Sandra Tsing Loh is thankful if the world ends this week.
I’m going to be honest. Upon contemplating The Mayan Calendar’s termination, and the potential end of the world— scheduled for this Thursday!— I’m experiencing not terror, but a mild sense of relief. It’s not just that if the world ends, we won’t have to hear any more Peanuts Christmas music— music I used to love, but which now makes my teeth ache.
“If the world comes to a flaming end on Thursday,” muses my friend Sylvia, “then I won’t have to get on that plane to Spokane on Friday to spend six days with my in-laws.” Many years ago, Sylvia made a personal rule that her limit for being under the same roof with her husband’s family was 48 hours, 72 max. This, however, did not account for the complex booking vagaries of their United super-saver air miles and the holidays’ oversold hotels. So now, as if in a dream, she is facing almost a week in the snow with the Bickertons, for which she is packing Shades of Grey and Xanax— her own version of a Doomsday Emergency Kit.
Thursday will come too late to save me from the lion’s share of adult holiday parties and children’s holiday pageants, the latter of which actually featured Christmas rapping— and by that, I don’t mean Christmas GIFT wrapping, but tweens from Sherman Oaks dancing Gangnam Style and yelling, “Yo yo yo— it’s Christmas!”
But, what I really want to talk about is insurance. I was musing that if the worst finally DID happen— Armageddon— the upside was that I wouldn’t have to spend any more time THINKING about insurance. I don’t know if it’s what Americans DO now, but it seemed every day last week I spent hours on insurance. I count myself lucky to have car insurance— fairly cheap because my car is 12 years old and worth nothing. By some cosmic miracle, I also have health insurance for myself and my girls. I say miracle because of all the folks I know who were denied health insurance because records indicated they once had a yeast infection, popped an Ambien, or saw a shrink. Didn’t go to a shrink, just saw one, walking down the street. I kid, but sort of not. But now, my home insurance company was suddenly saying it didn’t want to renew my insurance because my house is too old.
I, myself, belief that if my 1906 house has stood for a century, that’s a pretty good indicator it will last for another. Oh no— I see it now! On Thursday, Armageddon will come, my home will still be both standing and impossible to insure, I will still be on hold with insurance agents... and Peanuts Christmas music will still be playing! Xanax with the Bickertons is starting to sound good! Almost.