Make no mistake. Being me doesn’t come cheap.
Wait, I can’t bear it. Starting off like that…Because my childhood didn’t endorse obsessive self blabbery, I just can’t bear not to step outside this story — yet one more story about me — for one moment, to explain all over again this is a memoir so by definition it has to be all about me. It’s a clever workaround, I know, and a legitimate literary genre, no less. At least I think it’s legit; at any rate it is my favorite, and if it turns out not to be legit, well, that would make a certain amount of sense, so there is some poetry to that, too.
But back to the first paragraph about me. I don’t come cheap.
There is, of course, the occasional therapy stint and usually a prescription of one sort or another but that’s the least of it. Where the real money comes in is how my over-active mind likes to also crowd into my body, as if my head real estate is not quite enough to occupy. So it spills over to my gut with the directive to no longer tolerate entire groups of food, or my arms and legs with the instruction to stop making sense — just enough of a takeover to keep me running to specialists for MRIs and blood work or functional medicine guys for alternative remedies when conventional medicine runs out of creative ideas. For a period I was on a $250 – a – month supplement regimen, much to the sympathy of my functional medicine doc who conveniently carried the line en suite. The best-guess collective conclusion at this time is that these derangements are probably “physicalizations” of my beleaguered emotions.
But the expense doesn’t stop there because I’m not one to stand by and let the pros do their work. I dig in and help out, investing heavily in books and superfoods to optimize my health. Or just really topline foods to compensate me for my trouble. My rational mind is totally on board, widely reading and listening to things that always helpfully point to more resources on Amazon to buy, ingestible by mind or body — entirely non-optional solutions because I know my life depends upon this very next thing, my heroic research finally paying off. Perseverance is not for those unprepared to pay the price.
Still, it’s hard to bear the money trap. One weekend, sitting on the couch next to Gary, feeling completely caught in the dilemma of being me as I look at the bills all the while seeing that cute little Amazon cart with the 5 hovering in the basket, I throw up my hands.
“I don’t know what to do about myself. I’m just so flipping expensive. It never stops.”
Gary looks at me for a few seconds, thinking, then makes his statement.
“You’re like a fancy foreign car. The maintenance is expensive but it’s worth it.”
That is the best thing anybody could ever say to me.