14. If I Won the Lotto…
Hoo, boy, this is a classic question, isn’t it? It’s a hard one for me, too, because I grew up in relative financial insecurity — I wasn’t poor, per se, but it felt like we were always one disaster away from ruin, you know? So I grew up with an inate need to sort of hoard money. I rarely spend, I’m incredibly selective when I do, and I always feel a surge of guilt and regret immediately post-purchase, even if what I’ve bought brings me tremendous joy in the long run.
But if money wasn’t an object, I think the first thing I’d do is buy nicer house outright. There’s nothing wrong with our house, but I think both Andy and I would rather have a free-standing one-family than the half-duplex we have now. It wouldn’t be big, but I’d like it to be new — new appliances, new windows, everything up to code. I’d buy my folks a new house, or — since I honestly think my folks would balk at a gesture quite that big — put first, last, and security on an apartment for them (at nearly 70, they’re thinking of downsizing anyway), and pay for any loss on their house.
I’d buy clothes for my son for the next couple of years, and shoes to grow into. I’d outfit his room with a dozen bookcases, so we’d never have to donate or give away his favorites, because he hates that. I’d enroll him in the music lessons he so desperately wants.
I’d feel free to buy myself the expansive, joyously genderqueer wardrobe I want; the mix of femme and mac clothing that I’d ideally curate for myself, and I’d hire a personal trainer — oh, and a maid. I’d take art classes. I’d take writing workshops. I’d travel.
I would, honestly, just do a lot of the things I see my friends doing on a regular basis. There is a stark financial discrepancy between us and most of our friend group, and while I don’t begrudge them what they have, during the rougher moments, it makes it really hard to even log onto Facebook or sit around a table with them while they talk about their European trips or all the couple’s classes their taking together or their theatre excursions. Aside from the first few purchases and splurges, I think I’d really just allow myself the freedom that a lot my friends already have — the freedom to pursue the passions that matters to me without incurring financial ruin. That’s basically it.
Day One of semi-lockdown! I’m still horribly stressed and paranoid about everything, yet strangely also feeling a lot better, again, with the added stress of going to work off my plate, and with knowing all my friends and coworkers are in this together.
It’s later in the day — I took the better part of the day to simply decompress — but I’m about to start some chores, and hopefully having a cleaner house will make me feel better as well. Spending two weeks locked in with a mess is not the way to go.
Also, I am still 100% on board with doing NaPoWriMo and Blogging A-to-Z. Either the worst of this will have passed in my area by then, or I’ll still be in lockdown, so I might as well keep busy, and we may as well keep each other company.
It’s Saturday. Even if you’re on lockdown, please remember — you can still go outside (just remember social distance!) Ride a bike, take a run, go on a long walk, fly a kite, take a stroll with your dog. Wave to strangers. We’re all in this together.