What I’m Buying with my Mega Millions Winnings!

OK, I haven’t actually won the Mega Millions lottery… yet. But I’ve got my stack of tickets right here sitting on top of an empty pizza box and next to a half bottle of Bud Light. Twenty quick picks. So clearly I’ve got way more of a chance than the silly fools who only buy one or two chances. Plus (and here’s the clincher!) my husband found 3 four-leaf clovers in our front yard this week! I feel pretty good about our chances.

Today’s Mega Millions jackpot is over 600 million dollars. That’s a lot of pizzas and beer. Anytime a lottery has some buzz, I can read quaint interviews in the paper in which lotto hopefuls talk about what they would do with the money. It’s almost sad. It makes you realize that most people have so little, that their biggest dreams include “a simple two-story home on enough land for some new four-wheel ATVs to roam.” Another woman said she would build a new building for her church, pay for her daughter’s college, and buy a nice four-bedroom home (The News & Observer, 3/30/12).

It also makes me think that most people don’t have much imagination. It doesn’t occur to them that with that kind of money, paying for college tuition is a nice dream, but why not buy your own college? Speaking of paying tuition, with a grand lotto windfall I could certainly afford to go to law school, and my husband could afford to go to pharmacy school, and we wouldn’t have to take turns going to school and going to work. We could actually attend school at the same time! What a novel idea! But would we still want to? Hmmm…

I always feel frustrated when I hear about the small-town plans of the hopefuls. It may sound cruel, but I don’t think they should win because they wouldn’t know what to do with the winnings. I on the other hand should totally win the lottery because I have big dreams. In fact, I’m afraid I could blow through 600million too quickly. Although, as Brewster learned, the appearance of wasting money can be deceiving; it can be tricky to truly blow through money when you start with a busload of it.

So what would I do? What grandiose ideas do I have?

Buy a new home? Absolutely. Several and in different countries. My homes would have cozy libraries with walls lined with shelves. Volumes and volumes of books: art books, poetry books, history books, women’s studies books, science books, and fiction, so much fiction! And… let me catch my breath from excitement… I would actually have time to read them. Gasp!

My homes would have luxurious spas instead of bathrooms. And the spas would be open to the outside. I would melt into a hot giant bath in the midst of a garden. Needless to say, a well-paid domestic employee would bring me drinks.

My homes would have art studios rich with the smell of paint and filled with sun streaming in from windows and skylights, and I would paint. Did I mention that I would have time to learn to paint? Right now, I do have some paints, one easel, and some paper. But I have no space in our apartment, I don’t know how to paint, and I have no time to paint.

I seem to remember Jerry Seinfeld’s home going for about 47 million a few years ago when I still lived on Long Island. (Incidentally, we had to leave our home and families on Long Island because we couldn’t afford it anymore and the job market sucked.) But with my Mega 600 Millions I could afford to go home to NY. A place on the east end plus a penthouse in Manhattan. Yep, that could be a cool 100 mil gone right there.

Speaking of real estate, I would buy an island. My very own private island with warm tropical breezes and waves crashing against the shore and sand between my toes and deep renewing breaths of salty air. Doesn’t Johnny Depp own a private island?

Of course it would be private planes all the way. No sense dealing with those common people in first class on commercial flights.

I still haven’t mentally spent it all yet though, but don’t worry, I’ve got more ideas. I wonder how much it would cost to buy my beloved NY Mets?

Now don’t think that I would be only all about buying the estates, jet planes, islands, universities, and Major League Baseball teams. I’m not that shallow and oblivious to the plight of non-lotto winners. I have family members who are struggling. We belong to a church that has no building; we rent space for our services. There are several organizations that we already support with whatever $25-$50 we can afford here and there. (Including the First Response Team of America – check them out, they are AMAZING what they do.) We would love to give them more if we could. I’m sure we would give a sizable chunk away to family and charity.

So here’s my plea: I want to win the lotto. In all honesty, I’m tired of being lower middle class. I’m not hungry or cold, but it’s not much fun either. I’d really be completely happy and satisfied with one measly million. I could buy a sweet four bedroom home, a new car, and pay for law school, pharmacy school, and the good schools for Sam.

But how about you? What would you spend your winnings on?

Mom on mom hate.

Some thoughts from a fellow blogger on how moms should stop being so competitive and instead lift each other up with encouragement and compliments.


Mom on mom hate..

Mayim Bialik: Too Crunchy for this Crunchymunchy Mama?

I eagerly anticipated reading Mayim Bialik’s new book Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way. Then I thought about skipping it entirely.

To say that I was disappointed when I read online that Bialik had not vaccinated her children would be an understatement. The anti-vax position is one that I absolutely cannot stand behind. But my disappointment went beyond my vehement disagreement with the anti-vax movement. I was disappointed that once again it seemed that a crunchymunchy lifestyle had to tick off certain qualities in order to fit into the crunchymunchy box. (She’s into co-sleeping and extended nursing so of course she must not vaccinate – ѵ Check!) Like I’ve said before, I find myself leaning towards the crunchymunchy end of parenting. But. In no way does that mean I’m going to ignore the overwhelming scientific consensus and our own country’s history of public health and endanger my child’s health and possibly the health of weaker individuals as well. I’m not here to argue against anti-vaccers. What little of that I have attempted in my personal life was an exercise in futility.

Instead, my point is that various choices get lumped together as crunchymunchy, and it’s often assumed that if one practice (say not vaccinating) is a bad choice, then another choice (say co-sleeping) is equally nutty simply because it’s practiced by the same people. For instance, I read one review of Beyond the Sling that had me steamed. The reviewer, a supremely arrogant and obnoxious man, lambasted Bialik for her anti-vax views. But then he went on to attack her views of natural childbirth implying that natural childbirth was equal to squatting in a bear den in the Appalachian woods with nary a sign of medical assistance. And this he lumped together with not vaccinating one’s children.

It made me wonder, if I subscribe to one view (natural childbirth) that may be associated with anti-vaccers, how do I know that natural childbirth isn’t also crazy? Was I just off the deep end of crazy when I opted for a natural childbirth? Or maybe really crunchymunchy people have got some things right and some things wrong. Then I can pick and choose practices to build my desired parenting style. In other words, back to my original question: How crunchymunchy am I?

In the end, I went ahead and picked up Bialik’s book today. And I’m looking forward to reading it. Just because I don’t embrace every idea that a crunchymunchy non-vaccinating celebrity mom endorses, doesn’t mean that I can’t find positive ideas and insight from her experiences. At least, this is my hope. In the meantime, I will still endeavor to be crunchymunchy on my own terms, even if I don’t fit into a neat box.

(By the way, this condition of feeling like I don’t fit into neat boxes pervades the rest of my life as well. It can make me and my husband feel uniquely alone. For instance, I am a liberal feminist who is a devout Christian. I am also a devout Christian who does not believe that Christianity and science must be exclusive. If one were to believe the Christian conservative right, I don’t exist, because after all, all Christians necessarily agree on everything, right? No.)

Upsherin and the Hunt for Tradition (or “Sam’s First Hair Cut”)

I don’t want to be the stereotypical white person who cherrypicks and steals traditions from other cultures without respecting or understanding the meaning, but just because they sound kind of cool. Yet I’m craving tradition. I also recognize that some of what gets labeled as “tradition” serves to control women and maintain a patriarchal status quo. I don’t need that. But again, sometimes I crave “traditions.” So perhaps some research into my own waspy (boring?) heritage is on the agenda in order to rediscover lost traditions that speak to me. Or perhaps even better – create our own unique family traditions?

Where did this random train of thought regarding traditions come from?
I was reading about the Jewish tradition of upsherin and I liked the idea of it. Never mind that I don’t think of Sam as an unpruned fig tree. I just like the ceremonial nature of attaching meaning to the commonplace.

Upsherin, as I understand it, is the Jewish practice of not cutting a boy’s hair until his third birthday. Its origins are in a verse about allowing the fig tree to go unpruned for three years, and then it will bear fruit upon pruning. Metaphorically, the concept of “bearing fruit” has to do with growth, maturity, productivity, and living out the life God has planned for you and using the gifts God has given you. Upsherin also signifies the official start of the boy’s Jewish education. Of course, I could be misunderstanding this entirely. I only read about it on a blog by actress and celebrity mom Mayim Bialik.

The thing is, Sammy has not had his first hair cut yet. His hair is soft and golden and so beautiful. True, many strangers call him a girl, but that doesn’t bother me. I understand that with small children people look for certain indicators (length of hair, pink clothes) so that they may comfortably categorize your child into a narrow gender binary (which I believe is extra silly for small children.) But I digress. I don’t have any pink clothing for him, but his hair does go a couple inches past his collar and sweetly curl up a bit at the ends. Can you tell that I’m going to have a hard time cutting it off? Those days of having a wee baby passed by quickly. Once I cut his hair he’s going to look that much more like a “boy” and less like my “baby.” On a purely practical level, you should see how he kicks and squirms during the torturous toenail clipping episodes. Like he’s fighting off zombies. There was no way I wanted scissors anywhere near his head and face.

So we decided to wait until he turned two and might possibly sit still for the haircut. (Do two-year-olds sit still? Yeah, I might have misjudged that one.) Now his birthday is only two months away, and I’m already feeling sad about cutting his locks. Like I said, I’m not hung up on strict gender restrictions for a one-year-old. But it’s starting to look scraggly, hang in his eyes, and starting to – just the tiniest bit – resemble a mullet. I think everyone will agree with me that I can’t have my sweet Sam sporting a mullet.

Speaking of tradition… clip from Fiddler on the Roof – Tradition!