Thursday, August 23, 2012

I cannot believe I used the phrase hustle and bustle

Today at work we were talking about what we would do if we won the lottery. We have this conversation often, sitting on the back step while the boys chain smoke and I read all of your blogs on my iPhone. 

"I would buy an island and bring a tent, a lawn chair, and a cooler and none of you ass holes would ever see me again."

"Buy every power tool in the world and make stuff."

And it goes on. Ridiculous lifestyles that none of us would actually follow through on. Being the mother hen that I am, I insist everyone get serious. I want to know, truthfully, what would you do. I discovered that none of us would really change much. Yes, we would all travel more, maybe buy bigger houses, but the desire to have some lavish lifestyle was definitely not there. 

As stoop conversations tend to go, it lead to debate on living in the country versus living in the city. One guy insisted there was no way he would ever live in the city. Too much noise, too many neighbors, etc. Another guy said he didn't give a crap as long as he had beer and a lawn chair (I am sensing a theme.)

I was trying to explain my discomfort with the country, how it makes my skin itch to be so far away from civilization and I couldn't find the words. Then I read this blog and that's just it. The country is loud. The sounds of the city soothe me. I feel safe surrounded by other people. In the middle of nowhere, I feel vulnerable and exposed. And I can't walk to a bar. 

All those years ago when I bought that condo in the suburbs I expected to get married by 25. Have kids by the time I was 27 or 28. I would work 9 - 5 and drop the kids off at daycare and pick them up. That is who I was. But I'm not that person anymore. And I outgrew the suburbs a long time ago. I love the idea of walking to the grocery store and just being in the hustle and bustle of the city. I like being in the center of the activity, not in a suburb looking in on it. Or, even worse, in the country where I can't even look in. 

My two best friends live the lifestyles that I am describing and I have to say, that sometimes I am envious of Krackle and her perfect suburban family. Or of Big Jed and her perfect country seclusion. Yes, sometimes I wish I had those things. Grass being greener or some shit. But, being in the city, finally being here, has made me realize I don't ever want to leave. Even if my grass is dead. Which it totally is. Who needs green grass anyway?

So, if I won the lottery, I would definitely quit my job. I am not one of those people who is like, oh, I'd still work. Eventually, yeah, I would want to work again. But I can find a whole lot to keep me busy that is a lot more fun than working. Like seeing the world. I would fix up our little house and rent it and buy one of the big houses downtown on the park. You know, the million dollar ones. 

I would start several non-profits. An animal sanctuary that I would hire Big Jed to run. And she would be paid well so she could quit her day job and just play with puppers all day.

I would start a program that worked with kids and adults teaching them how to cook with inexpensive vegetables at the grocery store. Like Kale. DO YOU KNOW HOW CHEAP KALE IS???? I would definitely run this one. I would go all Jamie Oliver on the school systems around here. I would become a food advocate, if there is such a thing.

I want to say I would travel the world, but I wouldn't want to leave Short Dog and Neil for that long. So, definitely some travelling, but I would have to figure out the pet part of that equation. 

I would pay off my families houses, cars, etc. Nobody would have any more debt. I WOULD PAY OFF MY STUDENT LOANS SO SALLIE MAE WOULD NEVER HAVE TO CALL ME AGAIN. Then I would buy Sallie Mae. And blow it up. OK. I probably won't do that last part. But, shit I want to.

I know I wouldn't become one of those people who had things, but whose life was empty. 

What would you do if you won a million dollars?


J o s e y said...

Char and I always said that first thing, we would pay off the debt of all of our close friends and family - mortgages, or pay for their rent up front for a year or something. How amazing would that be to not have to pay for housing?! Beyond that, education funds for our kids, travel, a pool in the backyard, unlimited beer for the fridge. You know, the important things.

Rachael Heiner said...

I periodically sit down and pointlessly make a list of what I'd do with a million dollars. Because that is obviously a good use of my time...

Anyhow, I would spend:

450,000 - 50,000 each into college funds for my kids, my little sister, my big sister's baby, my best friend's 3 kids and my two 1/2 sisters
250,000 - House
100,000 - 50,000 into savings, 50,000 into an investment account
30,000 - To my stepmom to help make repairs etc on her house so she could sell it
15,000 - New car
2,000 - Pay for my friend Jen's midwifery certification test/DEA license etc.

The rest would go into an account for various things. I would make some charitable donations, and help some friends with various things they might need. I'd also buy the next step up SLR and some awesome lenses.