Who hasn’t bought a lottery ticket and have this scenario run through their mind- the moment the numbers are read, the ticket trembling in your hand, the realization that you’ve done it, they match, in all the right order and everything in your life, everything you’ve worked for in your whole life, everything you’ve struggled and fought for and were desperate to achieve- it has all been a complete waste of time because a single square piece of paper has randomly made you the richest person on Earth. You and a dirt farmer on the other end of the state.
Once the screaming and the hyperventilation and the phone calls and the hysterical Facebook status has been added (“Thinking of buying Facebook because I can”), once you’ve verified with the lottery people that this is all happening and the money, that big fat check, will be deposited into your sweet little checking account in a few days time, you sit down with a notepad and a pen and consider this- The First 5 Things.
You immediately discount all debts, mortgages, student loans, credit card debts, charitable donations etc. You’ll take care of all that soon enough. No, this is about the pile of catalogs sitting on your kitchen table. This is about watching VH1’s “The Glamorous Life Of” or “20 Richest Stars” to do some diligent note-taking. Instead of shaking your head at the spoiled Arabian prince who outfitted his hot tub in solid gold, you can measure your own bathroom to see if it will fit.
5 Things Money Can Buy
1. Winter Home- Amy Smart’s House
I read Smart’s description of her 2,000 sq. foot Beverly Hills cottage in InStyle with a lump in my throat. Essentially, she built and decorated my dream house for me, including my farmhouse kitchen table, early Hollywood motif and backyard garden. That was nice of her. I will offer her millions of dollars to take her adorable boyfriend and dog and vacate the premises pronto.
“Loved you in Just Friends. Now get out.”
2. Fall/Spring Home- English Countryside Manor
This is all Jane Austen’s fault, really. And Jamie Oliver come to think of it. And Nigella Lawson. And Princess Diana. Essentially, England has been wooing me since I was fourteen years old and now- “YOU WIN, ENGLAND. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?” (In case you’re wondering, I’ll still be in Chicago for the summer. Nothing beats Chicago in the summer.)
3. William Sonoma Shopping Spree
“Listen closely and follow me. I have three homes now and I need the same things outfitted in all three kitchens. I’ll pick everything out here and then I want three of each item shipped to each house, my valet Michael will give you the addresses. Stop stammering, Michael, and write this all down. Everyone understand? Great, let’s get our game faces on. Now, if I start clapping and jabbering to myself and jumping up and down, it’s just PURE UNMITIGATED JOY. I MAY pee my pants as well, just fair warning.”
4. A Wedding
That’s right, bitches. I’m throwing myself a wedding. Ok, well, I won’t call it a wedding- just a party. And you won’t have to give me a gift. In fact, I’ll give YOU a gift. There will be a DJ AND a house band and great food, catered by Wolfgang Puck, and everyone I know will be there. I will wear a fantastic dress (see above) and make all of my close girlfriends wear cute but way less fabulous dresses. I will dance with my dad and tell him how much I love him. I’ll let my mother fuss with my hair all night. I’ll threaten the photographer that he’s ruining my day, MY DAY. I’ll toss a bouquet of flowers at people’s heads, just for fun. And then at the very end, I’ll disappear in a puff of smoke like Bilbo Baggins. No one will know where I went but in truth, I’m on my way to Fiji. It’s going to be amazing.
5. An Airstream Trailer
You didn’t see this one coming, did you? A wedding, glorious estates, fabulous clothes and… a trailer. Yeah, well, get used to imagining me in this bad boy because as soon as I’m out of escrow, I am hitting the road. Just me, my dog and my (new) Macbook. I’m going to write books, bounce around from small town to big city to small town until I’ve scoured every inch of this country for fun, fascinating people, food and things to experience firsthand. Hey, it could happen.