I’ve been thinking about all the preparing we humans tend to do in order to be Super Ready for All the Things. My Kid 2 is overseas right now, teaching English to small Lithuanian children and eating her body weight in beautiful European cheeses. Before she left, she did everything right, including notifying her bank that she’d be using a card in that region.
They cancelled her card this week.
Like, it’s blocked. She can’t use it. (“Our fraud detection software noticed you’ve been using your card in Poland, and we’re pretty sure your permanent address is not in Poland. So, no card for you. You’re welcome.”)
She didn’t take a phone to Vilnius, because hello? She doesn’t need it. So she can’t call them and ask them to fix their mistake. I’m happy to call them and ask them to fix it, but that’s no guarantee, since I’m not Kid 2, and she’s a technical adult, and blah, blah, blah.
I’m going to get this fixed for her, but that’s only a little piece of the point. We do Things to ready ourselves for other Things, and it completely baffles me when my Things get unfixed.
I’m a believer in preparation. I’m for it, one hundred percent. But even with my full commitment, I find it weird. I know that half the things I prepare against (from the Apocalypse to Gum Recession to Running out of Gas) are unlikely (for the record — running out of gas is unlikely, and gum recession is half unlikely — that’s half the things, right?). I prepare for them anyway.
I have a basement full of wheat, dry beans, and bottled tomatoes and fruits. This will feed us for many months, in the event that we choose to live on whole wheat breads, bean soup, and smoothies. I also have a container of coconut gelato that will never see next week. Because I’m going to need it. See? Prepared.
But the mini-fiasco at the bank has caused me to wonder what other preparations we make that don’t actually Take. That will have to be Fixed, involving much Chasing About. And the list grows long in my head. Long and tiring. And even as I scroll through this long mental list, I find comfort in the preparation. And some smug self-satisfaction that I can say to bankers or to the universe at large, “See, we totally took care of this months ago. Can you please deal with it on your end?”
I’m prepared to get a little demanding.