Grown Up

(from GagBlog June 7, 2004)



You know what? I like being a grown up. I am of the belief that all grown ups should allow themselves a certain amount of childishness, and my life allows me to exercise that belief. So I have no complaints. I like all the things associated with being grown up; sex, parenthood, homeownership, yardwork. Work and bill paying I don't really care for but I know they are necessary evils, so I am at peace with them. For all intents and purposes, I like being an adult.


There is, however, one black smudge across my adult life. One thing that absolutely sucks the soul out of everything it touches. To think about it or, God help me, deal with it, causes nausea waves I haven't known since my fear of the 5th grade bully at school. I will simply say the word and then I will go get a cup of coffee: INSURANCE.


Okay, I'm back. Look, I'm not an idiot, okay? I can write scripts and prose, engage in intelligent conversations, retain important facts and figures and insurance still confuses and frightens me. I won't even claim to understand it. (That pun was not intentional, but I will accept it as a gift of peace from the universe).


To be honest, the phone jockeys that work for my health insurance company are always nice and I hate getting upset with them. My wife, known to readers here as Millie, had spinal surgery in February. The surgery brought an end to months of extreme pain and immobility. She then went through 6 weeks of recovery. But it was all good because we knew she was on the right track. By the end of March she was back in the swing. Life was good...then the bills came.


My newly altered (by work) insurance policy wasn't paying for things. I have since spent the last few months sweating, swearing and calling the Insurance company getting them to pay for stuff. I know everybody goes through it. I know it's another one of those necessary evils. But unlike bill paying and work, it seems to get worse...get more evil. What really bothered me was that we were forced to worry about this instead of rejoicing that Mil came out the other side of all this healthy.


I get test anxiety looking at insurance information. I always feel like it's my fault I don't understand it. And the companies do nothing to help that. They like it when you feel it's your fault you don't understand something. Isn't there some better way?


I'm told no. There is not.


What it boils down to is this; don't get sick, don't crash your car and don't ever have a household fire. That seems pretty simple. Live in a stationary, airtight, sterile asbestos bubble and you'll be good. It's sad. I used to not want these things because it often meant tragedy or grief for friends or family. Now I don't want these things because I don't want to deal with the paperwork.