Sunday, November 08, 2009

Public Healthcare And The Ghosts Of Boyfriends Past

Many years ago I dated (and soon broke off with) a man who tried hard to be a sociopathic control freak; if he’s still alive today he’s either bitterly single or settled down with some unfortunate doormat with no backbone of her own. One of his favorite stunts was to buy me, unbidden, a fairly expensive present, and then whine how he couldn’t afford to pay his bills because I cost him so much money.

It didn’t take long for me to grow tired of this, so one day, when he appeared with yet another surprise Swarovski bauble, I snapped “I hope you saved the goddamned receipt, because I'll no longer be blamed for your inability to manage your finances.”

We ended our acquaintanceship soon thereafter. Still, I was fortunate because I had the absolute legal right to tell him, “Keep your largesse and go fuck yourself, since I’ll no longer be doing it for you.”

But I can’t legally do that with the mandatory healthcare bill Congress is ramming down America’s throat. No: society’s buying me a sparkly expensive policy whether I want one or not, and since society’s spending all this money on me it’s only fair I do what society dictates to keep its costs in line. Don’t drink, don’t smoke! Both are unhealthy and violate my duty to the collective. Who the hell do I think I am – a grown woman who owns her own body? My selfish delusions cause pain to those who love me.

Did I eat enough salads last week? Yes, but those salads had an awful lot of cheese on them. Cholesterol! Let’s tax the cheese and with luck I can’t afford it. I require more roughage in the salad, and far less dressing and dairy. Did I put on sufficient sunblock before going outside? Not that it matters for my own sake but a bout of melanoma will cost the collective a LOT of money. Is my jacket zipped all the way up to the chin? Pneumonia’s expensive, and if the nice police officers want to set up roadblocks to make sure everyone’s properly dressed for the cold I shouldn’t complain, since it’s for my own good and the public health too.

I didn’t kick up a fuss when my loving mother did this to me at age four; why be immature enough to throw a tantrum at my age?

1 Comments:

Anonymous Paul said...

But I can’t legally do that with the mandatory healthcare bill Congress is ramming down America’s throat. No: society’s buying me a sparkly expensive policy whether I want one or not, and since society’s spending all this money on me it’s only fair I do what society dictates to keep its costs in line.

Nice analogue, Jennifer.

8:47 PM  

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