Thursday, May 13, 2010

I Hear Audrey Hepburn Had a Thing for Red Velvet

Because it's been brought to my attention that I could keel over or get hit by a monster truck or attacked by a pack of rabid raccoons at any time, I recently applied for a life insurance policy.  I suppose MathMan is right when he tells me that leaving him alone to raise these children would be inconsiderate enough, but to leave him broke and alone?  Unforgivable.   (Please take note:  MathMan is the beneficiary.  I'm counting on you to watch my back.)

Besides, saying that I'm worth more dead than alive and meaning it, knowing it's true strikes just the proper morbid tone I need to help color "those" days.  It lends a faux-authenticity to the narrative I indulge in right before I quell and admit to myself that I still like me just a little to much to do that.  Well that and an unmitigated fear of the unknown. Plus I'm not so keen on final acts. Too final.

So now we begin the process that often ends with a body in the library.  At least in the mysteries of which I'm so fond.  Those wacky Brits.  They're not dying of gunplay.  Well, not so much.  They're much more creative.  Arsenic poisonings, stabbings with ancient Celtic spear points, "accidental" shotgun wounds, shoving one another off church towers.  They're so not gangster.

But back to this life insurance business.  It's a three step process because it's that much fun.

First I went to the office of the nice lady who sends us those colorful birthday greetings postcards with The Big Insurance Company Logo.  I gave some them information about my height and weight, paid my money and signed on the official line.

Next I answered four hundred and six questions about my health history, the health history of my parents, my siblings, my next door neighbor Ed and the Boxer down the street.  That was over the phone.  I said yes as my "electronic" signature.

Step three is a visit from a nurse who will give me an exam.  She told me to fast for 4 - 6 hours before she gets here at 2pm on Friday.  Fast?  No problem.  I've been in a near starvation state for three days now. It's technically a low carb eating plan, but I prefer to think of it as a slice of hell.

Many years ago I smoked.  I quit.  No problem.  I like my alcohol, but I can take it or leave it.  No problem.  But breaking up with sugar?  Well, I'm not climbing the walls, but I assure you there have been moments when you might see me stealing empty Oreo packages from my neighbors' trashcans just so I could lick off the crumbs.  Did you know coffee grounds look an awful lot like Oreo crumbs?

Addiction is so undignified.

So the nurse is coming and I'll be all ready to pee in a cup and my stomach will be growling like Leonard Cohen without the clever lyrics.  It will be like tea time at the Manor.  Without the tea and fancy cakes.  I'll try to be gracious, of course, but it may be difficult from my place on the floor where I'm sure I'll have fainted dead away. 

It occurred to me tonight as I stood on the scales for the 82nd time today that I should probably stick hard to this eating plan because I may have told the woman at the insurance office that my weight range is Audrey Hepburnish.

I stepped off the scale and wandered aimlessly around the bedroom in a stupor.  My pants remained on the bathroom floor where I left them when I weighed myself.

"I need that cake," I whined to MathMan.  That cake is what is left of the red velvet confection from Chloe's birthday.  Just one piece sits there oozing cream cheese frosting.   

MathMan would not play along.  He understands his role, my role and the role of the cake.  Were I to give in to temptation, I'd spend the rest of the evening extolling how I should now go ahead and have some ice cream, that stash of Hershey's in the top drawer, what's left in the potato chip bag and the remaining chocolate truffles from Mothers Day.

"Forget about that cake.  How about a little workout instead?"  He was looking at me over the rim of his glasses as I lay across the edge of the bed where I'd flopped so unceremoniously.

Silly me.  He meant the gym.

I still want cake.


  1. "Growling like Leonard Cohen without the clever lyrics." Brilliant.

  2. I have heard that Audrey was EXTREMELY eating disordered. Her diet plan was hard boiled eggs and no red velvet cake. Maybe she actually ate red velvet. Maybe that was her beauty secret.

    I am on week two of low carb life and I am not loving it. I miss cookies, chocolate and all the things that make PMS somewhat more tolerable.

    Note: Don't give into the coffee grounds. I assure you, from personal experience, that coffee grounds do not taste like Oreos.

  3. from the Velvet Chamber: Lovely.

  4. Yes, dear, I understand. The cake leads to ice cream leads to cookies leads to more cake leads to a rabid craving for salt leads to potato chips leads to 5-year-old Cheddar leads to, finally, something healthy: an apple. You can't have old Cheddar without some apple. But then you think, "Apple Brown Betty" or some such, which leads to ruminations on butter, which you must taste right now, and damned if you aren't right back at that last taunting piece of cake.

    Your Leonard Cohen line is CLASSIC. I must quote you somewhere!

    Sorry to read that MathMan was referring to a utilitarian workout. The other kind's my fave form of exercise! ;-D

  5. A couple months after Lisa and I married, I broached the subject of a whole life policy as an investment possibility. She demurred until after she took her first appointment, and later confessed that part of her reason for doing so was too many of those same whacky Brit mysteries.

    We have all sorts of insurance on one another and the kids now, and our combined potential wealth would make us inviting targets for one another's wrath should the occasion arise.

  6. I want that cake, too.

    Did you really low-ball your weight to the nurse? Were you hoping that would prove to be a motivator?

    It's kind of sad to think of the divine Audrey being eating disordered. I would prefer to believe that some people really are that slender and elegant.

  7. Brave brave girl, you are. Stepping on a scale and letting those insurance bastards, I mean representatives inspect, dissect, scrutinize & interrogate you. I mean you've been through it!

    Just how much will they get away with still in denying people coverage for?

    You've probably seen SICKO by now.
    People were denied for being too thin, being overweight, You name it & they have a reason to deny.

    Keep us posted.

  8. I'm one of those disorganized numbskulls who's got a trail of life insurance policies following me from various places of employment. When I go, poor Walt's going to be deluged with checks barely large enough to cover a lunch tab. Bon appetit!

    Meanwhile, I take a hard gulp every time one of those "you're never too old to get insurance" commercials comes on with the nice, silver-haired lady telling me how expensive it will be to put me in the ground.

    Since it appears I'm going to leave somebody in the red, a big fat slab of red velvet seems a most appropriate way to cope with my guilt!

  9. Well, look what I've gone and done. Since I didn't have any cherry pie (my immoderate yum-yum of choice) to indulge in, I blogged. I quoted you and Leonard! ;-D

    About that Red Velvet ... do you by chance have a recipe ...?

  10. dude--give it one more day, and the sugar cravings go away!!!!!! really!
    Have some bacon with a little baconnaise on the side. Really, it will help.

  11. first this is the coolest post EVAH because you mention Leonard Cohen and I was thinking about the tribute album "I'm Your Fan" on my drive home tonight.
    second i hope it is a friendly nurse because nurses scare me more than clowns OR dentists.
    that's just my paranoia i know just saying......

  12. Surely you can get one of the kids to eat that one piece so the temptation is gone? Or do they not know that it still exists? Good luck.

  13. Red Velvet lost its attractiveness for me when I realized that it was simply classic white trash cooking -- take something ordinary and tart it up with fake color. Anything that features copious amounts (2 full ounces) of red food dye isn't worth the cream cheese frosting slathered on it.

  14. Nan - that may be true, but Yoplait has a Red Velvet Cake flavored yogurt. Low-fat, too.

  15. Red Velvet cake-flavored yogurt?! The mind boggles.

  16. Assuming that the nurses visit went well, may I suggest that you not play CLUE with Mathman for a while? Don't give him any ideas. ;-)


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