Security and Sanity

In the almost 9 years that I’ve been married I have finally learned, after repeated reminding, that women need one thing: security. And by security they mean “health insurance.” This is especially true after offspring have entered the picture. Before we had a child, the only thing my wife needed was a man with hair and washboard abs; neither of which I had, but I did have health insurance.

If our child were to break her arm today, the only thing we would have after paying medical bills would be a stinky cast. Long gone are the days when one could trade a plump hen or a bushel of earthworms for the town’s doctor to set a broken bone. In my research I discovered that in the early 1800’s, 20 tablets of 30mg Viagra would set you back just a jar of canned peaches. I am clearly a man before my times.

In order for there to be “security,” we need one of two things: a job that provides group medical benefits to its indentured servants or independent medical coverage which, for a family of three healthy humans, will cost us approximately $6,279.98 per hour. I say approximately because insurance rates are calculated daily based on prime plus an arbitrary number that sounds official to lobbyists and special interest groups.

If I had a job working for a corporate employer, I would run the risk of losing my sanity, but thankfully I’d have health insurance which would cover up to 50% of sanitarium service expenses and monthly bedpan replacements! My wife would have to sift through the daily “THIS IS NOT A BILL” bills from the insurance company which indicate that antibiotics for an ear infection fall into the “Full Cranial Transplant” category, which is only covered in the event that said transplant occurs on a Wednesday during a month that contains the letter “Y”.

Or we could just get independent health insurance. Hahahahahahahahahahaha!

The one thing that I’ve learned about myself in the past few years is that I appreciate and aspire to live a simpler, saner life. I think this could easily be achieved by moving to a Pacific coast town in Mexico with little more than my family and my trusty laptop. We would all learn to speak fluent Spanish, fish in the deep blue, study ocean conservation and explore the regions and cuisines. I’d setup some kind of some kind of U.S.-based online business, or write a weekly newspaper column, to earn US dollars while living on pesos. If I had to guess, I would think my wife would love to become a teacher or a nurse. Our daughter would become increasingly popular by telling her jokes to the locals about farts and email. Surplus cash (above food, clothes, investments, savings, fishing lures and guitar strings) would go to charities. I’d setup my own health insurance plan where Richard Branson, Keanu Reeves, Sammy Hagar and I would charter a jet full of highly skilled Mexican doctors and fly to the U.S. to help sick children without insurance.

As far as security, Mexican health care in medium to large cities is considered very good to excellent, and very affordable.

As far as sanity, I like to re-read this story and daydream about catching dorado and laughing. Laughing a lot.

The American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked.

Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “Only a little while.”

The American then asked, “Why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?”

The Mexican said, “With this I have more than enough to support my family’s needs.”

The American then asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing; and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat: With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor; eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles and eventually New York where you will run your ever-expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15 to 20 years.”

“But what then?” asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said that’s the best part. “When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.”

“Millions?…Then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

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