Thanks to the onslaught of 30-something anxiety regarding the inevitability of death, Alex and I now have life insurance. I’m told this is an important part of every marriage, but it feels more like a really good way to ruin everything. I can’t imagine any other circumstance where we’d end up sitting on opposite ends of the couch at midnight on a Tuesday, with me yelling:
“And then I’m going to be a 42-year-old widow who can’t afford Spotify Premium and our children will never go to college.”
Let’s not forget, we don’t even have children. But even though they don’t exist yet, they are still very good points to make in an argument. Especially if you decide you’re probably going to have triplets.
When sheister-y insurance sales people talk to you about your life, you start thinking of all the what-ifs and future selves you might become. And there is lots of math involved:
“You will need your salary X however many years you want your spouse and children to not have to live in a box, eating out of trashcans.”
“You don’t want to saddle your loved ones with all your unpaid debt, do you?”
I tried to explain that my only debt is in the currency of sexual favors for all those times Alex lets me wait in the car because I can’t bear the weight of human interaction.
“Well, sure. But think of all the future debt you’ll incur. A house, newer cars, you’ll have to furnish that house, things happen, one of you might become ill, you might even become uninsurable, honestly THERE IS A VERY GOOD CHANCE YOU WILL DIE TOMORROW.”
Suddenly, all the things you thought you knew don’t really matter anymore. Here I was, thinking we were in good health, enjoying our 2nd year of marriage and our 1st year in Colorado. But really we’re just one breath away from life-long destitution and/or debilitating illness.
Suddenly, I’m crying. I love Alex so much. If I die I want him to have enough money to buy an ugly leather couch like the one I made him get rid of when we got married and an ever bigger TV for him to watch all those BBC shows that make me roll my eyes. I don’t want him to have to move to small town Kansas in order to afford our future 12-year old triplets (one of whom has behavioral issues requiring an innovative form of therapy that insurance won’t cover). Suddenly the math is clear:
“You need to insure me for $8 million.”
This is only about $1000 a month, which seems like a great price for my peace of mind. But then, of course, what if Alex is the one who dies?
I picture myself having to live the way I did in college—eating carefully rationed wheat thins and chunks of cheese, living in a lean-to that someone built in their side yard, where you couldn’t use the heater because there was a gas leak and none of the toilets worked and the ceiling was only an inch above my head—but with my 12-year old triplets in tow.
“We need to insure you for $70 million.”
Now our insurance premium will be around $9,750 a month. Obviously this is a little tough to swing, but we can make it work if we’re willing to adjust our lifestyle a bit.
Moving in for the kill, the insurance guy tells us a story about a 29-year-old woman with an 18-month-old baby and a husband who’d just decided to get his MBA when she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that gave her 3 months to live.
“And she swore she’d been eating organic her entire life,” he added wistfully.
I eat organic produce but I also eat a LOT of Picheezitsa. Like, a lot a lot. So I probably won’t even be given 3 months. This is serious.
In order to afford life insurance we’ll just have to move into a lean-to, stop eating organic, and have a wheat-thin based diet. This seems totally doable, for the sake of the triplets. I want them to have all the opportunities I never had.
But then it hits me—what if I die while Alex is still young and marriageable? What if I haven’t yet burdened him with unruly children and he’s just this unencumbered millionaire, rolling around town in a Tesla, appealing to the sympathies of all these carefree hookers who feel sorry for widowers? What if they’re the kinds of girls who never lay in bed and worry about their future triplets? The kinds of girls who know how to put their hair in a top-knot and have actual eyebrows and never look like they’re sweating to death when walking around outside and oh my gosh this is really upsetting.
I’ve decided he can insure me for $1500. That should be enough for a new couch.
What’s the most divisive conversation you’ve had with your significant other? Do you worry about the future?
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