Yesterday we were on our way home from Costco when Shaune asked if he should drop me and the kids off at home before picking up his lottery tickets.
Why don't you just stop now and grab them at the grocery store? We need some soy sauce anyway. I suggested.
Fine he said, but I don't buy my tickets at the grocery store, you know that.
Right, I forgot.
He buys them at the Arabic variety store around the corner from us. The one that also sells Halal meat, fresh produce and a decent selection of spices. He loves this little store, feels like he's supporting the independent business sector. He reminded me of this - again. How he just loves the owner and would rather give his money to him over some "fat-cat" grocery store corporation. He tells me (again) how the retailer would get a percentage of the winnings should he play a lucky enough ticket. Rhetorically, he asks me if I'd like to see the "fat-cat" stay on top when independent business owners struggle to stay competitive.
No, of course not, I mumble as if on cue. (He loves that term fat-cat)
I love this about my husband, his sense of loyalty, the ease with which he builds relationships with people regardless of class, ethnicity or faith. He's the only (white) person I've ever met who can spot racism a mile away and isn't afraid to speak up. I think he's a good father for two biracial boys to have. The right husband for a brown woman in a white society.
But he's downright superstitious when it comes to those lottery tickets. Plays the same numbers twice a week. Same store. Without fail.
Me? I could care less about the lottery. I like my life the way it is, thank you very much. I rejoice when I've found a bargain, earned a paycheck. Love knowing we can finally afford something. My heart races everytime I look at my kijiji* kitchen table.
I like going to work.
But you could work if we were rich, it would just be work you wanted to do, says Shaune. We could be philanthropists! You could write.
Here's the thing. I love finding a few minutes a day to squeeze in writing. Feel accomplished cleaning my modest little house. Guilt-free I put on my clearance-rack jeans and know that I'm giving my children what I can. I don't want my sons to be future Paris Hiltons, heirs to fortunes they didn't earn.
And the honest truth?
I'm not sure if I'm motivated enough to work if I didn't have to. I'm afraid of who I might become if money was no object.
You might be rolling your eyes. But I'm serious. Have you watched those people on TLC's The Lottery Changed My Life? In their gas-guzzling Hummers and Escalades. Very few of them give money to those who really need it.
I think I'll just stick to the life I was given, the one I'm earning. I like how Sheryl Crow put it in that song.
It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.
*kijiji is Canada's version of a Craig's list