Possibilities…

16 03 2013

I like to imagine winning the lottery sometimes. Or just a millions dollars.  I’m not all that greedy.  But i like to think about what I would do, and I’m sure for the majority what I would do would be pretty boring.  I wouldn’t set off to travel the globe calling no place home and having no ties (but believe me I would totally pay to take the massive world wide cruise I’ve head about because cruising is freakin’ wonderful!) and writing my memoirs, because who the hell would ready my memoirs?

Okay, maybe Oprah and a bunch of lonely, drama starved housewives, but there are far more interesting, far more twisted life stories out there and I would just feel a pretender amongst them.

Regardless, I think the first thing I would do would be to finish my living room while my grandmother was off on a short vacation (that I would have paid for of course).  You see she has a serious case of the DIY bug, and our house is constantly under construction in some form or another.  We play musical bedrooms, re-purpose rooms, knock down walls, put new ones up, and typically run out of money about 3/4’s of the way through.  Right now, that mostly finished room is the living room that is sitting in what was once our car port.  It’s a nice room. Kind of small, kind of dark, and there is still some mudding and sheetrock-ing that needs to be done (not to mention the floors and the paint and the finishing touches on the electrical), and I would really, really feel good about myself if I could throw some money at it, and a weekend or two, and get it spic and span for my grandmother without her having to lift a finger (and risk throwing out her back again in the process). Given that we are a DIY heavy household, that wouldn’t be all that hard.  It would mean paying my dad for his labor, no doubt, but he is generally okay with being paid in cigarettes and Monster cans.  It could be done even without the million or the lottery money, but I am a poor community-college student, trying to pay down my own debts.  It would take a while to work up the cash.

But if I had seemingly unlimited funds?  Oh the things I could do.  Not only could I finish the living room, I could furnish it.  However, you all must know that that is not where this would end.

Oh, heeeeelllllllll no.

Because I have noticed something.  Something about my family.  Okay…. something about my dad and his mom.  He keeps moving back in. Now, here is the situation, so that it is clear what I mean by that.  I live with my grandmother, almost always have (there was that one year, but that is a story for another time), and my dad?  Well, he comes and goes.  But he is never gone for long.  Don’t get me wrong, he hasn’t been moving in and out for the entirety of my life.  There were a few years there when he was settled when I was young, and a few more a little later, and a few more after that.  But it doesn’t ever last for long, and eventually he moves back in.  And the problem that I am working towards, the one that I would employ a  lot of this fictional money to fix, is this:  Eventually my grandma will die, and then where will he go?

You might say, “Not your problem!  He’s a grown man and he can fend for himself.  He has skills, he knows how to employ them and given a good shove, he probably will.”  And you would be absolutely right.  But, you see, I just can’t.  I am aware of that aspect of myself, I will not live in denial.  I come from a line of women and men who just can’t let their family or friends take life’s punches alone.  We take in strays, we very nearly run a boarding house actually for those down on their luck, need a hand to hold for a while, wading through transitional periods, and have no where else to go.  We deal with them sleeping on our couches, eating our food, smoking our weed and cigarettes, not helping with the housework, and never shutting up and giving us a moment’s peace, on top of being a drain on our limited finances.  We’ve had them steal from us, we’ve chased them to state boarders to get our stuff back, we’ve let a lot of our missing tools go with a shake of our heads and a mutter about so-and-so, but when the next one wanders by telling us of their woes, sometimes never looking for a hand-out, legitimately planning to do this that or the other to help themselves, we make an offer.  You don’t want to do that, don’t put yourself through that, you shouldn’t have to live that way.  And then there is another body on our couch.

So I know that I can’t and, when the time finally comes, won’t be able to turn my dad away when he is finally, again, down on his luck.  But I don’t want him living with me while I’m trying to live my life, probably raising a family.  I don’t want him in the guest room for five or ten years, bringing his girlfriends over to stay for a few days or weeks or months.  I don’t want him borrowing my car because he sold his when he had no other options and then buying up a junker that runs and just needs some TCL before it’s a great car again.  I don’t want to be my grandmother.

Here’s what I am willing to do – I’ll put his ass to work.  Aside from a back that troubles him sometimes and his worsening eye sight, my dad is in great physical condition for his age, so I am not afraid to hand him physical labor.  If I won the lottery or had a million dollars I would buy up a few properties, rent them out, and give him the job of property manager/maintenance-man.  I would deduct his rent from his salary and let him live one of the houses if he needed to.  I’ll manage it with or without the lottery.  It will just take longer.

My dad isn’t the only one though.  I have friends.  Well meaning, motivated friends who really just need a leg up in the world to get their lives in shape.  Maybe I’m an idealist and it would all backfire on me.  Maybe my friends would just end up with a few failed businesses and owing me thousands that they would never be able to pay back, but I would help them anyway.  I would fund ariannaoftheblack’s doggie daycare.  I would buy the property (I totally picked it out already) and waive their rent for the first year or two, and give them some start-up cash.  I would buy nightly her mobile weld-shop equipment and give her some start-up cash too.  I would probably rent houses to both of them.

I would put a large sum into savings, an IRA, I would get a CPA to invest it for me.  I would do all the things you’re supposed to do with your money to ensure that you have enough to retire comfortably.  I would ask for  a demotion at work, dropping to 20 hours a week, taking a pay-cut just so I could spend more time at my community college learning things I want to learn and not things I need for a degree, so that I could travel and not feel like I were abandoning my co-workers to chaos.

I probably wouldn’t move out immediately, but I would tell my grandma to evict the couple living in our mother-in-law’s apartment and let me move in.  I would take some semblance of autonomy, and pay rent, but not leave her alone which I know she fears.  At least until my boyfriend asks me to move in with him somewhere.  That, I’m sure, she would find acceptable and be happy about.

I would pay off my debts (which aren’t much) and my car.  I would try to convince my boyfriend to let me pay off his debts (which are less than mine) and to let me pay something towards the car he is so lovingly struggling to keep running.  I would take him traveling with me ❤

I would take my whole family and him on a series of cruises and vacations.  I would pay for my sisters and my brother to go with us, though they live half way across the country.  I would ask them where they wanted to go and make it happen.  I would give them all money for college.  I would invite my boyfriends family to go too sometimes, and pay for the bulk of it.  I would take a lot of pictures.  I would give my dad a nice camera with which to take pictures.  I would forget the cameras in a suitcase, and spend all of my time interacting with the people I love, forgetting to take the pictures.

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One response

18 03 2013
nightlymusings

Butthead! I better go with you on that vaca!

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