Some call it a game, for me it’s kind of a sweet-n-sour little torture device. I will, however, indulge. Because I’m freaky like that.
Here’s the plot: You have come into a large amount of money. Like, fantasy-large. Fantasy, dreamworld, hollywood-will-blush... and bigger. Like, so large that even after taxes, paying off your house and your siblings’ houses, and your debts, and your parents’ debts and your siblings’ debts and donating obscene amounts of money to like, seven of your favorite charities… even after all of that, you still have the kind of money to allow you to satisfy your whims.
What would you do?
I saw this on a favorite blog of mine and am now putting myself in the position to consider the same question she put to herself and her readers. What would I do?
The philanthropic nerd in me gets first dibs today. For even though we have donated obscenely to like, seven of our favorite charities, I’d still like to commission a special hummingbird sanctuary at my local zoo. Some kind of set of like, three large rooms, one tropical, one arid, one more “breadbasket”-y, each environment housing a host of brilliantly thrumming, tiny feathered jewels. Like the butterfly pavilion but with hummingbirds.
Let’s move on to the groping consumerism, shall we?
Damn, I’m disappointingly practical now. I want a new heater/air-conditioner for my house. Of course I’d put my beloved into his dream car. Whatever that may be. I want a custom-fit wardrobe that’s designed for my very own body. I want a person to come in and chase the catfur tumbleweeds, the dust that collects on the lightbulbs, and the grimy stuff under the stove instead of me. I want my parents’ house to be finally outfitted with wall sconces, a back deck, and a proper kitchen like they’ve always wanted. I’d want some kind of fun escape for me and my beloved too, maybe up in Seattle or over in Iceland (why not both?) where we could just jet off to and spend a few weeks alone together each year doing nothing but sleeping late, eating farmer’s market veggies and local cheeses, and reading books and playing computer games and just generally de-stressing and being nerds together.
I’d like to travel. A lot. I’d like to take an apartment in various cities for like, a month at a time, and just really get intimately acquainted with the city, the arts, the local produce, and all that other romantic “she’s having a mid-life crisis” business. We’d go to Spain, to Greece, To Finland and Japan. We’d snoop around in Brazil, in Thailand, in Greenland, and hell let’s go crazy and check out places like New York, DC, and Miami while we’re at it.
Finally, I dream opulently every morning about never having to work again – but I also know very vividly how twitchy I get when I’m unemployed. Miserable damned catch 22. I like to think that I’d set up some kind of self-renewing fund into which I’d periodically dip so as to finance my own private stained glass studio. Something quiet, loft-like, with big industrial windows, central heating and great ventilation! Something where my mother could finally hand off her skills to me, along with her unending stashes of spare glass, tools, sketches and insanely interesting brik-a-brak. We’d be uninterrupted. We’d focus on our work with zen-like calm and our backs would never be sore again because we’d be working at state-of-the-art drawing tables and ergonomically aligned countertops. Classical music would plink away absently in the background and the smells of wet glass, solder, brass and lead would fill the air.
We’d finish every project we start. We’d make posters of our best cartoons and she’d fill in her favorites with watercolors and we’d sell these things alongside the sun-catchers at the south-west corner of the studio, in which we’d leave enough space for a self-guided tour and gift shop. Not supplies, mind you. Just our product would be sold there. Just the stuff that we made because we wanted to, for reasons known only to us. It would turn a miserable profit and would be largely ignored for decades, but it would be there. And the windfall will fund it.
We might even pick up a new apprentice, too. Someone who’d work alongside us and initially just learn the skills too, but eventually begin independent projects to contribute to the space. We’d all work on restorations, salvage operations, and absurd whimsy. It would be VERY unprofessional. I’m sure we’d take on the odd commission or two. But only if we REALLY liked the project.
And it would be like a dream! And it’s utter torture to think of these things with such clarity… and know they’ll probably never happen. Let’s face it – even Bill Gates doesn’t have that kind of money. *sigh*
Money can’t buy happiness, but it can fund some damned interesting journeys.