Thursday, January 17, 2008

short lunch

I tried to take the shortest lunch possible today. I live about a mile and a half from work (a very good thing if you can't feel the gas and brake pedals when you drive and are "resisting' getting hand controls for your car). I thought 15 minutes max. I went home, inhaled some cabbage salad and yogurt, and then the doorbell rang. I couldn't pretend not to be home because my garage door was wide open showing the world the contents of my incredibly messy garage (recycling, trash can, two old lawn mowers, shower get the general idea). So I answered it.

Usually when people knock on my door in the middle of the day it is to deliver a package or to read me a religious tract printed on non-recycled paper that informs me that I am going straight to hell. I don't mind the mailman. Hell, I don't even mind the people toting parts of the Bible around on photocopied pieces of paper that will just get wadded up and thrown away. I figure that if they want to spend part of their day worrying about the state of my soul I should be grateful. My husband will actually spend several hours with them espousing the virtues of different philosophies with regard to one's soul and whether or not the soul really exists. He enjoys it. He quotes Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Aquinas, and Nietzsche. Then he refers to as many religious and spiritual texts as he can ("Girl? will you get all six edition of the Bible, the Torah, the Quoran, and the The Bhagavad Gita for me? They are on the reference bookshelf next to the Gazetteer and the Oxford English Dictionary"). After a couple hours they usually give him, and by extension me, up as a lost cause and by that I mean a lost soul. And then we have to put all the books away.

Honestly I enjoy these exchanges. They are generally less painful for me than the person standing on my porch. And it's human interaction....nothing to complain about. Sadly they rarely come back and I haven't been able to figure out why. So when I opened the door today I was expecting a lecture on the state of my soul (sounds political doesn't it?). Instead it was a man worried about the state of my financial well in a representative for an investment firm. Uhm....what can we talk about? I have no extra money to invest. I have no investments. I barely have a savings account. And by all accounts I am really really lucky.

Since people knocking on my door is evidently a sign from the Almighty (and they are worried about my soul- pah!) for me to deliver a lecture about the state of the world I decided to give him a speech a financial theme to it. I explained that I had no money to invest because I live in a country where we treat people like cars, or houses, or personal property. Where health care is determined by commercial interests rather than human interests. Where my medicine, if I did not have good prescription coverage, is worth twice as much as me($34,000/year vs the $17,000/year I make). Where people are dying because they are encouraged not to see a doctor as it is too expensive. Where the elderly make difficult choices between what medicine the take because they can't afford every medicine they need. A place where the politicians try to tweak the existing system to make it more affordable- not more accessible. A place where it take 4-5 months to get in to see a specialist if you have health insurance and longer if you don't. Yeah...and you know what? I feel better. I feel great. And then, just because I thought he should know, I told him about Brent Martin.

So my short lunch turned into a really really long lunch and I have to really thank that guy...he made my day more worthwhile. Because we engaged in a good heart to heart about an issue that really affects us all (ok-pun was not intended). So thank you for ruining my short lunch Mr. Investment firm guy.... it was actually the best kind of lunch I could imagine


Elizabeth McClung said...

Well, I am sure that you had fun he probably didn't but hey buddy, that's what "cold calls" mean. I am just frustrated and envious becuase NO one will let me drive at all, and I have a valid drivers licence just because I can't feel my feet (and I occasionally go blind, sometimes pass out and at other times lose hand function.) Ir really irks me, today at the parapalygic association I expressed my irk about this and the guy there laughes and goes, "But you wouldn't ACTUALLY drive if you had the chance, right.................(long pause) right?"

I told him that I am not really that concerned, it always seems the oncoming lane that is more concerned (hey I live in a city where 10% of the drivers are over 80 - what exactly is a little blindness, hand tremors, and loss of function - that should make me fit in.) - and now I read that YOU get to drive in this condition. Sigh.

ms bond said...

Ooh...good point. I know I shouldn't drive but nobody has the guts to tell me no. My family doesn't let me drive any further than work or back which is frustrating but they have no leverage to stop me altogether because I have a perfect driving record. Long distances...out of the question.

last summer I had a dr.s appointment in Nashville (hour and a half away). My poor husband got really really sick the day of but because I had been waiting for this appointment for over five months I drove myself. It was really frightening. My legs would cramp and shake and my concentration was pretty much shot. I kept telling myself that all I had to do was make it there...then I could die on the way back. The doctor informed me that if I ever pulled a stunt like that agin he'd personally make sure I never got behind the steering wheel of a car again in my life (such praise for determination). The truth is that they legally can't take away my license until I cause a wreck. I avoid driving when I think that might happen (fear is a great motivater).

If it were up to me I'd let you drive. Nobody thinks of it but we court death every time we get in a car. Personally I think our excuses for causing a wreck are a lot more valid than most people's.