Wednesday, February 29, 2012

No One Leaves this Room Until I Get that Minute Back

Last Friday was a gorgeous day. I did laundry, walked to 24th St. to retrieve my interview outfit, which had been cleaned and the sleeves of the jacket shortened a bit, and went to Papalote for a burrito. In the evening, I read online about the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP), for people who have been without insurance for at least six months, and the Major Risk Medical Insurance Program (MRMIP), which currently and unfortunately has an annual benefit maximum of $75,000, which could easily be exceeded with the right health condition.

I’d seen a figure of $1500 for a month of coverage under MRMIP, but if I were in it this year, it appears it would cost $553.86 for a month. That’s a lot of money, but less than $1500, so I was a bit cheered.

On Saturday I went to see my hospice visitee and in the evening, it was back to Papalote, this time with Tom, his girlfriend, and her son.

On Sunday I found myself feeling unexpectedly joyful, even liberated. I might not have let go of my health and my job voluntarily—I definitely wouldn’t have—but I still get the benefit of seeing once again that happiness isn’t dependent on those things or on any particular conditions.

On Sunday evening Tom and I went in a City CarShare car to a clubhouse in Novato for my friend Carol Joy’s 60th birthday party. There were five trillion cars parked outside, so we figured there must be several events happening there that evening, but it turned out every last car was for Carol Joy! She has lavished such love and kindness on me for 25 years now, I always figured I constituted 33% of her really close friends—who has time to have more than a few extremely extra-special friends? Well, there were a hundred people or so at that party, and I suspect that most everyone who was there thinks he or she is one of Carol Joy’s select group of extra-special friends. It was a fantastic party.

Using a microphone, she asked people from various eras of her life to raise their hands and be recognized: friends from elementary school, from high school, college, this job, that job. I got to raise my hand when she got to 1987 and her job at Recovering magazine. (I was the editor and production manager. Carol Joy was our ace ad saleslady and later the publisher.) The refreshments included goat cheese-stuffed pepperdaws and mushroom tarts, both of which were out of this world.

My most recent employer provides those who have been displaced with the opportunity to work with one of two career consulting firms. Other than laying me off, they are doing every possible thing to ensure that I stay off welfare. I made appointments with both career consultants for Monday so I wouldn’t have to get dressed up twice. Always thinking!

I was worried that going about town in my interview outfit would be complete torture, physically, or that there would be some horrible wardrobe malfunction, but it was actually fine, and any mild discomfort was offset by knowing I looked remarkable. After meeting with both career consultants, I had dinner at Herbivore with David and Lisa (visiting from Seattle), two friends of theirs, and Tom.

Last night I went to Howie’s and afterward succumbed to temptation and went for tea with Jen. I was out much later than usual and felt frazzled today, which unfortunately was a day when I had to call the latest phone company to seep into my life, the one for the cell phone.

At some point, the representative said he couldn’t hear me.

“Right, that’s because I have T-Mobile service,” I explained, the familiar feeling of rage filling my entire body. I went on, “I started out with 10 minutes and used two of them. Do you and I agree that 10 minus two is eight? OK, good. However, it then said I had seven minutes—what did T-Mobile do with my missing minute?”

Then I thought, “Did I really just say that?”

In the end, I decided not to pursue the missing minute, even though that lone minute did constitute 13 percent of my total minutes at the time, and I apologized to the support person, explaining that I go berserk with anger as soon as soon as I have to speak with anyone at any telephone company. Things could definitely have been worse in that I didn’t end up with my service cut off, as in a past regrettable incident.

Approximately 40 years ago, some of my father’s underdrawers went astray in the laundry and an investigation was initiated, in the course of which he said—he was joking—“No one leaves this room until I get those underpants back.”

Happy eighteenth birthday, Mom!
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