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It is perfectly healthy to write your own epitaph. The wreath-bedecked Tin Man taught me this.

[set scene: Kate experiences pivotal moment]

Whenever someone has asked me to guest post on his/her blog in the past, I have regretfully declined, for no other reason than extreme stage fright. I like to think this all stems from when I played Dorothy in my high school’s production of the much-renowned musical Christmas in Oz. Believe me, you don’t stand on stage clicking some really lousy spray-painted ruby slippers together and belting out “Shouldn’t we have some Christmas spiiiiiiiirit?” in front of an auditorium full of smirking upperclassmen without suffering some residual effects.

But in this case, the upperclassman in question is Ilana of Mommy Shorts. Of course, if life were fair, I’d be the upperclassman here, since I started my blog a full year before Mommy Shorts even hit the scene. However, Ilana is tasked with something I hear many cultures call “ambition,” and it has paid off in spades, as her site is huge and gorgeous and rife with corporate sponsors and, most importantly, really good and really funny writing. (Don’t take my lazy, non-successful word for it, though; please check out the wonder that is Ilana for yourselves.)

The first time I met Ilana, back at that blogging conference in May, we had already known each other online for six months. So, there we were, walking along to our next session, when she turned to me and said, “You know, given how sarcastic you are on your blog, you really are MUCH friendlier in person than I thought you’d be.”

“Hmm!” I answered. Then I kicked her in the shin. After all, one must guard what one has just discovered to be one’s reputation as a Very Mean Person with one’s very life. That and use one as a self-referring pronoun. Very important.

Anyway, I saw Ilana again in July, when Adam and I were in New York City for super-important business stuff. Ilana and I, along with our mutual, magnificent, and ultra-talented blogging friend Heidi (Madame Paradox; really, there is no excuse not to read her), had agreed to meet for dinner one night while I was in town. I had not yet met Heidi in person and was very much looking forward to it.

When I walked into the restaurant, Ilana and Heidi were standing at the bar.

“Hi!” I said, clapping a little with excitement, since I find that unexplained clapping does wonders in social situations.

Ilana immediately turned to Heidi. “See?!?” she exclaimed. “Isn’t she SO MUCH MORE SMILEY THAN YOU EXPECT”?

And this is why I have put aside my real-life and virtual stage fright to post on Ilana’s site today. Because thanks to her, when I die, my epitaph will be all set and gravestone-ready. Well, actually, I plan on being cremated, so I guess they’ll have to engrave it on the urn, and since it’s kind of long, you’ll have to keep turning the urn to read it. Hmm. I’m sensing that this will disturb my ashes…huh. Eh. You know what? I’ll be good and dead and won’t mind, so we’re all good.

Kate House
1977 – ?
Loving mother, wife, daughter

SHE WAS SO MUCH MORE SMILEY THAN YOU EXPECTED.

gravestone funny epitaph

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