My mother used to tell me, “It stinks to get old,” and now I know what she meant. Okay, so I’m not really old, and she said that to me at a much later point in life than where I am now at the age of 32, but when did I suddenly grow up and have to make so many decisions and deal with so many hassles? Within the past month I have been on the phone with doctors and lawyers and accountants – oh my! I just want to click my heels together three times and be five years old again at home with my mother and father.
A couple of months ago I was diagnosed with MRSA. Yep, that’s right, the “super bug”. And of course, yours truly would end up getting it. I used to always tell my Mama “I’m a freak of nature,” and she would either say “you’re not a freak of nature, I didn’t give birth to freaks of nature” or (lovingly) “yes, but you’re my freak of nature.” Poor Mama had to put up with all of my crazy neuroses.
Anyway … the MRSA was treatable, thank God, but of course I had some crazy side effect caused by the antibiotics and I became a prisoner chained to the phone waiting for a call from the doctor – for more than 24 hours! Mind you, when I initially called I had a fever of 102 degrees – wouldn’t ya think that warranted a call back within at least, oh, let’s say eight hours?!?! Why is it that doctors can get away with not calling you back promptly or with having you sit in the waiting room for an hour only to have the nurse then call you into an exam room to wait another hour before the doctor actually sees you?!?
Then there’s the lawyers. I am, perhaps foolishly, in the process of buying the house I grew up in. The house I lived in until I graduated from college and then recently for the past seven years after moving back for what I thought would only be one year. With real estate transactions, comes lawyers. Some good, some not so good, some God awful. I am lucky that my lawyer is good and personable and reliable, and I am lucky to have her on my team. On the estate side of it all however, well, there dwells one of the attorneys that falls into the God awful category. And it’s horrible for everyone involved – in this case, seven siblings and their spouses. “Oye vey,” as my far-from-jewish father used to say.
Then there are the accountants. Again, here I am lucky. I have a good guy on my side. An Italian, Staten Island (by way of Brooklyn) accountant. Badda boom, badda bing … and things are good to go. However, when you have to deal with transferring 401k funds from former employers to a new IRA account to do your best to make sure you are financially secure for the future, things get messy and the paesan’s badda boom, badda bing magic doesn’t work so easily, he gets frustrated with the idiots on the other end of the phone and in turn so do you!
Oh, and I can’t forget to mention the wondrous mortgage broker, which would fall somewhat under the accountant/number cruncher umbrella. Now, the one in my situation, well, she’s a doozie and I could write an entire post on her alone. All I can say is, do you have to take tests to actually hold that position? Because somehow, I don’t think this one did. That, or she cheated or had her husband (he’s a God awful lawyer) take the exams for her. And is customer service just not a requirement in this industry? I would think, especially in times like the ones we are living in now, these creatures would work a little harder to keep clients and potential clients a little bit happier.
The worst part of it all, is that when the craziness reaches new levels I can’t just go and tell Mama and Daddy about it. Not that they could fix it or make things go faster, but they would listen to me and humor me. I can call my brothers and sisters, I know that. I have lots of wonderful people in my life that have listened to my freak of nature ranting more often than they probably bargained for. But it’s not the same.
It’s kind of scary actually. It’s like living life without a safety net that has been there since you were born, and then suddenly, when you weren’t looking, it’s been pulled out from under you. Not that it always catches you per say, but it reminds you when you do hit the ground to, as my Mama would sing, “pick yourself up, brush yourself off and start all over again.”