Friday, August 31, 2012

When I Grow Up, I Want to be an Insurance Agency

Man what a week!  I thought "Oh this week is gonna go so slow with the kid gone off to college" but it was anything but slow.  I wanted a distraction and boy did I get one.  The main focus of the week was Monday when I was innocently sitting at a red light and WHAM! got hit hard from behind.  I got out of my only-a-year-old SUV yelling "What the hell?" to find a very apologetic and scared high school boy.  He was so young he still had braces!  I took one look at him and thought of my daughter.  How would I want someone to treat my daughter if this happened to her.  So I calmed down and told him to follow me to a nearby parking lot where we could exchange information.  He was standing in the rain trying to write his name and address.  It was sad.  So I invited him to come sit in my car.  He just kept repeating "Oh my God!"  It was actually kind of humorous.  (The panic not the damage to my vehicle)  He tells me how his tires are so bald and didn't work and he can't believe how nice I was being about the whole thing.  I assured him that things happen and what's done is done, no use being mad over something you can't go back in time and change.  He had to call his mom to get the policy number.  He was just so young.  Once we had exchanged information.  He went on his way and so did I.  I went on my way to the Kroger.  This seemed to upset my hubby a little bit.  Apparently when you have an accident you are not supposed to carry on with your life.  You are to immediately report home, call insurance and stay put.  Until what?  I don't know.  But as with every other accident I have had I continued on to where I was going.  I needed tape.  Having an accident didn't change that fact.  (Oh, and it was lunch time so I grabbed some lunch at a local fast food window)  Once home I immediately called my insurance.  I tried to do that from my cell phone but it was a touch tone menu and apparently my cell phone doesn't have touch tone.  It can play Ke$ha when my daughter calls me but it can't beep so that I choose number 1.  Go figure.  Anyway, the insurance tells me that I have two options.  I can 1) call the other driver's insurance and do everything myself, or 2) pay a $500 deductible to have them handle it for me.  What?!?!?  They said they will try to get that money back from the other driver's insurance and reimburse me for the $500 but I thought a deductible was what you paid when it was your fault that there was an accident.  I have had three previous accidents.  Two weren't reported due to circumstances beyond my control and one was a "no fault" in a parking lot fender bender.  I had to pay my deductible then but my insurance was paying for the repairs.  I guess I just don't understand why I have to front the deductible when the other driver fully admits fault.  What if I didn't have that money to spare?  I'd be screwed.  I'd be stuck handling everything myself.  In which case, what the hell do I have insurance for?  I pay them a hefty sum every six months to do potentially nothing?  I don't get it.  I'm thinking maybe I need to go into the insurance business.  Collect a couple hundred twice a year and tell people they have to pay me more when they are hit or I won't do anything.  Sounds like a nice free ride to me.  The adjuster even had a fancy name for it.  Subjegation or something like that.  Just in case you were wondering that is actually pronounced "bull-shit".  Maybe I don't have enough accidents to know that this is the way insurance works all the time but seems rather fishy to me whether its just my company or the industry as a whole.  I won't name names or point fingers here but if this sounds a bit off to you and you want to know the name of my company, feel free to comment and I will share the name of this entity which is performing questionable procedures with you.  I'm nice like that.  Just ask the boy who hit me.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

And Then, There Were Two

I did it.  I drove my daughter to University and left her there.  omg!  I can't believe that I actually did this.  I am a bit numb at this point.  I have to admit that I cried but I was lucky enough to be able to hold that in until we got to the car.  I wanted to turn around and go back the entire way home.  But I didn't.  I did it.  She texted numerous times while we were returning to Suburbia saying how she missed us and I just couldn't express with words just how much I missed her too.  I had to be strong.  I didn't want to be.  I wanted to say "Do you want mommy to come back and get you?"  But I didn't.  I assured her that she will do well, she will succeed and she will be okay.  It feels like someone has ripped my heart out and tossed it aside.  I am spent.  I didn't sleep at all last night and with good reason.  I didn't want to sleep.  I just wanted to sit and watch my baby sleep.  Creepy, yes.  Sappy, yes.  Did I do it, no.  But I wanted to.  We spent the day with her - setting up her room, picking up her books, getting her post box set up, but when it came time to leave - we left.  There were parents who didn't.  There were parents who lingered and stayed simply because the college can't kick them out.  But we did what was right.  We left.  It was what we were supposed to do as parents.  We weren't supposed to hang out and make it harder on her.  We weren't supposed to stay and get in the way.  We weren't supposed to make other students sad that their parents had left and jealous that we had stayed as some did.  We left.  And now we are here.  Here at home.  And it just isn't the same.  It will never be the same again.  She will always be my baby girl but now she is an adult.  I am the parent of an adult child.  Wow.  So that leads me to - me.  Now what?  It will be hard tomorrow when Hubby returns to work and I am here all alone.  No kid to drive to work or pick up from work.  No child centered errands to run.  No evening of hearing about the perils of the daycare toddler-keeper.  It will be hard when I come across things - a book left here, a water bottle left there - all reminding me that she's no longer here.  I will probably cry more.  But then I will smile because I know that she is doing what needs to be done.  She is going for her goal.  She is making me proud.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I'm QuirkyMe and I Approve This Message

I can't believe what transpired this afternoon.  I was just sitting around on facebook looking at my newsfeed when another bit of political "humor" appeared.  The person (at the time, a friend) who posted the picture had been posting things similar to this for days if not weeks.  It was bashing the candidate that they are against.  Not my cup of tea but if that's the way you want to express yourself, who am I to judge.  The problem arose when a friend of mine made a comment stating her opposing opinion.  Said person immediately began an argument with her.  She continued bashing the opposition calling the candidate an "idiot".  I agreed with the commenter so I "liked" her comment.  They went back and forth again.  I "liked" the commenter's comment again.  She had valid points.  The conversation quickly took a nasty turn but only on one side.  The person who posted the picture was belittling and accusing and many other not-so-nice things.  I was appalled.  This person who I thought was a friend, was verbally attacking another friend - a friend I agreed with.  I have never seen cyber-bullying before but I definitely witnessed it today.  The attacker's friend joined in and together they tag teamed my friend until she was at a loss for words.  She stood her ground as best she could but the harassment was just too much.  She tried numerous times to politely end the conversation but those two mocked her until she felt compelled to speak up for herself again.  Eventually it ended and my friend (the commenter) realized that the attacker had blocked her and deleted her as a friend.  Then I realized that she had done the same to me.  Guilty by association I guess.  I don't know.  All I know is these were grown women.  When I think of cyber-bullying, I tend to think teens but now I know better.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion and agreeing to disagree (as my friend had suggested) is a means not of backing down and admitting you are wrong but respecting another's opinion.  These people had their opinion and everyone else was wrong.  What happened to freedom of speech and freedom of choice.  There are other opinions than yours out there and it is rude to think otherwise.  I am still in shock as to what happened.  To unfriend someone over their political opinions.  Hello, I was reading your political crap for weeks before this whole incident.  And what happened to supporting the candidate that you want to win instead of just bashing the one you don't like.  I just don't understand hate.  I will not hate this woman because of what she did.  It confuses me and baffles me but I will not hate her.  Judgement is something I leave to my God.  It is God's place to be the one to judge not me.  All I know is I won't hate her but I won't tolerate her bullying either.  Bullying has no place in this world.  Find another way to feed your desire for power.  If its this bad with grown adults, I can't even begin to know what teens and children deal with.  And for them there is often no way to unfriend someone.  They often have to deal with their bullies every day, day after day.  So if you are being bullied know that it is not right.  Speak up and speak out.  Tell someone.  Even adults bully and get bullied.  You are not alone.

On My Own, Pretending You're Beside Me

So, its two weeks until The Kid moves into her new dorm and her new life at University.  I know that this is about her, but I also need to be concious that it is about me too.  Yes, it is a big change in her life but it is a big change in mine also.  We have been best buds, partners in crime, twinsies for the last 18 years.  All of that is gonna change in two weeks.  I know that I have to let her go.  I will let her go.  It will pain me and sadden me but I will let her go.  The moving her in and the leaving her there will be hard but I can numb myself through that process.  What will be hard is the coming home.  There will be no more kid in the house.  It'll just be me and Hubby.  That is a strange concept.  See, Hubby and I started dating and were married within a year.  About a month before our first anniversary, The Kid came along.  We barely had time to ever be a couple.  What if we don't function well that way?  What if The Kid is the glue that holds us together?  What if everything begins to unravel?  What am I going to do with myself now that I'm no longer at 24/7 active presence mom?  The last time I went through a major life change if you don't count quitting two jobs was when we bought the house.  We all remember what happened when we bought the house.  I had a nervous breakdown.  I ended up in the psych. ward at the hospital.  I don't want that to happen again.  I especially don't want it to happen this time as The Kid will think it is her fault when its not.  Its just me.  I can't deal with major change that easily.  It has already started happening.  I've noticed I am crankier.  I've noticed that I'm not sleeping as well.  I've noticed that I am taking more and more of my tranquilizing meds.  This is not good.  My therapist seems to think that I am doing well and that I am handling things in my life very well.  I put on a good show don't I?  She doesn't know the true me.  I find myself telling her what I think she wants to hear when I am there.  We never really talk about problems.  We talk about what is going on in my life and I emphasize the good and don't bring up the bad.  I don't tell her that I've taken to gagging a lot due to the stress.  Almost throwing up seems to be my body's way of dealing with this impending doom.  See just the fact that I referred to it as impending doom just goes to show how I am viewing this whole thing.  So if there are any empty-nesters out there who have gone through this and are willing to share some advice, I am open to listening.  And for the record, my therapist has already told me the I may want to get another job or start volunteering once The Kid leaves but I just don't feel like that is going to fill the void her leaving will cause.  It would be like taking an empty can of coke and filling it with water.  You've filled it.  Its full.  Its just not right though.  The water just doesn't fit in the place of the coke.  I know it has to happen.  I know I will live through it.  I just don't know how.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Insert Jeopardy Theme Music Here

I am sitting and waiting.  God I hate waiting.  I am waiting for some woman to call me back.  Waiting for a phone call.  Quite possibly the worst kind of waiting.  I also hate health insurance red tape and snooty doctor's office employees. I would say that I hate health insurance but they keep things from costing like a million dollars so I don't hate them, I just hate their red tape.  Let me start at the beginning.  My daughter went to see a specialist who wanted to refer her to another specialist.  So after much schedule juggling (they told me initially that they couldn't get her in before she left for school), we went to see this other specialist on Wednesday.  We sat in the office for about 45 minutes just to have a woman come out and tell us that she couldn't be seen because they didn't have a referral.  Even though when I scheduled the appointment, I asked the person if they had the referral and she said yes.  Then the woman changed her story and said well we didn't have the right kind of referral and that it had to be from her PCP anyway.  So we drove to the PCP's office and stood there while they made the referral.  I also asked them to call and make me another appointment to avoid being told again that they couldn't get her in before she left for school.  They made the appointment for the next day because like the other specialist, the PCP thought she should see the new specialist right away.  So, Thursday we go to the new specialist again.  When I get there to check in and give my daughter's name, the same woman from the day before jumps up and literally runs over with our file to state that we still don't have the right kind of referral.  I said that we got one from the PCP and she said it still wasn't right.  I stated that we stood there while they did it and I didn't know what more to do.  Then this nice lady offered to call the PCP's office and explain to them what was needed.  She came back and assured me that Lori at the PCP's office would be calling me but that we couldn't see the new specialist until after Lori had called because then it would be covered by our insurance.  I asked if I would have trouble rescheduling before my daughter left for school and she said that her name was Kathy and I was to ask for her when I called if there was any trouble.  So I waited all day yesterday for this Lori to call.  I waited all through this morning for Lori to call.  Lori never called.  So at 11 am I took it upon myself to call insurance.  They said that the referral was good as of Thursday afternoon and that we were good to go see the new specialist.  So I called the new specialist's office and was told she can't have an appointment until the end of September.  I told the woman on the phone that I was told to ask for Kathy if there was a problem with the scheduling.  She said maybe I meant Chris and I said no, I mean Kathy and she said well Kathy is out to lunch right now but can I take your name and number and have her call you back?  I gave her my name and number.  Its 1 pm.  Apparently they take really long lunches at that office because she still hasn't called me back.  Oh and did I mention that the PCP is on vacation next week so its not like his office will be able to help me get an appointment.  This whole thing is just one big mess.  My hubby already called his HR department to find out if we could switch to a PPO (where you choose your doctors and specialists, it just costs more) instead of our HMO especially since our daughter will be going away to college and won't have access to her PCP to get referrals and such.  They said that moving to college was not a life change so we would have to wait until the next calendar year to switch to the PPO.  They said that if she were a spouse who was going from part-time emplyment to full-time employment or vice-versa that those circumstances are considered a life change but not moving to another state away from your family (and PCP).  That's not a life change at all.  Whatever.  So I wait.  I hate waiting.  She's not going to call is she?  She is never going to call and I am going to have to call them back again and go through the whole process over again.  Have a nice vacation PCP.  I'll just be here waiting.  Have a great three hour lunch Kathy.  I'll just be here waiting.  Have control over my life health insurance company.  I'll just be here waiting.  No.  I'm not waiting anymore.  I'm calling again because if you want something done, you have to be forceful and push or people just walk all over you or forget about you.  That's it.  I'm calling again.  No more waiting for me. . . . Ok, I'm back.  I got an appointment and she said that I needed to call my insurance to have them fax the referral approval to the new specialist's office.  I called insurance.  They don't do that.  They said they do things electronically and that I would have to call the PCP's office to get that done.  I called the PCP's office and they said they are doing it.  I will call back to the new specialist's office to confirm that they have it on Monday.  Good Lord!  Finally, all my ducks are in a row.  Thank you ducks.  Thank you for finally lining up even though getting you there was more difficult than herding cats.  Don't ask where I got that comparison from.  It's been a long week.  At least I'm done waiting :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Score Another Point for Insanity

Its Olympic time - that time once every two or four years (depending on if you watch both the summer and the winter games) when everyone bonds as Americans over living vicariously through people who are much more dedicated, talented and fit then most of us will ever be.  When I watch the Olympics, I experience something that I'm pretty sure most of you, if not all of you, do not experience.  I wait for someone to possibly mention my name.  I don't know why.  I don't know any of the athletes remotely let alone personally.  They have no reason to mention my name.  But when they are thanking people that have had an impact on their lives, I wonder if somehow, without realizing it, it may have been me.  Silly I know but I do the same thing with the Oscars and the Tonys.  Its a little different there though.  See when they say "and the winner is . . . " I have a flash that "hey, it could be me".  I'm not nominated or even an actress but yet there is a part of me that thinks - eh, stranger things.  Then, when I don't win, I wonder if the person who did win will thank me.  Not even thank me as much as mention me.  Ludicris, I know, but that's the way my brain works.  Its not self-centered as you might think.  It is actually, I believe, my OCD.  See when you have OCD you are often convinced that something has happened or could have happened even though you know it hasn't and didn't.  Like take driving for instance.  Sometimes I think I may have run over something.  Then instantly my brain thinks it may have been an animal and now it is hurt and needs my help.  So I loop the block to check.  No animal in the road.  Then I am convinced that it may have crawled off injured and be alongside of the road.  So I loop the block again.  This can continue on for an unlimited number of times.  I draw the line at getting out of my car to search for the animal but it takes a lot of effort to draw that line.   I am very proud of that line.  It lets me know that there is a chance that I have control and may some day with lots of therapy and meds be a semi-normal person.  But the point here is, I didn't hit anything but I think that it may have happened and I may have missed it.  Just like I think I may have had some encounter with an athlete or actor in the grocery store or somewhere just as mundane and that that moment has somehow stuck with this person enough that they can't forget to mention me with all of their coaches, families and God.  I actually do know some people who are actors and maybe someday one of them will win an award and I will have an actual shot at being mentioned but the odds are against it.  Unless they happed to be reading this in which case you now know what it would mean to me and you should add me to your list of people to thank or I will be pissed.  Anyway, the Olympics are fun to watch even if nobody mentions me.  Go USA!