Did any of you watch Six Feet Under when it was on HBO several years ago? It's one of my favorite shows ever. For those who didn't, it was about a family who owned, and lived in, a funeral home. Morbid, right? While the show had a tendency to be dark, I learned today that funeral homes can actually be an...amusing experience.
It all started when I made the expedition to Summerville this afternoon for a new part time job I just took, gathering business listings for a community news website. Armed with my list of businesses that I've been assigned, I tackled a street in the downtown area, hoping the experience wouldn't be as tough and awkward as I feared. I was supposed to take pictures and get general information.
My first business to visit was the funeral home. Can it get more strange? I mean, I knew we had to get all the businesses in town--not just the glamorous boutiques and chic restaurants--but a funeral home makes for a pretty odd introduction to any gig.
I got out of my car, pulled out my camera, and started snapping pictures of the business exterior. I shot the sign, the front of the building...and ran out of ideas. I was supposed to get five photos.
Hmm...should I photograph that hearse? That seems...grim, I thought to myself.
As I stood there mulling it over, suddenly the front door opened and a tall, African-American gentleman with a furrowed brow approached me. "Can I help you?" he asked. I must've looked awfully crazy, snapping pictures of a funeral home like the freaking paparazzi.
I gingerly explained to him who I was, (what if he told me to get the heck out, and that I was disturbing the peacefulness of the recent deceased?!) and to my relief, he invited me in.
"I'm supposed to get pictures of the inside too..." I began helplessly.
With that, he whisked open the door of the home's chapel, and told me I could photograph it. I gotta admit it was weird, taking commercial photos of such a solemn place. But as my visit progressed, the man got much friendlier. He told me all about the funeral home's history, the original owners, and all sorts of things. It was actually interesting!
"Do you like cake? If I had known you were coming, I would have baked a cake for you!" he suddenly declared.
I was amazed.
"I love cake!" I replied. "I'll actually be back in Summerville on Wednesday to get more listings! I'd be happy to stop by for a slice of cake!!" We laughed heartily.
So, overall it was a great visit. And while I probably won't actually return for cake (although I'm tempted) it's cool to know that I won this skeptic over with my charm and enthusiasm.
Here's hoping the rest of the job goes just as well!