Relative Values

As I am off to Bennington for my residency tomorrow this could be my last entry for a while so I want to touch on a few things.

Firstly a note about yesterday evening, when I gave a combined formal poetry lecture and reading to the good folks of the Fanwood Arts Society up in Northern NJ. This event was organized by the excellent Adele Kenny and I was pleased by the attendance on a rather thundery night. The honorarium was $50 and I sold 4 chapbooks, which you might think made it a profitable evening financially as well as spiritually.

Not so. I had to hire an adult babysitter for the girls. She arrived at 5.45 and stayed until 10.45 so I paid her $60, and of course there’s gas, and those chapbooks cost me $2.50 each.

Of course it’s not about the money. We all do it for love, and I’m not short a bob or two, but isn’t it ironic that I am less valuable as a poet than as a babysitter (a job, let’s not forget, that I personally do daily for neither recognition nor money.)

On a similar theme, a word about the ridiculous behavior of Health Insurers. As I am going away for ten days tomorrow, I went yesterday to request a refill on my Levothyroxine prescription because I only have about a week’s supply left. I never wait for the pills if I can avoid it, because it takes forever, so I told them I’d pick it up today.

When I got back to the house there was a message on my answerphone from the pharmacy telling me they were unable to process my refill because the Insurance Company wouldn’t pay for it until June 13th.

Hang on a sec, I thought. June 13th was the next day, and anyway, I had said I wouldn’t be picking up the pills until June 13th. So their miserliness cost CVS the phone call and me the time/gas of an extra trip to the pharmacy to put the refill request in again this morning, with the net result that I got the pills on exactly the same day. Someone needed to apply some common sense on that one I think.

Finally, a word about my childcare arrangements for this residency. Probably the most expensive childcare arrangement I’ve yet made, actually. Becky is going to the International Gymnastics Camp in Pennsylvania for two weeks starting Sunday at a cost of $1400. Bless her! She doesn’t seem at all fazed at the prospect of two weeks away from the family, new coaches, bunk life or even doing her own laundry. Lorna has the much less frightening (and cheaper!) choice of going to her best friend Carley’s for the days Keba will be unable to take off.

So, to all my Bennington friends, I can’t wait to see you. Thank goodness the wine is cheap…

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