Monday, September 14, 2009

In Good Hands

What is it with life insurance guys? Why must they always live up to their reputation? We had one—I’ll call him Bill because that’s his name and yet it doesn’t exactly give away his identity—visit us yesterday since apparently he needed to meet the missus before moving forward with our new policy.

He showed up at our house a HALF HOUR early and called from his cell phone and was all, “I’m sitting here in my car trying to do paperwork, but it’s really difficult here in my car. Where I’m sitting. Outside your house. Doing paperwork.” I was all, “Well, Dr. Husband just worked the overnight shift and I’m a pregnant stay-at-home writer, so NEITHER OF US IS SHOWERED OR DRESSED YET, YOU MORON, so hows about waiting until the time you were supposed to show up before letting the slimefest that is life insurance sales commence?” Or something vaguely like that.

Once we’d put on clothes and let Bill into our home, he was very impressed to learn that Dr. Husband is an emergency medicine doctor and very happy to share his every harrowing emergency room story with us… The time his son had a bad prescription drug interaction, the time his other son fell out of a tree, the time the son who he no longer speaks to because he’s “too much of a nonconformist” went off his meds—or something like that, I wasn’t really listening, I was just trying to sign my name as quickly as possible so he would leave our house so I could take a shower and start my day like a typical nonconformist—i.e. without a life insurance agent at my dining room table.

Bill stayed for half an hour—the amount of time it takes a life insurance agent to collect four signatures and two drivers license numbers and two Social Security numbers.

Oh, also in that time he managed to squeeze in lots of fawning over Dr. Husband (You’re a doctor! An emergency doctor?! That’s great! That’s so exciting! How interesting!) and to finally turn to me to ask, “So, you’re a homemaker?”

A homemaker.

I’d forgotten that word existed. I thought it had gone the way of the dodo, the laserdisc, and menstrual pads with belts.

I explained, tight-lipped, that I’m a writer. There’s a big difference! Sure writers stay home during the day and putter about the house halfheartedly wiping down countertops and absentmindedly making grocery lists—but we also write! We digest experiences and render them entertaining and enlightening. We’re like the stomach of the masses—or maybe the kidneys, or perhaps we’re more like—

Bill interrupted my internal monologue to ask, “So what's your annual salary?”

He wasn’t being mean, he needed an answer for his paperwork.

I grimaced and told him the answer.

He was kind enough to reply, “Well, that’s something!” and, more importantly, he was kind enough not to laugh.

Thank you, Bill the Life Insurance Guy.

But please don’t ever come back to my house. Even if you're on-time.

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