Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Art of Winning the Lottery

Finding that lottery ticket on the ground yesterday gave me a flash back to my time working at the Chicago Tribune. We had a work pool, everyone would put in a dollar a month and my boss would buy a ticket every week. She’d make copies for everyone so we could check the numbers ourselves if we wanted to. Every time I got a copy I would write what I would buy if we won.
I hoped that if I came up with really good things to spend all that money on, I would win.

It seems like the typical “American” dream—contemplating what you would win if you won the lottery, even if you’ve never bought a ticket you’ve probably imagined what it would be like to be rich. To me, it’s impossible to understand. I know I don’t need to have that kind of money, but I also know that if I had that money better things would be happening in this world. Not that I would be a do-good donator giving it all away, but I would use the money creatively to better our surroundings.

Here’s basically what I’ve come up with idea-wise regarding my winning ticket aka getting really rich somehow without trying too hard:

1) The obvious choice for everyone who is poor—pay off bills. My bills are my student loans in which I will be about $80,000 in debt to once I finish this final year (feel free to send me your own donation to my college fund, I will not deny anyone’s free money).

2) Go on a shopping spree. Let’s be real here. I find clothes in the dumpster. I’m not picky about what label I wear, but it would be nice to be able to go in a store and not look at the price tag before deciding to even try it on. I did that once with a $60 purple silk halter-cut shirt thinking if I tried it on it wouldn’t look good and I would feel better about not buying it… it looked ridiculously awesome and was more upsetting than ever to have to put it back on the rack, thus I never do that now (besides the fact that I don’t go shopping anywhere where the clothes actually costs money…).

3) I would spend most of the money investing it in artistic endeavors of both myself and Ryan, including: a) Promoting and getting shows for Pervertable Tongues (also hiring a drummer since we can’t seem to find one) b) shaping up the Feminist Creative Alliance into something solid, powerful and evocative c) either opening up our own art/music venue/bar or creating an Art Co-Op out in the country somewhere where we grow our own organic food and have lots of artists running about cultivating their work and the land. Or perhaps both…

4) I’d get a dog. I can neither afford to have one nor actually literally have one here in the city and really really want one.

5) I’d give away a bunch to my parents and grandparents so they could buy whatever they wanted and I’d make my mom restore that road-runner sitting in the garage (that has been sitting in the garage and sitting and sitting).

That's about it.

Honestly. I can do all of that without winning the lottery. The lottery really only makes accomplishing those goals extremely easy and perhaps with that easiness comes a feeling of lack of accomplishment. If my band made it because we had more money and the ability to pay people to like us, then it wouldn’t feel as good playing, it wouldn’t feel real.

Or perhaps that’s just what poor people tell themselves to make themselves feel better about not having much.

I really can’t complain…. yet. I have a great apartment, amazing friends, a charming partner, a beautiful family.

BUT. It's the American day dream and if I won the lottery, that’s what I would do—how about you?

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