Saturday, December 04, 2004

The Ultimate Workout, A Parade, and some Insurance.

Yes, my posting has been infrequent, but I'm so much more relaxed now. I mean, it wasn't like I was stressing out big time whenever I didn't post on the blog, but my newfound Zen regarding all things is really letting me savor the fruits of absolute indifference. For example, I've grown more patient with the babies, even if they're both crying and screaming. For some odd reason, instead of getting irritated at them, I just emphatize with them and take a hit of crack. Well, okay, not the crack bit - but I've just found a little more compassion in my heart for my children.

However, I've misplaced my compassion for the rest of the world, and I've adopted a rather "fuck-all" attitude. I probably should use a more polite term than that, but it's the only expression that truly conveys my fuck-all stance. So far, the receiving end of my fatalistic wrath has been applied to the health insurance folks, the people who are depriving us of financial obligations, and a certain insurance salesman who I will explain a little later. I've also started swearing like a sailor again, and somehow that's rather therapeutic because it slow-releases my tension whenever I feel like it, instead of letting it all pent up inside me.

On the flip side, we are tremendously blessed by the love that's coming in, namely through co-workers and friends. Some unknown co-worker gave my wife (through her boss) a $50 gift card today, to help us out, which is really nice. I feel weird accepting it because I'd prefer to extend my gratitude toward the person, and it'll really help us out a great deal because we're short on grocery money. Thanks, whoever you are! Also, we are thankful for our friends Brendon and Maralise, who agreed to participate in the world fastest weight loss program, which incidentally doubles as the world fastest heart attack inducer program. They initially let us use one of their AAA towing privileges to get our van to the shop so that they could charge us 80 bucks to tell us it was broken - then they agreed to help us push the van back home from the shop. Granted, it was only about 8 blocks from my home, but pushing a minivan is not easy, especially when it's just Brendon, myself and my wife.

I can't say about Brendon, but the only exercise we've done in the past two years is exclusively baby-related, either making 'em or rearing 'em. So it took us about 15 minutes to walk to the shop, and about an hour and a half to push the damn van back. Maralise, being super pregnant that she was, did the steering while the three of us hoofed it back with a minivan attached to our chests. We were even fortunate enough to get some help from some college kids when we got on our block, when 3, then about 7 of them pushed it up the last stretch - which we were going to struggle on. It was certainly a great gesture of goodwill that restored my faith in college kids.

Fast forward to tonight, when we went to the Lynden Christmas lights parade. My wife managed to take an hour early off, and we got there just as the parade was starting. Alex had tons of fun watching all the fire engines, tractors, house-drawn carriages, and even a giant Dutch shoe (probably has a name, but I'm too lazy to look it up) come by. He clapped and waved and held on to the umbrella that I had over our heads, and even took the time to put his hand on JL's umbrella, and then put it in his mouth. Watching parades evidently makes him thirsty. Zoe didn't mind too much either, once she was out of the stroller. She just stared at the lights, blinked, stared some more.

We left a little early because we've been standing there for about an hour, and we were concerned about the rain and the cold weather, but once we got home, we were greeted by insurance salespeople. What happened was that my wife got a phone call the other day, and the man said that he had a certificate to give to my wife regarding insurance for us. And he needed to talk to us to clarify the information. My wife was iffy about it anyway, but he pushed for an appointment so we set one for tonight. We told him up front that we were broke, and I even told him flat out that we were dead ends. We weren't buying any, and that was that. He finally left empty handed.

Essentially, this is what me and my wife figured out. My mother-in-law had purchased life insurance, which is fine. She may or may not have listed us as beneficiaries, which doesn't really matter except that was why we agreed to meet with this guy - he came under the pretense of finalizing the details. Anyway, what happened was that this guy told my mother-in-law that they could extend basic life insurance to any family members, and friends at no cost. So my mother-in-law gave them our details, so that we could get this free "Certificate" for life insurance. But basically what this free "Certificate" really is are leads for the salespeople - people who would consider life insurance have a) extra money to even think about insurance; and b) elderly people. Any leads, or "friends and family" that my mother-in-law offered, were viable leads because they had money and/or were in their target demographic.

So this guy comes up and I will even go so far as to believe that the certificate is a valid and binding document - however, in their ideal situation, we would have involuntarily sat through his sales pitch for what I think is a life insurance certificate, valid for one year, with a limited payout of $1,000. Basically, this company is figuring that the odds of you dying in the next year under their particular circumstances would be slim. But luckily for us, because we're so poor and I'm such an asshole about "something for nothing", I didn't trust him from the start. We also figured out that his "trainee" that he brought along was probably his mother, because his trainee wasn't learning a whole lot by talking to JL and the babies from the other room. Plus what trainee for an insurance company would be willing to travel all the way from Kirkland, which is an hour and a half from our house, on a Saturday night to an 8 o'clock appointment?

Anyway, I'm riding pretty high on my horse about figuring this thing out, mostly because I feel empowered. That somebody tried to screw with us again but we fended them off with our strong will and our poverty. Take that, you scumbags!

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