With all the excitement over the $500 million Mega Millions lottery drawing, I’ve started thinking about how I’m going to spend my winnings (since, I think it’s obvious that I will win it), and reviewing how my life will change. A girl has got to be ready for this sort of thing.
You know that the changes will not just be limited to changing my phone number and moving to a remote island (though those are clearly the first ones). For instance, perhaps Colin Firth has always had a movie script in the back of his closet that he has wanted to get made, but has never found the financing. If I call him as a pauper and offer to try to help him, I’m betting that I would not receive a return call from his agent. With $500 million sitting in the bank, someone might return my phone call. The point is, a middle-aged woman with a dream and no cash is a woman with very little power. A middle-aged woman with $500 million is a woman with a dream and the means to force other people to listen to it ad nauseam.
Money would certainly help my life right now. It would mean no need to go back to employment when my year is up. It would mean the ability to focus attention on projects (commercial and non-profit) that I think are interesting or important. My travels would become more exotic (and consistent). Also, I’d go back to Macy’s and buy some of the stuff I liked, but couldn’t really afford because it was not on sale, and I’d reacquaint myself with Jimmy Choo after an enforced, way-too-long absence.
There’s only one tiny problem: the thing I really want, I can’t buy. I can’t even rent it. My biggest fantasy is to have the people I admire, admire my work. I want the people who interest me to be interested in me. You could argue that the money could buy someone’s notice, but that isn’t the same as respect. You could also argue that the money would mean getting my work to a wider audience, and it would increase my chances of the fantasy coming true. But higher visibility is no guarantee.
Let’s be clear: I will take the money when they call my numbers. It will make my life better. It could potentially make the lives of the people around me better (the line starts behind Pen). But I have a feeling that the odds of me getting what I really want are the same whether the jackpot is mine or not (it is).
So, if you were to win the lottery (not this one, as it is mine), would it buy you what you really want?