Coverage. People are obsessed with it. “Do we have enough coverage?” Insurance. “Do I have coverage for the kids?” Parenting woes. Then there’s SPF. “Do you really need more than SPF 30 for the sun? Do I have enough coverage?” And of course, the lack of coverage is in full bloom this summer at the beach, supermarket, and just about everywhere, particularly with the clothes worn by teenagers.
What is “coverage,” anyway? Why do people want “coverage” for their kids? Kids don’t need to be covered. They need to be inspired, interacted with, trained, stimulated, and engaged. Not covered. When I hear parents at the town pool talk about “coverage,” I wonder if they know what really goes on with the babysitters while they’re gone. If children are merely covered, then eventually, they’ll be bored. Sooner or later bored children will create their own fun, and it may not be to our liking.
Insurance coverage? Ha! I thought we’d have coverage by working hard, saving, Medicare and some savings set aside. Wrong. Our family medical “coverage” has a $5,000 deductible and, before switching companies not long ago, cost this family of two nearly $35,000 out-of-pocket before any reimbursement! We are both self-employed and not eligible for any significant group discount. So, having to earn $50,000+ simply to buy “coverage” is seriously insane. To me, that is not coverage. It feels like robbery.
Finally, I grew up in the ’60s and painted flowers on my cheeks and wore maxi tie-dye dresses. This was rebellion. And I never, not once, saw my boyfriend’s boxers above his pants line. This is actually very, very unappealing for most adults. Bending over just does not present a good view. This is not good coverage.
Let’s call coverage what it is. Often, it is an escape from responsibility. Skimming over what’s really required.
Parenting is a full-time job. If we’re not actually tending directly to our kids, then we should be certain they are well provided for. That means recommending or creating opportunities for their caretakers to engage with and provide an outlet for them. “Coverage” should not mean just keeping an eye on the kids so they don’t hurt themselves.
As for insurance, I found someone I trust. He explained what “coverage” meant to me, personally, and gave me a good sense of what I need — versus what might result in the greatest commission. He also explained how to improve “coverage” without extra insurance. And, when it comes to the sun, I don’t care what the SPF actually stands for. Just keep slathering if you can’t stay out of the sun. It’s good coverage. Finally, mystery breeds romance. Covering up those body parts isn’t old-fashioned. It can actually be inviting! Really. Modesty works. Parents might suggest their teenagers give it a try.
Aside from covering body parts, most of us do not want to be just “covered.” A covering is a veneer, a cover over something else that is not as shiny and finished as the thin outer layer. For close personal relationships, the veneer will not suffice. “Covering” actually drops the relationship and the responsibility out of the picture. A relationship builder is “Whatever you need, buddy,” or, “You know you can count on me.” When the response is, “I’ve got it covered,” it sounds rather like the relationship has become an impersonal business transaction, and the minutiae of life’s balancing act is center stage. “I’ve got it covered” is dismissive. And worse, when someone at work says, “I’ve got you covered,” there’s likely something amiss. “I’m up to no good” so I need to be “covered” and “I’m going to owe whomever’s `covering’ for me big time.” And, when it comes back to haunt me, it may even serve me right. If not immediately, then sooner or later. It always will.
Watch your kids. Take care of your health. Think ahead. Cover up. And make your relationships authentic.
Forget the coverage.