My husband is the most popular man on earth


Uncle Sam I Want You - Poster Illustration

I’m a  lucky dog; I’m married to the most popular man on earth. And how do I know he is? Because, everyone is after him right now. He gets fistfuls of personal mail daily. Multiple phone calls from strangers. People stopping by the house, leaving notes on the door that say “Sorry I missed you” and “I’ll be back soon.” So “why is everyone after your husband Huffygirl?” you might ask. Unfortunately, not because he is so good-looking, smart, or cool, although he is all of those things (well maybe not so much cool…). No, it’s because he is turning 65 soon.

Yes, hard for both of us to believe, but my husband is about to become eligible for Medicare. And every company that sells any kind of Medicare supplemental insurance wants him.  It’s a veritable dog fight to see who will get him first. Right now, he’s as popular as Jack Nicholson on Oscar night.

The mail started trickling in last fall, a good six months before he would be Medicare-eligible. Well-known insurance companies, plus ones we’ve never heard of. Yes, best husband, we want YOU, and here’s why. Then the phone calls started. Night after night. Thanks to that wonderful invention, Caller ID, we can avoid speaking to most of them, but that does not stop the ringing. His phone is ringing like the head cheerleader’s two weeks before prom night. Everyone wants a date with him.

Now, with his birthday looming closer (April 2nd, in case you’d like to send him a card) they’ve stepped up their game. Insurance agents are starting to appear uninvited at our door. They leave perky hang tags on the doorknob with hand-written notes: “Best husband, sooooo sorry I missed you. I’ll talk to you soon about your Medicare options. Can’t wait! XOXOXO” Apparently they think that just because my husband is turning 65 soon, he’s sitting at home during the day with his cane, just waiting for them to drop by.

As April 2 looms closer, I expect they will step up their game. I’m hoping for swag – not coupons for Metamucil, diabetes supplies from Wilford Brimley, or $50 off a Hoveround. No, I’m hoping for serious swag. Restaurant dinners, weekend getaways, wine of the month, vacation trips. Sure, I know there are plenty of 65-year-olds out there to fight over, but hey, mine is special. With all the biking and running we do, Best Husband should be one of the least expensive 65-year-olds out there to insure. Perhaps, they’ll even start paying HIM. After all, he IS the most popular man on earth. At least for now anyway.

Huffygirl with THE most popular man on earth.

Huffygirl with THE most popular man on earth.

© Huffygirl 2013

If you’re on the mailing list, you must not be dead


My dead mother gets mail. Lots of it. Almost as much as when she was alive. Some of it makes sense – hospital bills, explanation of  benefits from Medicare, utility bills. Most of it does not. She just got a request from her church to give to their annual appeal. Since the funeral was there and all, you’d think they would know she is gone. Comcast wants her to sign up today, even though I just mailed them a death certificate and the modem from her house. Medicare sends a note saying: “You have not paid your premium. Your benefits are currently inactive. If you have died, please disregard this notice.” The funniest one so far? I changed her address so her mail would be forwarded to me, causing the phone company to send her…congratulations on her new home and a brand new phone book.

Is this the only way to quit Facebook? (Photo: Huffygirl)

I find it amusing, annoying, irritating, but usually not upsetting. I dutifully scribble on the backs of reply cards “Emily has died. Please remove her from your list,” and send them back. Sometimes the note is sassy, if they’ve annoyed me enough times with their mailings: “I regret I cannot attend your event, as I have recently died.” Sometimes bittersweet: “The home care nurses were excellent, but I really am tired of receiving surveys for my dead mother to complete. ”  Sometimes dead pan:” Emily has died and is not interested in receiving mailings from your assisted living.” I am wondering how many creative responses I can devise before the mail eventually stops.

But it’s not going to stop, at  least for a while. I have to drive 40 minutes to her house once a week to pick up the junk mail so it won’t accumulate. I still get mail at my house for people who lived here 25 years ago, so why should junk mailers stop sending mail to a dead person?

Even harder than paper mail is internet mail. I’m sure she’s still getting emails to an inbox that no longer exists. I have no way of knowing how many times an email must be returned before the spammers will stop.

The hardest of all – trying to quit Facebook. When I went in to deactivate her page, FB would not let me complete it without giving a reason. Of  the many choices listed , death was not one of them. My mood was dark at the time, so I chose “other” and typed in: “I have died so am no longer able to use Facebook. Please deactivate my account.” Not long after Mom got a cheery email from FB.” Hello Emily, your Facebook account is still waiting when you’re ready to return. Just click on the link to reactivate your account. Your Facebook friends are waiting.”

Sigh. Ben Franklin was wrong. The only certain things are death, taxes, AND that you’ll never get off the $&#!% mailing lists.