People tend to go a little funny when you tell them you’re doing up your will.
“Oh dear, everything is ok, isn’t it?” they lean in and ask anxiously, their eyes bright with sympathy.
“I’m dying!” Saffy once said dramatically. By the time Sharyn had stopped crying hysterically, Saffy added, “Well, I’m not dying immediately, but it’s going to happen eventually!”
“Choy!” Sharyn shouted. “Where got such thing, one, tell people you’re dying? Aiyoh, give me heart attack, ah, I tell you!”
“All the more reason to do your will, in that case!” Saffy said triumphantly.
Ever practical, Amanda can’t understand what the fuss is all about. “Everyone should get their will done up. These days, you never know. You could step out of a restaurant and get run over by a bus!”
“And imagine if you’d been trying to lose weight and all you had for lunch was a salad!” Saffy added with a shiver of horror.
The other day, my friend Jeremy posted on Facebook an article about this 30 something year old woman in London who was discovered in her flat three years after she’d died. Apparently, the TV was still on and no one had smelt her decomposing body because the windows of her flat opened over a rubbish tip, so no one could tell. By the time the landlord broke down the door to demand his three years of back rent, the woman, still sitting in her sofa in her living room, had become a skeleton.
The fate of the poor woman fully occupied our attention for days. Saffy couldn’t understand how in three years no one even bothered to find out what had happened to their friend. “I mean, look at this picture of her! She’s so pretty! Three years is a long time not to catch up with someone! What was wrong with her friends?”
It didn’t take a genius to guess from Saffy’s hunted eyes that she was thinking that if someone so pretty could be completely overlooked for three years, how much longer would it take to discover the skeleton of someone who was considerably less pretty?
“I hope she at least had a will!” Amanda said.
“If she was three years behind in her rent, I really doubt she had much money to start with!” Saffy said, completely forgetting that the woman had been very much dead during those three years.
Later that afternoon, Barney Chen dropped by for coffee and was brought up to date with the issue currently obsessing us. “This is why I have a morning buddy!” he growled in his bass baritone.
Amanda hesitated. “Uhm…is that like a…uhm…a friend with benefits?”
“No, that’s a fu…”
I coughed loudly.
“A morning buddy,” Barney said with a smirk, “is when you’re single and you live alone and this person calls you every morning just to check that you’re still alive. My morning buddy is my mother! She calls me every morning at 7.30. Her morning buddy is her sister, my Auntie Ming and I’m Auntie Ming’s morning buddy. It’s a closed loop system,” he said with satisfaction.
Amanda later said at least a morning buddy was one thing we didn’t need right now. “God, imagine living alone and then dying and no one knows…”
“Or cares,” Saffy added darkly.
A few days ago, my mother rang and announced that she and my father were redoing their wills. “Would you like us to leave you anything specific, Jason, dear?” Mother asked in the same kind of tone you use to ask someone if they would like another slice of cake.
“I don’t want any of the silverware!” I said firmly. “Or any of the dusty Persian rugs.”
Saffy popped her head in my room. “Tell her you’ll take the cash!” she hissed.
I cupped a hand over the speaker and yelled, “Stop listening to my private conversations!”
“God, that’s so rude!” she said as she flounced off. “See if I’m going to discover you in the morning!”
Meanwhile, my mother was still rabbiting on who she was going to leave her precious bed linen and vintage Balenciagas to. “It’ll be all wasted on your sister. She only wears Zara!”
Michelle later said she couldn’t think of anything more ghoulish than inheriting your parents’ bed linen. “Just the possibility that those might have been the very sheets you were conceived on! Oh my God, can you imagine the ick factor?”
Saffy says that even if she made a will, she’d have nothing to leave anyone, anyway, so what was the point? But to be on the safe side, she’s now sleeping with her bedroom door wide open. “Check in on me each morning!”