Friday, August 14, 2009

My Life Is a Series of Wasted Opportunities

The fact that I have not yet won the lottery and been able to retire as a relatively young man seems unconscionable to me. I feel that it is essential to my success as a person that I win at least a hundred million dollars in the lottery so I can actually do something with my life. I'm far too lazy and scattered to get anything done otherwise. Seriously, I want to win so bad that I will actually drop a fiver on the counter at a gas station about four times a year when I notice the jackpot has risen above $100 million. It will take me a week or two to finally check my ticket against the numbers on the Mega Millions website, but the fact that I do it at all shows my passion and dedication to this possibility. I would feel guilty about this waste of money except that my state has actually used the lottery fairly effectively to add to its educational system. Sure, it was a disaster in Florida, but here it's done pretty well. If the lottery revenues drop, the only programs that suffer are programs we didn't have until the lottery started paying for them and probably would have never had without it.

I'll try to ignore the fact that the lottery is, in effect, a regressive tax on the poor and the stupid to fund programs that do more to aid the middle class than anyone else. My conscience is salved by the fact that at least this is a voluntary tax. My students may occasionally go hungry because their mama spent the grocery money on lotto tickets, but at least their mom had the legal right to choose not to. I also left college without a cent of debt in large part because of the lottery. Thank you poor and stupid people of my state. I owe my current standard of living to you, but don't think you're getting anything in return. Especially reasonable health coverage.

Anyway, I'd love to live the life of luxury because then maybe I could feel like I'd actually have time to get something done. During the school year it seems like I get dumber. I spend my time at work working, mostly. I get home and we make supper and I check e-mail and the like and it's time for bed. Now that K and I have started a regular workout program, it's only gotten worse. We get E to bed just after 8 p.m., do our workout and it's time for our own bed. I get up and it starts all over. Just getting in things like laundry and sweeping the floor becomes a hassle. Hell, it took us three years to get to the State Farm office and get house insurance.

You want to know why that Fifty Degrees Below book has been sitting in my Good Reads widget on the sidebar for about six months now? It's not that I've neglected to update my Good Reads list. It's also not that the book has failed to capture my interest, although that is part of it. The problem is that after getting everything else that I have to and want to get done, I have to choose between neglecting my wife and child, sleep, or reading. My wife makes sure that I don't choose the first too often, and I get retarded if I choose to neglect sleep. I don't like being retarded. Not feeling retarded is the entire reason that I need to win the lottery.

Of course the truth is that I have two months during the summer that are work free and I didn't read more than 50 pages of that book or any other that wasn't a part of the class I was taking during that time. I felt smarter. I did spend more time thinking. I got in plenty of travel time, but I didn't get a damn thing done.

So, basically, I guess I just want to win the lottery so I can be a hobo and not have to make any of the sacrifices normally involved in that lifestyle.


Courtney said...

Work does take up an unreasonable amount of time. If someone's going to win the lottery, it might as well be you. Or me. I prefer me.

Julie said...

I will occasionally play the lotto when the jackpot's up really high. And I, too, think that I should win. I would make good use of the money. For some reason, it never works.

A Free Man said...

I never play the lotto because I have a fairly solid understanding of odds an probability. And because I'm a typical bleeding heart Leftist and have major issues with the things you mentioned. But most of all because I would rather spend money on ice cream. I'm all about immediate gratification.

Chris said...

I confessed to myself the other day that a large portion of my actions and decisions are driven by guilt and the sense of what I am expected to do to satisfy others.

I say that to make this point: if I won a million dollars or more, I would be so riddled with guilt over trying to figure out the most responsible way to spend, invest and give it away in proper proportions, that I would just end up spending it on ulcer medication and psychiatric therapy.