Tina Peterson may have died in a car crash in 2002, but she isn’t about to let death stop her from holding herself to a high standard of gender-mandated social behavior. This sweetheart of a gal is making sure to leave space in her coffin for other people, should they happen to drop by!
Talk about manners!
“I know it looks like I’m all crammed up in one corner in here,” says Peterson, from her personal crypt six feet under the earth. “But it’s fine. I’m used to it.”
According to Peterson, nothing bugs her more than knowing that the other people in the cemetery are hogging up all the personal space in their coffins, therefore preventing any possibility of community from taking hold.
“I don’t think it used to be like this,” says Peterson. “People used to take each other into consideration as a matter of course. These days, it’s all ‘me me me’ – even in death. I don’t know, that just makes me feel guilty!”
Peterson says that even though it’s unlikely that she’ll receive many visitors in her tiny home deep in the earth, she likes to keep things tidy and spacious just in case.
“Even if nobody comes over,” she explains, “I feel good knowing that if they did, I’d be ready. I just have so much time to obsess about other people and how they’re doing now that I’m dead!”
Peterson’s cemetery neighbor, Pete Glasskemper, has a different opinion.
“Look, I spent my whole life thinking about other people,” says Glasskemper, who had been a junior high school English teacher. Currently, he spends his time manspreading as wide as he can 24 hours a day in his coffin.
“This is ‘me time’ now,” says Glasskemper. “Tina can do whatever she wants, but you can bet I’m gonna use every square inch of space in here for me. I earned it. I deserve this.”
“I guess that does sound nice,” says Peterson. “Honestly, sometimes I wish I were better at that. But I don’t want to be selfish. I already forced my family to be so sad after I died. I don’t want to inconvenience anyone else!”
Peterson is currently reaching out to others in the cemetery community to organize a series of midnight walks in October. She hopes to galvanize her neighbors to get to know each other and together take advantage of all the things that death has to offer. But first, she wants to make some additional space in her coffin.
“I think if just press myself up against the side of the coffin, that really opens up the middle a lot more for whomever else needs to use the space,” says Peterson. “After all, my motto in death is the same as it always was in life: ‘It’s not about me.’”