Friday, May 6, 2011

Eat Spring


Do you remember reading my post about Ordinary Things? Of course you do. You loved it so much you told everybody you know to read it, too.

In that post, I mentioned that I filled out the 22 page Washington State Health Questionnaire. Health insurance has been an ongoing battle in my adult life, ever since I left the safety of my parent's Cobra and went venturing into the dark waters of individual plans. Fear it! I've been rejected before, which, considering what a terrifically healthy gal I am, is quite terrifying. What would happen if I actually got sick? It. Happens.

Because of all the stress surrounding insurance, actually dealing with it is my very least favorite thing to do. I'd rather do something truly retched, like get a pap smear. Which is ironic, since I can't even do that until I get insurance.

So anyway, I felt like a million bucks the other day, the day I completed the 22 page Health Questionnaire and placed it smartly into the hands of the Postal Worker. The job application was in. The health insurance applied for. I'M A WIZARD AT LIFE AND I'M GOING TO WRITE A BOOK ABOUT HOW GOOD I AM AT DOING ALL THE THINGS!!

(I almost congratulated myself on my grown-up ways by trying a new  cake-pop flavor at the Starbucks next door- thank GOD I knew better.)

This past Wednesday was our weekly yoga and dinner meet up at the Garden House.


When I got home, stretched and rejuvenated and superior, I found a thick envelope lying on my bed. From the insurance people! An envelope! And thick! Yay! I'm a writer, so I know what a rejection letter looks like. Rejection slips always arrive in sad, flimsy, onion-skin thin envelopes. They ought to just send a postcard that says NO on the back.

But this- this was weighty! It was a Steak of a letter! I sank onto my bed, feeling a little thrilled at how neatly my life was falling together. Next up, I'd score an interview for The Job. Then I could get a place to live, bring my little dog back to the city.  Lose five pounds, complete a Triathlon, get a book deal, get married, pop out acouplakids. It all starts here!

I tore open the paper and pulled out the letter inside.

Dear applicant. Thank you for applying. We are unable to review your application....(eyes scrolling down)....the 22 page health questionnaire you filled out is invalid.....we realize you downloaded this 22 page questionnaire off our website....the place where it said 'download here to apply'.....but we are still not going to look at it....we've included a new 22 page questionnaire. Please go ahead and reapply.

The envelope also included my original 22 page Health Questionnaire with a big red X through all 300 of my neatly filled in scantron bubbles.

They really should have just sent a post card: Sucker! Fuck your time! Ha ha ha!
The pages dropped out of my hands and floated to the floor. I turned the light off. I curled up in bed in a little ball of frustration. I made up this song: Oh life, Oh life Oh! Why you gots to be so Hard....so HARRD....


At the very least, it's spring. It's still cold. It's still raining. But we know it's spring because there is evidence everywhere. Things are growing.

And Blooming.

And food is coming out of the ground. At dinner on Wednesday, we were flipping through cook books wondering what to make for dessert. Someone suggested a rhubarb crisp, so Ammen wandered right out into the garden and pulled some out.


This is how we know winter is over: swamped, quenched, resilient vegetables emerging from the soil. Otherwise, we might be fooled into thinking it's late November- dreary, draining, wilting, dark.


I wait to get health insurance, and for the person who decides such things to call me and offer me an interview. I wait for some financial security, the ability to take a deep breath in, and for the sun to comes out. None of this is a metaphor. I want some money. I want some flippin' sunshine. I'm 26. I'm experienced. I'm sharp. I'm educated. I'm nice. It's May. It's spring. COME ON ALREADY.

But all of us are waiting for something.


 And while we wait, we eat. We eat spring.


And if spring doesn't show up and we go right into summer, then we'll eat summer, too.


And if summer never shows up? Like last year? Well in that case, we're moving. All together. To a place where there are four true seasons. Where health insurance is guaranteed for everyone. Someplace like Vermont.

Hey reader, what are you waiting for?


17 comments:

Jessica said...

I'm waiting to graduate. I'm waiting to save enough money to buy a camera. I'm waiting to get a dog. I'm waiting for my brother to get home from Afghanistan.

Gabriel said...

I am waiting to have a career. Not just a series of jobs that sort of look like a career, but are just jobs.

Bryan McLellan said...

Rhubarb! My mother is making raspberry rhubarb pie for me tomorrow for my birthday. When I was a kid my grandmother, who lived up the road, would make them from their rhubarb patch.

I avoid long forms somehow. I suppose thats why I collect all these statements of prior medical coverage, so I don't have to fill out the forms next time. I've taken an Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) a couple times in my life, which both frustrating long as well as long and frustrating. How many times do I have to tell you that I don't do what the voices tell me to do? No! That didn't mean to imply that there are any voices!

I did fill out a 401(k) form once only to be told it wasn't the current one and I'd have to start over. However, it was only a page or two, so you have my sympathy.

Melina said...

Raspberry Rhubarb! Oh Bryan, I love your comments. You ought to be writing your own blog!

Bryan McLellan said...

I do! I have three blogs of my own, plus the assortment of others that I contribute to on occasion. The narrative mode and target audience vary, from journaling and projects to technical writing and conjecture.

My comments are inspired by your writing though, so I prefer to share them with you.

kirida said...

you and your friends have the most photogenic meals! And being an adult is rough. How many times have I thought, this would be easier if someone else would do it for me.

And I'm waiting for my kids to go to bed. I'd rather have snoring than screaming. One day at a time.

fozz said...

your next post?

actually, retirement...and winning the lottery, which is sort of related.

Sebby said...

I'm waiting for Fozz to win the lottery, because I call halfsies (standard shotgun rules, he mentioned the lottery, I called it, enuff said).

I'm also waiting for Summer. Not just summer, but an actual Summer. One that is talked about for years to come ("remember that Summer?").

And I'm waiting for a new job. Which hopefully will happen soon. And to be healthy again and able to run and play. And to be ready to get a new dog.

That's the short and friendly list...

elissa said...

i'm waiting to get out of this town. i'm waiting to lose the last 10 pounds of baby weight that's lingering around my midsection. i'm waiting for your dirty, sinning legs to get their asses back to vermont.

Anonymous said...

Great paragraph:

But this- this was weighty! It was a Steak of a letter! I sank onto my bed, feeling a little thrilled at how neatly my life was falling together. Next up, I'd score an interview for The Job. Then I could get a place to live, bring my little dog back to the city. Lose five pounds, complete a Triathlon, get a book deal, get married, pop out acouplakids. It all starts here!

Melina said...

Dirty Sinning legs with asses.

Liss, I don't know how you can- in one line- outdo my whole post.

Genius.

David Hughes said...

Melina, you inspire me to write and to become a better writer. Today I bought two books to help my blogging. Thank you for sharing your passion.
I loved this paragraph...
"But this- this was weighty! It was a Steak of a letter! I sank onto my bed, feeling a little thrilled at how neatly my life was falling together. Next up, I'd score an interview for The Job. Then I could get a place to live, bring my little dog back to the city. Lose five pounds, complete a Triathlon, get a book deal, get married, pop out acouplakids. It all starts here!"

David Hughes said...

Melina, you inspire me to write and to become a better writer. Today I bought two books to help my blogging. Thank you for sharing your passion.
I loved this paragraph...
"But this- this was weighty! It was a Steak of a letter! I sank onto my bed, feeling a little thrilled at how neatly my life was falling together. Next up, I'd score an interview for The Job. Then I could get a place to live, bring my little dog back to the city. Lose five pounds, complete a Triathlon, get a book deal, get married, pop out acouplakids. It all starts here!"

dig this chick said...

Oh fucking insurance.

A story:

We switched insurance when I left my job (when Ruby was born). We had killer insurance through the museum and then we were hunting through Andy's employer. We filled out all those effing forms and they said our rates were higher than usual for a healthy, young couple with zero health issues. It was because I was overweight and had mostly because I had gained weight so quickly. I was 9 months pregnant. They wouldn't take that into consideration and told us to reapply after the baby was born and I lost the 30 pounds. We said fine (among so other colorful words) and then Ruby was hospitalized for two week to the tune of $65K so we were deemed uninsurable. Except by one company with a $10K deductible.

Love this: I'm a writer, so I know what a rejection letter looks like. Rejection slips always arrive in sad, flimsy, onion-skin thin envelopes. They ought to just send a postcard that says NO on the back.

True.

Melina said...

Dig- I have never. heard. anything. like. that.

And what can you do?! Who do you file a complaint with?! Who do you burn in effigy? No one. It's faceless company apparently employed by reptiles who hatched from eggs.

Adriana Iris said...

wow this post nourished my soul in so many ways ...you have fed my hungry soul...ty

Kate Austin-Avon said...

I realize I'm late to catch up on your posts, but I just had to say that I'M A WIZARD AT LIFE...THE THINGS is one of my favorite things I have ever read ever ever.