30 October 2007

If I had a million dollars...

Ever think about winning the lottery? Not that I even play the lottery or would even know how to play. A million dollars to spend would be easy. 10% to give away, pay off the mortgage, finally fix up all the crap in this house that needs fixing, then use the rest to set up college trust funds for Natalie, her 3 cousins, and one or two additional fictional children still in my ovaries and maybe just in case my spinster sister-in-law ever gets married and/or adopts. They can all get an ivy league education. Or go to art school. Or explore europe for 4 years. Whatever.

Now ten million would really be awesome. We'd do the same as with a million, but obviously more would be given away, probaly to our churches first and then to some causes we appreciate/support/agree with. House paid off, college educations taken care of. We'd still have a nice nest egg left to invest. After upgrading our 10+ year old cars to something newer, hybrid, and maybe a fun third car just for kicks (like a vintage mini!), we'd take a month or four to go on vacation in europe - rent a villa in itally or a flat in paris, that sort of thing. But here's the crazy part: I don't see me being the type to move into a mansion and go flat out nutso fabulous buying shoes worth an entire paycheck and all. What I want to do? I would buy a classic 6 in some swanky neighborhood in Manhattan. Furnish it with basics from pottery barn or crate'n'barrel, and fill the rest with antiques or kitchy things I find at flea markets or estate sales. We'd take the train back and forth and since we'd be multi-millionaires, we could splurge and take the acela instead of regular old amtrack. Friends and family would be welcome to join us for long weekends, holidays, or borrow the place themselves.

I think what this really is is a running away fantasy. Not that I want to escape my life, but more like if money wasn't an option, what would I do instead. I love the anonymity of a place like NYC, I would love to spend my days trolling little boutiques and secret troves of treasures - furniture, fabric, clothing, shoes, vintage, retro, etc. To have the money to go freely there on a whim, to hire a cleaning person so I wouldn't have to worry about this house or my fantasy one on the upper east side. To show Natalie the wonders of the city, but also be able to hire a really fun and funky grad student to babysit so I could take time to sit in little coffee shops with good books to read or writing to dollop in. And this time would be guilt free because I wouldn't have to hold a paying job or have to keep up with the housekeeping/laundry and all that I currently abhore. So I could truly relax, something that I think is at the heart of this whole fantasy.

More realisticly, I fantasize about the day we no longer need to rent out the basement apt in our house to pay the mortgage. When we can spread out, and not feel like we are living in a 3 bedroom apt with a yard. When we can get the yard under control and make it feel more like a place you'd like to hang out and not a jungle in bad need of a controlled burn. When there is room in this house and our bank account for a second baby, when I'm blogging from the downstairs guest room/office/sewing room instead of the itty third bedroom which would have a baby in it and curious george prints on the walls and a perky soft rug over the hard wood floors. That's really what I want. That and for everything in my head to straighten out. And to weigh 50lbs less. Hope that's no asking too much...

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