Adulting 301: Safety Deposit Boxes

Well, it’s official. I managed to make it 40 years without opening a safety deposit box, but those days are now behind me. Today Denisa and I traipsed into town to the bank to make it official. We now have a spot to put all our gems, gold, and illegal substances. If we had any of those things. Sadly, our lives are much less interesting than that. We just wanted to get the box to have a secure place to store our important documents.

See? How boring and adultish have I become?

I mean, I really wanted to have something cooler to put in that box. At least a few passports from other countries, as well as stacks of bills from a scattering of different currencies. I didn’t even have any mysterious keys to stick in that could lead people on an exciting adventure. No, instead I had a living will. Movies and television has taught me so much more is possible from a safety deposit box, but instead I put in What to Do If I Am Comatose and Not Likely to Recover.

Funnily enough, Denisa and I prepared those documents 4 years ago. Living wills, regular wills, powers of attorney. All that flashy stuff that makes any sane person’s eyes want to glaze over. We got them all set and done, and the last thing we needed to do was put them someplace secure, in case our house burned down or something.

Instead, we did the standard immature thing: stick them in a drawer and forget about them. (Hey, it’s an approach that’s never really failed me yet, so . . . )

For the record, getting a safety deposit box is more complicated than I thought it would be. I pictured us walking in, signing a piece of paper, stuffing the documents in, and being on our way. In reality, it took about twenty minutes. Our cost around $50/year for a small box just big enough to fit a rolled up stack of Very Important Documents. But at least that cost includes a cool set of keys that make it so you can’t open the box without having two keys present. Kind of like entering nuclear launch codes, but without the messy aftermath.

Why did we do all this? Because we have studied, and in studying, we have learned that man is mortal.* Stuff happens. And as much as it would be nice to never have to talk or think about that stuff, it’s still not a bad idea to prepare for the bad stuff, just in case. If Denisa and I both died, what should happen to our kids? If we’re brain dead, what do we want to happen to our bodies? Who gets to inherit the gazillion dollars I have stashed away in gold bullion from that adventure with the dragon and the dwarves from back in my early days?**

I dislike even thinking those thoughts, let alone writing them. They make me want to glance over my shoulder to see if a train’s about to barrel through my room. But as attractive as sticking my head in the sand seems . . .

We still signed the documents, and we still (finally) put them in a safety deposit box. So now I can legally forget about them and not feel guilty when I remember they’re not in a safe spot. I’ve got the cool double keys (and the yearly fee) to remind me I’m done with that for now.

In the meantime, if any of you are looking for a place to hide a very small piece of stolen artwork, have I got the spot for you . . .

*We also learned never to get involved in a land war in Asia.

**Bilbo was actually 50 when he first set off to the Lonely Mountain, so I’ve got almost a decade before I really need to start worrying about being behind on that plan.


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