Why You Should Plan Ahead

One year into working a professional career, I made the best decision I ever made.  You see, I was living pretty well; a nice flat downtown with nice furniture.  I had a nice car; nothing special, but I wouldn’t have to worry about it breaking down on me or anything silly.  I was living the bachelor life.  That’s when I decided to invest.

I went down to the funeral home and picked out a coffin.  I had no intention of dying anytime soon, nor did I expect anything dreadful to happen to me.  It’s just something nice to have out of the way you know; someday I would have family and I would be dead and they would need to bury me.  When I buried my mother years ago, it was awful thinking about every little thing while also going through the emotional trauma and everything.  So when I eventually had a family, and I eventually kicked the bucket, it would be one less thing to think about.  I put it in a small self-storage and forgot about it.

A couple of months later, I started dating this girl.  She was chill; she liked progressive rock like me which was a bonus too.  I remember spending an entire date with her just sipping on gin and tonics while Caspian and Explosions in the Sky played in the background.  Needless to say, we eventually got engaged.

We wanted to move in together; this meant having to find a new place as my bachelor pad was a little constrictive.  We found a little place just outside of town in a fairly new complex.  Keep in mind, my eventual wooden resting place was still in the same spot, waiting.  Out of sight, out of mind.

She was working as a nurse, not a bad earning job.  I made enough to support us, but having more was nothing to frown at.  We eventually pooled out savings into one bank account.  It was a big leap in trust, because we each had to keep track of our spending.  While going through my records though, I found my statement regarding the lease on the storage space which had been taking out a minuscule amount each month.  It didn’t matter, but it jarred my memory nonetheless.  I switched the auto payments to withdraw from the new account.

One day she came to me, asking me about said monthly payments.  I told her the truth, but she wouldn’t believe me.  Who buys something like that at your age?  She asked me, accusing. I was adamant about my reasons, and she seemed to back down.

It turns out, she did some digging, and got the storage space taken out of my name and cancelled it.  I never really looked for it in my bank statements, so I didn’t really realize it was gone.

About a month later, I had to go out of the country on a business trip.  You see, I had gotten promoted, and in addition, my company had just opened a new branch overseas.  I was going there to get acquainted with the head of the board there.  She said she didn’t mind, but I felt a bit of apprehension in her voice.  I told her I would call her every day, and that seemed to calm her down.

Arriving off the airplane, I was terrified to find out that my cell had died, and my bag with the adapter for the charger had been lost.  Great.  Before I could make it to the hotel where I could use their phone, I had at least a couple of handshakes to make.

It turns out, soon after I left, the company that owned the storage space had recently cleaned out my spot that had fallen out of lease; getting rid of all my stuff.  Luckily, I had insurance on it, so they took it upon their selves to try to at least find the owner of the items.  I didn’t hear it myself, but I imagine this is how the phone call to my fiancée went:

“Hi,we have a coffin under the name Frank Jones.  Where would you like it delivered?”

Apparently, she had forgotten about our little fight and how I told her the exact truth regarding how I indeed had my own coffin purchased.  So, she assumed the call was about my coffin and how I was in it somehow, freshly deceased and waiting to be stuck in the ground somewhere.

When I finally got the chance to call her, probably about fifteen hours after she had seen me off at the airport, she was hysterical.  I had been killed in some sort of attack, or the plane crashed, or I had been poisoned or our competitor had sent an assassin to take me out, or…  Well, you get it.  To her, I was dead.  However, to myself, I was fully alive.  Imagine her surprise when I called her up.

She was elated to hear my voice.  I could hear her sobbing on the other side of the phone.  At the time, I didn’t know what for, but it made my heart break.  I explained the situation to her, about not being able to use my phone, and about using the hotel phone just then.  She stopped.  Then, after a short outburst of rage regarding ‘long distance fees,’ she hung up by swiftly slamming the phone down into the receiver.

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