Why I Haven't Won the Lottery Yet
I give the lottery a shot from time to time. Since I became a cart pusher for the extreme couponer, I consider it the same as the tip given to the commissary bag people.
I know two things:
1. I was married to an economist who calls lotteries a "stupid tax" and,
2. I am a money magnet.
Fortunately, that second one means I know I will win, when the universe decides it is time for me to win. There are some reasons why I have not yet won though. I will sort them out. I always do.
1. I can picture the right scenarios for when I win.
- the family tradition. (tempting, but so not me)
- an off day trip to Starbucks, depending on how busy we are at work on those days. I generally only check my tickets on those days, especially if I really want coffee.
- telling my love that we need to go to Waffle House (I like this one a lot. See Beaning Day.)
- telling her to clear her schedule because we are going to Cedar Key because we have things to discuss. (ha ha ha-things to discuss--I would be lucky to get her in the car)But, I know that when it happens I will find the right way and it will likely not be the way in my head. (See again: beaning day)
2. Complicated financial matters: Lesbian couple splits lottery sounds like a legal muck, but then my love would probably just say it is mine, but still...legal muck. I know. Advisers. I even know people who could point me in the right direction there.
3. I have two grown kids scraping by and first up would be safe, fuel-efficient cars for them. That leaves the third more established but by no means safe from all money strife adult child with a bit more complicated answer. The general gift amount seems wrong, but I can't think of the right thing yet. I think she isn't ready.Or maybe she is...I don't know. I will have to toss that one around a bit.
4. I have three younger children who already experience the benefits and hazards of being "over-privileged." I don't want to add to those. I already have one child complaining that she doesn't feel comfortable telling people where she goes on vacation because they aren't "normal vacations." and was questioned by a concerned parent about another child's descriptions of these vacations. (Is this real or is this fantasy? Caught in a landslide...oops wandered into a song, but it wasn't really all that amusing at the time.) I have some thoughts on this issue actually and think I have it sorted.
5. I have complicated sibling issues. One disabled and on Medicaid--in a nursing facility for life--even with an incredible jackpot, I couldn't sustain that care. I have an older sister who is currently unemployed and has my niece, my niece's husband and their large brood living with them. She's bailed me out in tight spots and I would like to do the same,but don't want to end up like a TLC lottery winners turned losers story.
6. My mother--Do I put her in that super nice assisted living facility where my daughter goes to knit mats for homeless people out of plastic bags? When I go to pick daughter up, I think "Wow...I would love to live here." Or do I just find a more accessible home, a companion/driver for her? (or will winning mean I have so much free time I can drive her to shop to her hearts content?)
7. Like I said, I am a money magnet and when I do need money, it comes. I get another job, an unexpected check in the mail, more hours, etc. It may be that right now, the work I am doing is the work that I need to be doing. I suspect the same of my love.
Now--here is what I am going to do with the money when it arrives:
1. Safe, efficient cars for the two big kids.
2. A reasonable sized house in a safe area near the kids other house (pending arrival before the kids graduate and go off to college) This is a priority for us-as the children want to spend more time with friends but also want to be able to come and go from our house as well. (without a 20-30 minute drive to and from where their activities, other friends and other house are concentrated.) Nothing grand, but insulated, mouse free, and enough bathrooms.
3. BlogHer scholarships (beyond what is offered when you volunteer) I sort of dream of a sliding scale system somewhat akin to Michfest (hmm I am not sure they do that anymore.)
I want to make it possible for some of those voices that CAN get to the Internet and blog but not get to a conference with kids, a job that might drop them, unable to afford travel and hotel, to experience the magic of women gathering together in community, in person, on equal footing. I want to hear those voices.
4. Get my teeth fixed, right, fast, properly.
5. Finagle my love into visiting a doctor and a dentist. I want her to live young until she decides she is done.
6. There is someone in my life who took a big risk to be near her family and she's a scrappy woman with tummy troubles that make mine pale in comparison, working a job in food service because that is what is available. She was a great blogger when she had internet, but can't afford it, so only has sporadic access. I want her to have the health care and life she deserves (and to be able to retire and live her small dreams that seem so far some days.)
7. School libraries-I weep when I see the sit-ins and work for Whittier. I cringed at one school library in Florida where two of my children attended school. I want to do something about this situation.
Bookmobiles don't visit neighborhoods like they did. Children don't get to wander to the public library in most places where a child most needs a library because of safety issues.
I want to make sure schools have not just ok libraries but great libraries.
No, I don't want them filled with the fun and games of children's sections of new well-funded public libraries.
I want a librarian who knows the kids and cares. I want books, lots and lots of books for all levels of readers.
I want books for children who don't start school knowing English. I want books in alternative formats for non-traditional learners.
I want books, staff and volunteers who can make a child burn with enthusiasm to read--even if it takes them six or eight or ten years to "get" why reading is amazing.
I know that is a Bill and Melinda Gates size money project, not a lottery win sized project, but I want the time, resources, experienced people to help get those doors opened, and make those things happen.
8. There is an independent women's bookstore in Florida that I care for deeply. It needs to stay. It needs the people who love it to be able to be there for it. It needs to be what the community needs. It can be that and I believe in it. I want to help that happen.
9. A sentimental sizable donation to Melissa Ferrick's Kickstarter campaign. Maybe enough to get her to come play for BlogHer? (She would like that better than hanging out with just my kids and 20ish friends and family that came for my love's 40th birthday party. Maybe I would be able to remember it this time--more than just in bits and pieces)
10. Ridiculous things subject to change:
- Buying MY little blue car back and getting it restored to new condition. (this makes me teary but whatever)
- Getting one of those cute new blue Prius cars like I saw while waiting for the emergency headlight/taillight replacement when we were in Gainesville.
- Dream trip to DC with my love, kids and mama in tow, with some sort of electric conveyance available for my mother to spend the day on the National Mall, at the Smithsonian museums, to see the fireworks, etc.
- Take my love to see Disney, my way, not crowded, all magic, slow-paced. Teach her to see the sparkle, the magic, the unexpected.
- Bring NakedJen to me to teach me the secrets of the kombucha, of the beet fairy, etc.
- the perfect small home for a couple, with a library and at least one great bathroom in a southern clime
We won't however:
- stop couponing
- stop being thrifty
- start jetting all over the world
- buy our every whim or everything that has ended up on the "extravagant" gift lists that we keep on Kaboodle for my love. myself, our children, our families
Now that I have written it out, I can sift out the not yets and the great possibilities--a vision board in words because I am so not the vision board sort.