothing happened.
- I would like a 21 pomeranian salute, meaning 21 pomeranians dressed as mourners in oversized sunglasses, corralled to the side to entertain the children. (This should be set up on the opposite side of the room from the white tigers.)
- After the ceremony, guests would be treated to my favorite meal: pizza, a bacon bar, and white wedding cake. Guests could self serve from the Prosecco fountain.
- I’d like custom cocktail napkins featuring my various inspiring quotes and sage advice. Like the time my sorority sister Amanda wanted to buy a shower curtain from the dollar store to hang in our “party basement” bathroom in college and I said to her, “Or we could just rip up three dollars and pee on it.” She did not find this particularly inspiring at the time, but over the years she’s come to realize that is, in fact, what would have happened to the shower curtain. Other quotes, such as “Puke and rally” and “You can wish in one hand, crap in the other and see which fills up first” would also make fitting tributes to the way I lived my life.
- There should be a museum-quality display of my pageant outfits, similar to that of Princess Diana’s famous gowns, so guests can bid on them via silent auction. Proceeds will go to my favorite charity, The Cocktails & Chemo Foundation.
- To commemorate my vanity, I’d like each guest to leave with a swag bag full of my favorite beauty products and a sterling-silver framed 8×10 glamour shot of me with the inscription:
“In Remembrance of Emily. She Went Big And She Went Home.”