Kate is a writer, humorist and activist you can find at kathrynmayer.com. This piece was originally featured there.
You want sexy? I’ll show you sexy.
After my rather attractive husband was downsized, outsourced, laid off, and/or became a victim of the recession, we were not immediately panicked. Financially, that is.
We hoard our money the way most Americans spend it. We’re cheap. Not frugal; cheap. We started saving for college when our kids, all four of them, were babies. Our 401ks were maxed and matched in our 20s, and we have always lived below, far below, our ‘my-SUV-is-bigger-than-your-SUV’ suburban neighbors. We’re those people who saved and saved and saved some more.
When we moved back to Newtown after a brief, tortuous stint in Ohio, the realtors, banks and Fairfield County culture tried to bully us into homes three, no, FOUR times the price of the Brady Bunch fixer-upper we purchased. They tried to bankrupt us, but failed. (If only more Americans walked away from that bait ‘n switch mortgage game…)
Our only prerequisites: that we fit. And that we could pay the mortgage on one income: mine, the female 77 cents to the male $1.00 adjusted downward to accommodate for a decade off raising kids return-to-work salary. Just in case it ever came to that. Which it did.
But health benefits aren’t something you can save for.
We are all too aware we’re one bad diagnosis away from being homeless, and we don’t gamble. Not ever. So while we were never without benefits, we did upgrade, or perhaps it’s downgrade, to catastrophic coverage and everyone started flossing regularly. Which is a big leap when you’ve got a boatload of kids playing a boatload of sports in a petri dish of a school whose parents sole bedside manner consists of:
All this momming. Makes you all warm and tingly inside, huh?
My kids had it drilled into their head from kindergarten (when the nicest school nurses lured them with cooing promises of cool, clean compresses; cherry cough drops; and non-generic, non-stick BandAids): school nurse is OFF LIMITS. Even if her name was Mrs. Teagarden and she rubbed your back and took your temperature. They’re evil. Never go to the school nurse – that’s where the pink eye puke monster lives. Do not enter their office, and NEVER, under any circumstances, lie down on the pleather recliner.
You can go to the school nurse if, and only if, you have any of three mandatory, pre-qualifying conditions: puke, asthma, or blood. And there better be lots of it. We communicated this lovingly to the nurses as well, and I’m sure DCF was notified.
Why do I tell you this?
Because the magical day when my rather attractive husband’s brand new health benefits kick in is upon us. Which means that I have already had myself a vice-gripping mammogram, ultrasound of lumpy, dense breasts (if only), and a long-overdue doctor visit for cough-cough-coughing allergic Boy. Tomorrow: three – count ’em – three dentist appointments. What’s next? Colonoscopy for this girl right here, and a sports physical for kid3 two days before it expires! Winner! College girl #2 comes home next week and she’s getting her wisdom teeth yanked.
“But Mom, do I need them pulled? They don’t hurt anymore.”
“Yes they hurt. They hurt a lot. They hurt when I say they hurt and they hurt when we have coverage. Which is now.”
Years ago I chased guys with muscle brains, muscle chests, and muscle cars. Today, you wanna get lucky?
Show me some good orthodontic coverage and I’m all yours.