It All Starts Somewhere...

Not long after our son was born, Andy and I decided to grow up, stop eating Ramen noodles and get insurance policies.  The moment we signed those policies was quite surreal.  I realized as we sat on either side of our financial representative that every episode of Snapped or City Confidential started right there, at the kitchen table, making the public declaration that we were worth more dead than alive…and the other one now had it in writing.

It makes you wonder how well you really know a person.

Andy and I glanced up at each other timidly from time to time as we flipped through the pages and signed our respective forms.  We hadn't been that nervous since our first kiss.  After what I refer to as the most vulnerable moment of our lives, Andy excused himself to go wash and wax my car while I went online to buy that bottle of cologne he'd been asking for.  I was alphabetizing his cd's and scrubbing out his shower when he came back in the house and declared I needed a night off and he was taking me out to dinner.

We had never been nicer to each other.

The first thing required of a life insurance policy, after the dreaded signing o' the form, is an assessment of your health.  The traveling nurse comes to your house to take your vitals, get blood and weigh you with her cheap scale.

This is to assess the amount you should pay per month.  You know, it's the risk assessment.  The more you pay per month...the more likely you will die within the 30 year term of your policy.  Pleasant thought isn't it?

Because Andy and I worked, we had to have our health assessed at separate times. He just happened to be first.  Later that afternoon, I called home from work to see how it went. 

“I don’t feel so good,” he sounded puny over the phone.

“Are you sick?” 

“No, the nurse took all this blood and I’m feeling really lightheaded.  I don’t know if I can even go to work tonight?”

“Where are you?” I asked.

“Lying in bed with my feet up in the air.”

“Good grief, how much blood did she take?” 

Being a woman, blood donor and having had a baby, I had had quite a bit of blood taken many, many times.  After talking to Andy, my mind was imagining the nurse tapping my husband’s arm like a keg and leaving our home with a bucket of his blood.

I told him to take it easy for the rest of the day.

A few days later, the nurse showed up again to conduct her ‘how much should you have to pay for coverage’ tests on me.  Without looking up from her clipboard she asked me how my husband was doing. 

“Oh, He’s fine.”

“Well, he wasn’t fine the other day.  I thought he was going to pass out when I was taking his blood.”

“Well, he rarely goes to the doctor so he’s not used to having vials of blood taken.” I explained. 

She looked up from what she was doing. “I took one vial of blood.”

“One vial?”

“One vial.”

“I see.” 

Do you remember when the doctor says, “one stitch” in the hospital scene of Adventures in Babysitting?  This was that moment. One stitch.  One vial.

After that discovery, she pulled out her scale.  Now, there is a certain method to a woman stepping on a scale.  Can I get an amen?  There are conditions, specific wardrobe choices and the moon must be in the seventh house.  Do NOT throw your $4 Big Lots scale down on my living room floor at 4PM, tell me to step on with my shoes and think THAT is an accurate number.  Is nothing sacred anymore?

I tried to negotiate, but apparently she was not willing to accept the weight on my driver's license listing my high school ten pounds.  

Needless to say, once we got our assessments back.  My premium went up, while my husband’s went down by half.  I was bitter. 

“This is weight discrimination.” I declared over the phone from work to my husband the day I found out. “I just had a baby, don’t I get some kind of special post partum immunity or something?”

He mumbled something about life not working like reality television. 

He never understands. He then made the most common mistake men make while women vent.  He had opinions.  Then he made the 2nd most common mistake.  He shared them with me.

“What you don’t understand, honey…” He began. 

This is dangerous territory he is heading into here.  1.) No woman wants to be told she doesn’t understand.  2.) He is clearly about to insert some thoughts on my vent session about my weight. 

Careful, Andy.  I know how much you're worth.

I’m pretty sure he promised never to discuss my weight when we said our vows.  The only acceptable weight comment is…”It looks like you’ve lost weight.”  That’s it…nothing else.  No deviation.  A man can say, “It looks like you’ve lost weight.”  Then he just needs to shut up.

Yet he continued“…is that you really have to watch what you eat and always make sure you exercise.”

He has never exercised.

“I mean, I must walk several miles at my job each night.  That keeps me in great shape.  Life and getting older…”

Great, now I’m out of shape and getting older.

“…is about really taking care of our bodies and paying close attention to the things we choose to eat.”

Just then, I heard the kitchen timer go off in the background.

“What was that?” I asked.

“Huh?  Oh, my Tombstone is ready. Can we talk later?”

“Sure,” I muttered bitterly.

“Oh, honey?”

"Yes?" I managed.

"Do you think you could pick up some Lays Stacks and box of doughnuts on the way home."

I slammed the phone down on the receiver wondering how much his premium would go up if the insurance company had any inkling about the sudden and dramatic increase in risk to his overall well-being at that very moment.


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