For years I’ve been watching those Heritage ads, the ones that urge you to buy insurance to pay for your “final expenses,” so your family doesn’t get left holding the urn. They begin, “If you were born between 1899 and 1950, you are eligible…” or some such.
Tonight I was, as usual, listening to Chris Matthews interrupt his female guests, when the commercial comes on. “If you were born between the years 1925 and 1968, you are eligible…” 1968? Wait a sec…I was born in 1967! The screen then goes blue and flashes the years of eligibility in large, distinct white letters. Because if you are between the ages of 40 and 85, you probably CAN’T HEAR THE DAMN BOX as my Grandpa Sam used to holler at the screen. And your eyesight is no doubt headed south, along with your boobs.
Freakin’ vultures! WTF?? Naturally, I dismissed being included in the ad’s target demographic as classic sales strategy: The younger they hook you, the more money they make.
Still, it pisses me off. Along with all the responsibilities women in their 30s and 40s shoulder, with all the stress I have, I’m supposed to worry—right now—about helping my kids pay for the disposal of my corporal remains? They’re 5; I can’t rely on them to dispose of their grilled cheese crusts in the kitchen garbage.
I have a will; anyone with children should. But to so specifically plan for your own interment? Maybe, maybe when I’m 60. Life expectancy in this country is 78. Odds are you’ve got a good 18 years to weigh the benefits of creamation versus having your head cryogenically frozen. Sorry, not at 40. I resent that anyone thinks people my age consider their longevity that tenuous.
At 40, women are spending their extra money (if they have any after their daughters’ passion for American Girl dolls has been satisfied) on liposuction, infertility treatments, and Spanx. Men are dropping their wads on flashy two-seater cars, $4000 prostitutes and Wii Fits. Many people my age have yet to start saving for retirement, let alone decide between mahogany or plain old plywood.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a lot of living to do. And if, God forbid, I get hit by a bus on the way to Yogilates tomorrow, I hereby give my husband and daughters permission to stick me in a shoebox and drop me down the garbage shute, like we did with the mouse we caught in the kitchen. I fully support their spending their money on pink sparkly shoes for their American Girl dolls and $4000 prostitutes, just as they did when I was alive.