People can be so interesting.

4 06 2003

I was just taking care of mundane business. We have lots of forms to fill out before Luke goes off to college, and one of them involves his health history, insurance, etc. I had to verify that our policy would fully cover him once he goes out of state. If not, Wheaton requires that he purchase insurance from them, which is a $600/year expense I’d love to avoid. So I called Blue Cross and Blue Shield. I explained what I needed to know, and the woman brought up our account on her computer.

“Oh,” she said, “Your children were born the same years as mine.”

“Congratulations,” I responded, and we both laughed. Then I added, “I guess you’re in college mode, too”

“Well, actually, no . . .”

I listened as she chatted in her midwestern accent about what’s going on with her kids, the whole while feeling a little amused and surprised that this woman was so eager to share her life with me. By the end I knew that she lives in Illinois, has a 20-yr-old son who is engaged, a 17-yr-old daughter (Tracey) who will be a senior next fall and is a little concerned, because she signed up for Spanish, but her favorite teacher is leaving, and now she’s not sure she will like it, and then after graduation, she plans to go to a college about an hour away from home to become an elementary ed major, but is having second thoughts, because she helped raise her little brother, who is only seven, and when Tracey recently took the snacks to his school for his birthday celebration, she realized how hard it would be to leave him in a year . . .

I threw in the occasional observation when she seemed to want it. Mostly I just enjoyed her accent and allowed myself to chill for a while till she was done. I also answered all her questions about my kids, what they’re planning to study, what they want to do with their lives. I did eventually get all the info I needed about our insurance. Luke will be covered. So that’s nice.

As I was about to hang up, she encouraged me to call her (like I can determine who answers my call after navigating all the voice mail options?) if I needed anything else. We parted friends. Or at least it sure seemed that way.

I hung up feeling kind of happy about the fact that friendliness exists everywhere, that not all people are cold or cynical or suspicious. Some people just want to find the something–anything–in common and connect with another human for a while. Even if that human is just the voice of a stranger on the other end of the phone.




4 responses

4 06 2003

I absolutely love when that happens. I enjoyed the midwest so much while we were there, and the best part is how none of them even think they have accents. Heh.

4 06 2003

Nice accent theer, don’tcha know!

Accents enthrall me. I had the pure delight of sitting at a banquet table with a French couple (Jean Francois and Renee Senechal) from Quebec, a man from England (Graham Howell), a man from Scotland (Archie Murchey — such a great name!– especially with his rolled r’s), and a man from Ireland (Stephen). Their names were perfect–like something out of a novel, and let me tell you, I was in accent heaven.

The lady on the phone today had just a touch of that Minnesota-Lutheran-don’tcha-know accent. I wanted to hug her for it. :o)

4 06 2003

its good to hear that i am going to be covered insurance wise…

so uh did you catch to see if her daughter was available? heh?


5 06 2003

midwest farmer’s daughter

You, my dear, are pathetic. (But rakishly handsome!)


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