For me, October 1 feels the way Easter Sunday must feel to observant Catholics. It is a time made special by the prospect of change and rebirth, yet rendered bitter-sweet by sacrifice.
I feel the first tentative stirrings of October 1 in mid August when my health insurance rep, the seriously cute Mr. M, calls to schedule our annual renewal meeting.
We catch up with each other and before too long, I am cheerfully signing on to a plan that costs $300 more a month than what I had, but can be counted on to cover doctor’s visits and other medical services. Mr. M slips the renewal packet in to my hand and I dash to my car, eager to get home and peruse it.
Alone in my house, which is inexplicably devoid of anything except a grey and blue graphic device, I rip open the flap of the over-sized envelope and slowly inhale the scent of the richly printed paper before moving on to the the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island website.
All this good health is mine, I think to myself, as I stroll aimlessly about in my strappy heels, lost in the magic that is self pay health insurance.
Later, I take more time to savor the different plans, pick one that feels perfectly tailored to me and effortlessly fill in the paperwork.
Before too many more moments pass, I write a check for $1,665, and overwhelmed by a powerful sense of well being, I joyously throw my arms into he air while My Royal Consort holds me from behind.
Feeling relaxed and confident after reviewing my health insurance policy, I head upstairs for a long, hot shower, made redolent by the heady scent of Jean Nate and Fructise.
After taking in the splendor that is my body, I languorously arch my back, raise my hands to my hair and accidentally plunge my soapy pinky finger so far into my right nostril that I see stars.
A lighthearted chuckle escapes me as I realize that if my nose starts to hemorrhage blood in the shower and won’t stop no matter what I do, I can simply drive to the emergency room and present my insurance card for some free health care. Yesss.