27 and more

About two months ago, my dad sent me a summary of benefits for a life insurance plan he and my mom opened when I was born. This was the first I’d ever seen or heard of it. An expired piece of paper, jammed into a Christmas card addressed to me and my boyfriend, “Sir Patrick.”
He called later to tell me what it was, that he had been paying the quarterly fee my entire life so far to keep the account open. He was calling to tell me that he wasn’t able to make payments anymore. That is was up to me, if I wanted, to keep it open or cash it out for “a down payment on a new car.” How did he know I was thinking about getting a new(used)somethingelse car?
I nestled the piece of paper away. Put in on my mental do-to list and went to work, to sleep, to movies, to California. I, well, went on with my life.
It wasn’t until my mom gave my brother and I the ‘do it or lose it’ lecture that I finally realized I could indeed lose it if I let it sit there.
Almost 27 years of payments and my life so far is worth $65,000. If I cash out now, only $3,300.
Somehow it seems like it should be worth a lot more. If only for what I’ve accrued along the way. If only because it’s mine. Do they factor in love, poetry, kitty cats, tv’s, best friends, photos, art, cold coffee? These days $65,000 these days will get you a really rockin’ car. Keep rollin’ rollin’ rollin’ or a really shitty house. Or 2 college degrees or about 4,333 books of poetry at 15 bucks a pop. (did I do that right? Basic Division? eeew math).
I probably won’t think about it too much. And there’s no point in Pat trying to kill me because we aren’t married and he wouldn’t get the money anyway. It would probably go to my mom and I’m sure she’d much rather have me than the money anyway.
I’ll take the life, instead.

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7 Responses to 27 and more

  1. Yes,I agree,your mom would DEFFINITELY opt for you instead of the $$$$$,so hang in there and follow up on this -SOON,and let me know what happens-new car????You folks were definitely lucky with the weather,it’s raining and it’s been really cold,’cause of that beautiful snow in the mtns.If I was still in my cross-co.skiing days,I’d be finding a program and getting out my ski stuff,but that’s gone-too much sore back.It was good to have you here,no matter that I really don’t know how to a young person without awkwardness.How did Pat like the clothes you bought?Also, A new? car ???Keep us posted on your blog.XXX

    • rachvb says:

      He did like the clothes!
      Snowed again tonight here. yuck. That 60 degree day seems like a dream. You should go skiing anyway =)
      Don’t think I’ll be getting a car anytime soon. I like not having car payments.
      It was good to see you guys, too. Thanks for the sun!

  2. Lindsey says:

    Interesting … well, $3,300 towards a new car is exciting!!! It’s time to update the kicks, love.
    And to me, you’re worth 16 x more than $65,000 … though, to be honest, I have no idea how much that is. Silly liberal arts majors ;o)

    • rachvb says:

      yes, yes. We’ll see. Writers are supposed to have really shitty cars, though, so I’m not sure if it’s allowed to trade it in. I’ll have to check the manual.
      I have no idea how much that is. But it seems like a lot!

  3. Heard somewhere once, “Most of what counts in life can’t be counted.” Aren’t we glad that our assignment was not to be actuaries. There is a devotion and steadfastness to having kept this for you for 27 years. I know around here I can easily begin to think something is about money, and on one level it is, but it is about so much more. Ha ha…I’d be looking at $3300 as the cost of an entire used car… that amount would translate into another vacation and some poetry books.

    • rachvb says:

      oooooh a VACATION! I didn’t even THINK about vacation! what the H is wrong with me?
      Somewhere warm, I think. With a beach. And pool boys bringing me beers with giant pieces of fruit in them.
      Vacation it is!.
      And, yes, I think that’s true. The things that count can’t be counted. I’ve always hated money and wanted more of it, but I think most people feel that way about money.
      Perhaps I’ll just keep paying on it until I have a really good reason to use it.

  4. Rachel, That sounds like the best plan. xo

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