Humor by Jen Lancaster
I knew I'd catapulted across the line into adulthood the day my husband, Fletch, and I found ourselves at our dining room table debating the benefits of term versus whole life insurance. There we were, not only having voluntarily invited the insurance agent, but sitting in a room where -- by design -- it's impossible to eat dinner and watch "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" at the same time.
The agent explained, "They used to call it 'death insurance,' but that bummed everyone out." Yet that's exactly what it is. As Fletch and I discussed payout amounts, we eyed each other warily, having mutually realized we're both more valuable dead than alive.
I told the agent, "I want Fletch taken care of if I kick it first, but I don't want my legacy to include a boat that sleeps 12." Fletch's stipulation was that I could pay off the mortgage, but not have enough extra to hire a cabana boy. (At least not full-time.)
There's nothing like putting a price on your own mortality to make you reflect on life. I'm only in my 40s now so it's not like I'm just waiting for the clock to run out. However, the window for, say, auditioning to be a
But after our meeting where the core message was YOU ARE GOING TO DIE, I began to wonder if I'm living life to the fullest. Sure, I'm happy, but I was a lot happier before I realized I've essentially put a bounty on my own head.
Am I accomplishing everything I want? Maybe? My books have hit the best-seller lists and I've sipped wine with Hoda and Kathie Lee on the "Today" show. (Try and guess which one I'm more proud of.) But in terms of goals, I can't come up with any except for maybe getting in a Twitter fight with a Kardashian and that's super pathetic.
So I wonder: Do I need to create a bucket list?
As I research other people's bucket lists, I see that "Go on an African Safari" is pretty popular. Sounds cool, right? It'd be fascinating to experience the cradle of civilization from atop an elephant. And as soon as Africa rids itself of all their venomous spiders, black mambas and puff adders, and automatic weapon-toting warlords, I'm buying my ticket. Till then, I'll make do with the
Some bucket lists reflect a desire to be more active. I see entries about swimming the English Channel (too cold), running a marathon (too hard) or climbing Mount Everest (too much possibility for an avalanche and that I'd be the one all the trapped climbers want to eat). While I congratulate others for having such physically lofty goals, I'm someone who perfected the art of picking up items with my feet to avoid bending. I can't imagine I'd want to add such grueling tasks to my bucket list.
Adventure factors high in a lot of bucket lists. Seems like everyone wants to skydive or run with the bulls in Pamplona or swim with sharks.
Let's break this down, shall we? Folks either want to voluntarily jump out of airplanes, put themselves in front of thousands of pounds of angry, charging bulls with nothing to protect them but a bandana and a pair of Air Nikes or splash around with a bunch of creatures who have "man-eating" as part of their name? Thanks, but no thanks.
As I can't put "not die" on my bucket list, perhaps I should just invite the insurance agent over again . . . because that hour we spent discussing actuarial tables truly felt like an entire lifetime.
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