This morning, whilst driving to work by myself (I usually drive in with the husband), someone on the radio was talking about how much they loved someone. It was a young, sort of dramatic, Valley-girl-esque gal, and she was going on and on about how she would like totally die for them. And because I was alone and tend to be a little fucked up in the head, I started thinking through the concept of dying for someone. And, as it turns out, no. Just no.
I ran through a couple of extremely tragic scenarios involving myself and my child (swerving traffic, oncoming bullet fire, an unruly native with a bow and arrow) and decided that I would instinctively throw my body in front of his in order to shield him from the danger. In my mind, however, I always ended up maimed and famous, but never dead. Which made it much, much easier to swallow. That said, I do feel comfortable saying that after 26 minutes of really thinking this through, I would, likely, maybe be willing to die for my child. (So I pass the mother test. I obviously love him more than I love myself. Win.)
Then I ran through a couple of similarly tragic scenarios with the husband and while I could imagine throwing a mom arm or screaming NOOOOOO!! emphatically, I just couldn’t rationalize dying in lieu of him. Like…why? Besides being heroic, what would I gain by ceasing to exist in place of my husband? There are plenty of studies about how sad and terrible it is for children to grow up motherless, but fatherless? I mean, not so much. Some of them get a little slutty or marry someone who looks like their father, but otherwise…
Is it because I couldn’t possibly go on without him? That my grief would be too much to bear and I’d rather be dead? I just don’t think so. I’d be really, really sad, and probably never wake up on time for work again, but those things kind of pale in comparison to being dead. Is it a potential question? Like which one of us has more left to add to society? Because my husband doesn’t even know how to work a glue gun and those insane toddler birthday parties are not going to plan themselves. So, me. Duh.
Then I started thinking about whether I would expect the husband to throw his body in front of oncoming traffic to save me. And the answer is absolutely. I took the last few minutes of my drive to try to reconcile how completely fucked up that is, but I couldn’t. I tried to talk myself into believing that we were on equal footing (woo feminism!) and the world is a Darwinian place, but in the back of my mind I couldn’t help but think, “he better fucking throw himself in front of me.”
Partially it’s because I do not even a little bit trust my husband to throw me an appropriately morose and fantastic funeral. He’d likely use a recent photo, which is completely unacceptable. There’s no telling who he would ask to speak or what music he would choose. A few years ago I told him I wanted there to be a signature cocktail rimmed with sugar and my ashes and he acted like I was kidding, which is a pretty sure indicator that he’s going to get the entire fete wrong.
And I’m not saying his inability to throw me a good funeral (or even choose a good obituary photo) are valid reasons for him to die instead of me. But in defense of myself, if something terrible happened to him whilst saving my life, I’d make sure that shit ended up on Ellen and there was a fund set up. I’d even let him cross to the other side wearing a hat and fleece. I’d even make sure no one spoke at his funeral so that he could maintain his shroud of mystery, even in death.
For now, I hope that no one get’s hit by a bus. But if it does happen, and somehow I am overcome by the urge to sacrifice myself, can someone please just make sure the photo is from sometime between 2010-2012? Because he will be too grief stricken, I’m sure.