JB and I were watching some awful show called “Million Dollar Yachts” the other day, which featured, as you might guess, obscenely expensive yachts. One ship included copious amounts of the world’s most rare blue granite, another had custom-carved whalebone accessories, and one owner had built some crazy custom golf course thing that allowed him to send ball after ball flying into the ocean in an attempt to hit various targets, while his crew stood by in a separate giant boat in order to determine each player’s score.

Can you even imagine being that rich? I was all hung up on the golf balls, like wait a minute, isn’t that kind of environmentally fucked? Aren’t golf balls the ones that have a center filled with radioactive space dust, or something? Or at the very least isn’t it possible a marine animal could choke on one? Come ON, wasteful millionaire guy, think of the ball-gagging dolphins!

Every now and then when the Powerball gets up to some ridiculous, unlikely number like $184,032,682,931,085.14 JB and I buy a ticket and launch into a pleasant, meandering, days-long conversation about what we’d do with all that money. It’s basically the polar opposite of those grim Well We Still Can’t Reduce Our 15-Year Refi Loan Like We Had Planned Because the Seattle Housing Market Took a Big Steaming Poo and Thus Our Mortgage is Like Getting Reamed With a Giant Pointy Stick Each Month discussions which result in us combing through our budget yet again and wondering if there’s anything we can skim off the top, like maybe those expensive-ass children.

What would you do with a giant mega-mountain of cash? I mean, you know, aside from donations, helping out family/friends, savings, school tuitions, college funds, and all that responsible stuff. Here’s the big things from my list:

• Quit my job, pronto. Sorry, job. I like you, and I love my coworkers, but your commute sucks and let’s be honest, if I didn’t need the paycheck we probably wouldn’t have a whole lot to talk about.

• Build a generously-sized but not mansion-huge house in Oregon, with two-story log cabin-style front windows overlooking something beautiful.

• Have vacation property in Bend, and a beachouse somewhere tropical.

• Buy a super comfy motorhome, so our family could spend weeks at a time traveling around the US

• Hire an awesome trainer to kick my ass 4-5 days a week.

• Start a business.

• Find the perfect babysitter for a weekly date night and pay to keep her on permanent retainer.

What about you?

Comments

122 Responses to “Windfall fantasies”

  1. spacegeek on October 1st, 2009 2:38 pm

    Pay off the mortgages.

    Tell hubby he can quit his job and volunteer to his heart’s content. (I married a boyscout)

    Update the kitchen and the bathrooms

    Get a friggin’ live in massage therapist. So I could have a daily massage. Or just my feet if I felt like it.

    Put new carpet in the bedrooms.

    Get a new computer for hubby.

    Go on a month-long vacation to someplace beachy and warm. Find some place where we can bring the dogs so I don’t have to worry about them being left behind.

    Hire a chef.

    This is fun. Thanks for the fantasy coffee break.

  2. Kari C. on October 1st, 2009 6:26 pm

    Hmmm….ok, I would probably quit my job, then go volunteer at different places.

    Pay for original songs to be written for me, then produce my own CD, so I had full artistic control.

    Buy my round house from Oregon Yurt Works, and find a cliff with an amazing view of the water, that I could hear everyday, and walk down to as well. Or better yet, have an exact duplicate of the house from “Practical Magic” built, in the old craftsman style, built to last, in the same type of spot. Heck, why not both! And the houses MUST HAVE gourmet kitchens for baking in!

    Travel to all of the places I’ve wanted to go to: Ireland, New Zealand, etc., and NOT do it tourist style. Do farm works in New Zealand and work my way acroos the country. And in Ireland, take my time visiting as many of the old shrines, Brighid wells, etc. that I could find.

    Go back to school for pastry making and baking, and also for writing children’s books.

    Get good gear and a trainer and really train hard for a full length triathalon. Am starting up shortly for my first, thanks to you making it look so fun. ;}

    Go to Romania and adopt a baby or 2, to share my home and life with! :)

  3. charissa on October 1st, 2009 7:36 pm

    Oh my gods, I LOVE that daydream conversation! The lotteries here tend to cap out at between 25-50 million (umm, Canadian), but we still talk about What If it were way more.

    The Boy’s answer is usually “Wait how much money? Like an obscene amount? Dude, I’d buy a hockey team. Not NHL, maybe, but like OHL or AAA.”

    My answer involves…
    – hiring a personal massage therapist on a permanent twice-a-week house visit
    – quitting my job
    – Opening my own two-screen theatre in my town which would show indie movies on one screen and Whatever The Hell I Felt Like Watching That Night on the other one
    – buying a small farm (maybe three acres or four), a cow, some chickens (don’t ask me how that works with the theatre; I don’t know either)
    – Baking all day long, whether I have people to feed or not, on my shiny new awesome marble countertop.

  4. Karl on October 1st, 2009 11:21 pm

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kschendel and check out the Kitchen Project set. Oh wait, we already did that. Ok. I’m confused, but you DID say a giant mega-mountain of cash.

    Ok, for real? We’d fix the driveway, which is starting to look like the poster child for Driveway Sealers of America. I just replaced most of our computers, but I’d buy a new SPARC box (for Ingres development) just because. We’d travel to at least the top 5 places on the list. (Iceland, Chile, return to China, Slovenia, Kenya or South Africa.) And then, if we haven’t managed to spend most of it yet, we’d give it to a charity or foundation.

    Because letting them inherit money is the worst thing one can do to one’s children. IMHO.

  5. Redbecca on October 2nd, 2009 6:14 am

    oh, I forgot to add a big ass BOAT so we can travel between the two places.

  6. Sarah on October 2nd, 2009 7:38 am

    Totally unrelated, but thought you’d like to see this:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33130861/ns/us_news-weird_news/?GT1=43001

    A zombie disaster plan for The University of Florida that actually got linked to thier website. My husband loves zombie stories and sent me the link.

  7. Wizzie on October 2nd, 2009 7:47 am

    Buy my own island in the Caribbean.

  8. kristylynne on October 2nd, 2009 7:48 am
  9. Courtney W. on October 2nd, 2009 8:02 am

    I have this fantasy daily…

    Quit my job…finally stop waiting around for the severance package that I know is coming and just tell them to take a flying leap.

    Stay home with my kiddos while they are still little.

    Travel a lot! Spend months at a time with my out of state family. I love them and miss them so much.

    Restore old houses as a hobby.

    I’m only 31, but I have been ready to retire for 5 years already. Working is for the birds.

  10. telegirl on October 2nd, 2009 9:20 am

    How fun–especially in this economy–to dream.

    My goals if I had a BUNCH of money:

    1) Quit my job
    2) Pay off everything & quit worrying about bills
    3) Take care of my family: Pay for kids’ college & set up trust funds so they are set for life. Pay off my sisters’ houses & my parents’ house. Take care of my husband’s granny & brother. Give each of these wonderful people some “crazy money” to go do something fun.
    4) Buy property & build a nice house here in Bend (we’re in a typical neighborhood now).
    5) Buy property & build a nice cabin in the Sawtooths in Idaho as well as NE Oregon (near Joseph) and, what the heck, someplace tropical.
    6) Hire a nanny who can do home-schooling and travel the world for a while.
    7) Start some sort of philanthrophic organization. Not sure what yet, but I’d pay someone to help me figure it out! :o)

  11. Lindsay on October 2nd, 2009 10:02 am

    Quit our jobs, buy a John Madden style motorhome with driver that hauls a SUV and travel N.A. Go to baseball games everywhere, watch entire playoff series of NHL teams, pay off my siblings student debts, get my parents to retire, get a house, coach a hockey team, join a hockey team.

    Go into space like that backstreet boy did and experience zero gravity.

  12. Trenches of Mommyhood on October 2nd, 2009 10:10 am

    “ball-gagging dolphins” made me choke on my sammich – All I could think of is The Gimp from Pulp Fiction. Except, you know, with a dolphin…

    My lottery winnings would go for a little “maintenance” on my bod – tummy tuck and boob job. After of course I built a church or something…

  13. Meggish on October 2nd, 2009 11:12 am

    Go back to school! And never leave.

  14. amber on October 2nd, 2009 12:26 pm

    You always ask the best questions, and having a vivid (eternally hopeful) imagination, I’ve thought of this quite a lot.

    1) Buy a vintage car, like perhaps a 1969 Stingray, or a Judge, or something I can feel dead sexy driving around in. I’d also buy a Jeep Wrangler for off-road mischief.

    2) I, too, would like to build my dream house on the Oregon coast. Near Seaside.

    3) Wardrobe. An entirely new one, complete with fancy ass shoes & bags and accessories, so that I can look pulled together for the rest of my life and never have another sweats/bedhead moment in the supermarket when my ex walks in.

    4) Lastly, travel. Lots of travel. While dream house was being built, I’d be carousing Europe and Asia and everywhere else I’ve ever had a yen to go.

  15. Eileen on October 2nd, 2009 2:52 pm

    oh, ya, love this, maybe one day it will come true!

    1. pay off all of our debts as well as our family’s debts (duh).

    2. Make sure all of the kids got the college education they deserve, because, um, ya, even though your parents are stinking rich, you will go to school and have some sort of a career!

    3. Put in a people mover from Burnside Circle to the top of the hill at 4-H Camp. This is a fantasy all adults who have ever spent any time dragging their butts back up the hill to camp after campfire has ever had. That is one hell of a climb, getting worse with each year that passes.

    4. Build a very large vacation log home on the shores of South Lake Tahoe. Room for everyone to come and have a white Christmas!

    5. Go on a vacation for at least 4 weeks and take all family and friends with.

    6. Pay someone to invent a pill for my dogs and my kitty that would make them live forever and not get old and decrepit.

    7. Go on a shopping spree and take my girlfriends with me and NEVER look at a price tag, no clearance shopping allowed!

    Of course I would donate to my favorite charities for sure.

  16. Eileen on October 2nd, 2009 2:54 pm

    oops, almost forgot, buy a classic (at least 60 foot) Cris Craft Boat and have a dock and dry dock on Lake Tahoe.

  17. wordygirl on October 2nd, 2009 3:13 pm

    You know, I hate that I don’t get to check my blogroll every day. I extra-hate it when one of my favourite bloggers posts not one, not two, but THREE posts on which I would like to express opinions, but then I feel weird about posting comments, like, a week afterwards. Bahhhh. Here goes.

    Re: h1n1 immunizations: I’ve been having the EXACT same thoughts. How on earth can we even begin to comprehend what the long-term effects of a vaccine might be, at this point? Someone mentioned infertility. Shwoo…. that’s a big one. In 30 years, if my daughter is infertile, do I want to look back at this winter and wonder if that was my fault? NOT SO MUCH. “Oh, Gwen, honey, I’m so sorry you can’t ever know the joy of being a mom, but remember when you were 2 years old and didn’t get the flu? That was pretty thoughtful of me, right?” UGH.

    Next: that decision-making tool is a great one. I’ve never seen it laid out like that before, but I guess that’s kind of the process I go through. What’s the worst that could happen (if Gwen gets the shot): completely unknown, possibly long-term life-altering side effects that may not even manifest for decades. What’s the worst that could happen (if Gwen doesn’t get the shot): she could get the flu. Umm … huh.

    And oh, the windfall fantasies. My husband and I do this all the time. We rarely play the lottery, but the fantasies are pretty much non-stop. Other than the typical stuff – pay off debts, build dream home, start taking both family and child-free vacations – I think my more unusual wishes are to finish my degree (I’ve been taking a BA through distance ed for what, like 10 years now, because I work and parent and volunteer andandandand and fit school in ‘somehow’ round the edges), and adopt a child. Don’t want to go through pregnancy again, OR the breastfeeding minefield, but give a child who needs it a loving home? Sure. Sign me up.

  18. Carrot Cake on October 2nd, 2009 5:56 pm

    * QUIT JOB and maybe give all of my supervisors the finger.
    * Fix up our old, tiny-ass house into a really nice 1st-time home and sell it at a price that would be a dream-come-true for some struggling family (making sure we only sign with people we feel deserve it).
    *Buy/build a nicer home w/: large master bedroom in quiet corner of house, a study/library, unsqueaky floors and doors, lots of natural light, accessible & appropriately spaced outlets (you have no idea how big a deal this is until you don’t have it), about 3 other bedrooms for future kids and guests, state-of-the-art kitchen & bathrooms & water-heater & water-softener & water-filtration system, wrap around porch, large lot outside the city, a separate art studio/guest house, and hire a killer professional organizer.
    *CLOTHES! SHOES! HAIR & SKIN PRODUCTS! JEWELRY! FRAGRANCES!
    *Loads of vacations to places all over the world like Europe, tropical islands, etc.
    *Dive back into the art world and find what I love. Maybe go back to school for fine art and get a degree. Maybe become an artist who shows her work in galleries.
    *Start a business w/ hubby based on both our artist talents that might include: graphic design, poster art, illustration, silk-screening, etc.
    *Have another baby. :)

  19. Sonia on October 2nd, 2009 11:14 pm

    Well….as I type this, I’m sitting in a beautiful condo on Makena Beach, Maui. It belongs to our friend, who winters here. So DEFINITELY first on my list, Condo (NOT timeshare) in this complex.

    I would buy back my STUPID Yukon from the person I sold it to, for a lot more money than he paid me for it. I would then volunteer said Yukon (biggest piece of crap car OF ALL TIME) to any organization who would charge people, for charity benefit, to beat the holy EFF out of the Yukon with baseball bats, sledgehammers etc. Only stipulation? I get the first swing.

    My hubby is Mr. Outdoors, and loves to hunt and fish. We’d have to find a cabin in Eastern Washington somewhere of his choice, definitely.

    I would pick up another camera body so that I wouldn’t have to juggle lenses when shooting a wedding. And I suppose that I would get more serious about my photography business, and build a studio. I’d also get a big, fat Mac with the huuuuuge monitor screen for home photo editing.

    We would stay in our current house because we love the neighborhood and our property. We just remodeled the kitchen, so wouldn’t knock down the house, but I would add some more square footage and a nicer master bath.

    I’d pay off our debt. Every cent. We’d enjoy the hell out of no car/truck/house payments for several months before inevitably going back into debt for a new truck or something, lol.And of course we’d secure our retirement plan, and our son’s care fund. But that’s not the fun stuff to reply with, lol.

  20. Penny on October 3rd, 2009 1:39 am

    So this is after all the responsible things right? Being debt-free with a whole debt-free family… ok got it.
    1. I would rent the whole entire cruise ship for the Alaskan cruise, invite all of my family and friends to come and go see the beautiful glacier with my loved ones.
    2. Buy a full functioning ranch, by ranch I mean very large home on very large property with animals in some distant pasture. Somewhere beautiful, maybe Montana.
    3. Buy everyone I know a nice car or truck of their choice. So when I show up in mine, no whining from anyone.
    4. Send my husband and brother to Europe to see all the things they are always talking about and that I do not want to see due to flying across oceans.
    5. Do some really fun crazy things like take a fully loaded credit card to a grocery store and tell the manager that for the next hour all purchases are on me, but don’t tell the customers until checkout. I figure within an hour the store would be filled with people who heard so time to duck out to another place like walmart! Holla! and not let the customers know who bought their stuff.
    6. Be a suprise benefactor in various places randomly. How cool would it be to show up at a random house closing for a family of modest means and after they sign the paperwork, they get their deed paid in full and their downpayment back? And no one to tell them how or who? That would rock.
    7. I would indulge in a chef, a housekeeper and a nanny. Yes I would. Ok and a trainer for my obvisiously lazy ass.
    8. I would find a cobbler, and have my shoes custom made, so they didn’t hurt me! I would own more then one pair of shoes!
    9. I would find out what 1200 thread count sheets felt like.
    10. I would get all the things we cannot afford now, like my husband his glasses, and new furniture etc.
    11. I would send my in-laws on the most awesome vacation of their lifetime. completely indulging them, you know what I would hire people to go with them to attend to their needs even! They deserve it.
    12. I would sleep better at night, cus I wouldnt have to worry how to keep lights on, buy groceries, get the kids school supplies, etc.

  21. anonymous on October 4th, 2009 5:19 pm

    two chicks at the same time

  22. a different anonymous on October 19th, 2009 5:29 am

    I am old enough to have pondered this at some length. The first thing I would do is to pay for storm shelters/safe rooms for all of the nursing homes in my county.

    Like most people, I would like a new home. On land that I already own, but one far more efficient, and all on one level. (Told you I was old!)

    Help meeting creature comforts sounds good. If someone cooked for me, I’d eat a more healthy diet I’m sure. Massage on a regular basis would be wonderful. I’d like to watch someone else mow and pick up limbs and cut firewood.

    Have someone clean out the pasture, build a pond. Oh, this list does go on and on. I’d like to set up some sort of endowment to help families who adopt special kids. Those folks deserve more help than is currently available to them.

    I know I’m late to the party – but thanks for this bit of fun.

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