Or, mountains out of molehills. Remember how worried I was about a missing year of Cliff's wages? The guy with SSI told us we needed to find the records for that year because it could make a difference in how much Social Security Cliff draws each month.
Well, I dug through old income tax folders, but didn't find any older than as 1992; the missing year was 1986. I talked to the IRS folks, but their records only go back eight years.
So yesterday, Cliff called the Social Security number. Now that in itself was interesting, because I usually do the calling about things like that; but we knew they would insist on speaking directly to Cliff, so he figured he'd just make the call himself. He didn't know about the automated person with whom you have to carry on a conversation for about ten minutes before you can speak with a real person. He didn't even realize it was a robot, so he'd start to explain something and the robot would rudely interrupt him. This happened three or four times before it finally hit him what was happening. I couldn't tell him, because he only has one good ear, and that was covered up by the telephone.
He ended up talking to two different "real people", spending at least an hour on the phone. But what finally happened is that a lady told him to estimate his income for the missing year. That wasn't too difficult, because it was the middle year of three that he worked for R.B. Rice.
Here's what we learned: The worst that can happen is that Cliff draws what he was already expecting. If SSI accepts the estimate for 1986, he might get more.
Good grief, with all the years he's worked, and considering this missing year was back in 1986, how much difference could it make? Maybe a couple of bucks, if we're lucky.
So all that stewing and worrying was really for nothing. It reminds me of an old saying I picked up years ago: "Ninety-five percent of the things we worry about never happen."
Or, as Mark Twain put it, "