300 TT's ago. This is what was on my mind 16 years ago, when I did my Thursday Thirteen #9. That long ago week, the lottery jackpot was $2.2 million.
Thirteen Things The Gal Herself Would Do if She Won the Illinois State Lottery
1) Pay off my condo. It would give me an almost sexual thrill to be done with mortgage payments.
2) Redecorate. Fresh paint everywhere, new sofa, new window treatments, new carpet in the living room and master bedroom, new floor and cabinets in the kitchen, new everything in the bathroom …
3) Pay off my Citibank card. The 3.9% fixed APR is for the life of the loan, so it's more than fair, but, as with the mortgage, I tremble and shiver at the thought of finally being done with it.
4) An Albertson's Gift Card with a prodigious balance for my mom. She's always very broke. Partly because she trusted my late father to provide for her as he said he would (big mistake) and partly because she does dumb things with money. But an Albertson's Gift Card could really only be used for food and toiletries, so I wouldn't have to worry about her the way I would with cash.
5) Take my niece and nephew to Washington, DC. It's time for them to learn about their national heritage. And if I don't do it, it won't get done.
6) "Foster" as many pets as possible.I simply can't have any more pets myself. But right now I send checks each month to support a dog at the Northshore Animal League, a cat and Harmony House and another cat at Tree House. I'd love to be able to afford more.
7) Invest for retirement. I know I should have more put away for my fast-approaching Golden Years. With my imaginary windfall I would help rectify that.
8) Regular pedicures. I can do it myself, but it looks so much prettier when I have it done.
9) Regular massages. It would be so good for my skin to have quality massage oils slathered all over my back. And it would be so good for my psyche to chill out regularly in the way that a massage relaxes me.
10) "Gal pal" vacations. One friend keeps saying it would be fun for us to go to a spa together. Another thinks it's time I return to New York. Ladies, if ever that's a winning ticket in my wallet, we're hitting the road.
11) Give a brick. Get a brick. Let me explain. One of the best gifts I ever received is a brick on the donors' walk in front of the local library, praising my dedication to homeless pets. It means a lot to me because my two favorite things are animals and books, and I love the lasting nature of having a brick on the walk. I would love to be able to afford similarly permanent and appropriate charitable gifts for friends and family.
12) All new undies, all the time. I fixate on having clean underwear. Really. Ask my friends in the Keys about the time American Airlines lost my bag. I'm told that at least once an hour I'd wish aloud that I had packed more undies in my carry on. (In fairness to me, this was right after Hurricane Wilma and there really, literally weren't any department stores in Key West that I could turn to.) I try not to be wasteful, so I don't toss underwear aside at the first signs of wear. But if I was a girl millionaire, they would go into the garbage the moment I see a little worn elastic.
13) Take classes. Could I afford to quit working altogether and still do everything listed above? Probably not. But I probably could return to free lancing, which means I'd have time to take classes on the subjects that fascinate me.
Ah, this was fun. But now I can't get that Barenaked Ladies song out of my head. "If I had a million dollars … I'd be RICH."
Since I originally wrote this, my mom has passed away and I am now retired myself, so reading those two gave me little pangs. But the rest sound pretty good to me. Especially the underwear thing.
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