There are worse ways that an unmarried, 20-something daughter can begin a conversation ("Hello Grandpa," comes immediately to mind) but as a means of getting the pulse elevated, this recent question from Older Daughter worked quite nicely.
Fortunately, my legal training immediately kicked in. "It depends," I said, tentatively.
Now I know I've said this before, but it bears repeating. "It depends" is the greatest all-purpose legal answer ever crafted. It keeps the conversation moving while you scramble frantically for a more substantive answer.
"It depends on what?" Older Daughter asked.
"It depends on whether you got into an accident." Various scenarios immediately began flashing through my mind.
Older Daughter, as you know, is living in Indianapolis these days. If it were certain that she was going to stay there, or stay somewhere other than under the family roof, she'd no longer be eligible for insurance under our policy, no matter what premium we'd paid.
Full time students can be covered under the family auto policy, even though they live on the other end of the country, but when school is over -- as it is, for now anyway, for Older Daughter -- and the child sets up a separate residence -- as Older Daughter has -- coverage is usually over as well.
Of course, most young adults setting up housekeeping change their voter registration, get a new driver's license and library card. I don't think Older Daughter's done any of this. We did get her to set up a separate cell phone account -- but she's kept the Chicago number -- and I'm pretty sure her college loan statements are going to her new address. But she is firm and resolute in her indecision.
At best, though, that's an argument for the continued existence of coverage -- and not one I'd look forward to testing in court. So I was relieved when she quickly told me she'd not been in an accident... but still suspicious.
I confronted the problem directly. "Why do you ask?"
The apartment in which Older Daughter's Boyfriend resides recently sustained a fire. My daughter's nearby establishment was not involved -- but ODB has internet, and she does not, so her computer was at ODB's place. As was her camera. And he had a washing machine in his apartment. She did not. And she had laundry there that she was planning to wash over the weekend. Thus Older Daughter was a fire victim, too. (And, no, I didn't ask a lot of questions about this. If it's a fool's paradise in which I'm living, let me live here in peace.)
Anyway, she was calling because one of the members of her church choir sells insurance. And he had proposed that Older Daughter and ODB now purchase renter's insurance.
That's right; neither one of them had renter's insurance at the time of the fire.
Note to you young people out there: Renter's insurance is cheap, particularly by comparison to what Older Daughter, ODB and ODB's roommate are now facing.
Anyway, the insurance salesperson/choir member pointed out that he could offer a discount if both renter's and auto insurance were obtained through the same carrier. Thus, her question. "No," I explained, as patiently as I could, "while we do have our homeowner's and auto coverage with the same carrier, asking for separate coverage for your apartment is likely to raise a couple of questions about your residency."
Anyway, Older Daughter realizes that she has to buy a car and obtain auto insurance. However, she also assumes that the Bank of Dad will finance these endeavors. No matter how much I've whined about income and expenses -- and it's not just that I whine here, you know -- no matter how much I've share my beleaguered finances with my older children -- they still think I'm holding out on them. If they would only remember where in the back yard they think I've buried the gold....
Meanwhile, Younger Daughter waits for me to add her to the auto policy, her new license gleaming in her purse, while our new, unsuspecting car is parked innocently across the street....
Now, my question to the Blogosphere at Large:
Last night I sent my link to The Bestest Blog of All-Time and asked to be linked up.
The question I have for you may prove to be academic only: I mean, I recently submitted my link to Critique My Blog... and it promptly went out of business. But assuming that my blog does not prompt Bobby Griffin to fold his tent immediately as well, what "category" should I be going for? I see a lot of familiar names in the "personal" category and this blog is certainly "personal" to me. But I was looking for something else. I searched in vain for a "wannabe philospher king" category... which is what I was really looking for... although "would-be oracle" would be alright, too... but I couldn't find that either. So, I was thinking -- do you think I could get away with "funny"?
And what will that do to my sense of gravitas?
Your responses are eagerly awaited... I think....
Update -- 11/6/06 -- And you thought I was kidding....
This was the top post on Bestest Blog of All Time when I logged on this morning:
Hi everyone. Unfortunately we are going to have to have unscheduled, unexpected downtime. This afternoon I went in to use the computer and it appeared to be off (even though I knew it had been on earlier). But, upon closer inspection the keyboard lights were on and the fan was blowing, but the screen was blank. So, I did a hard shut off and turned it back on. The screen came on for about 2 seconds and then shut off again. This was about 4 hours ago. Since then the computer has cooled down and charged up, but the screen still does the same thing. I'll check it again in the morning, and if it still doesn't work, I will take it to be fixed. In any case (whether they can fix it, or whether I have to buy a new laptop), I don't expect the site to be down for more than a week. But, I simply cannot run the site without having 24 hour access to my own computer. If you have a review scheduled to run (Lizza, Mimi, Jessie), it will run as soon as I can get my computer up and running. Thank you for your understanding and patience.It's really a talent. In related news, both political parties are lobbying for me to throw my last minute support in the congressional campaigns... to the other party....