A little while back we had some fun with friends reading from one of those silly books about things a person would do for a million dollars. First of all, it was eye-opening (to the point of appalling) how different the male responses were from the females. Gain 100 pounds for a million dollars? In a heartbeat, said the guys. Whaaaat? From the low-to-middle-aged (and fighting it every step of the way) group of women (all moms, I might add), a resounding: Never.
Secondly, it was interesting how vastly conflicting my answers were from my husband’s. “BUT IT’S A MILLION DOLLARS!” he cried, clearly seeing his dreams of a state-of-the-art-man-cave fade into dust. “YOU COULD HIRE A TRAINER AFTERWARDS!” I simply shook my head. Nope; not interested. But it continued.
Send a naked picture of yourself to everyone you know? (Again, no shocker: most men would do this for far less money.) Chop off a finger? Live in a room full of mosquitoes without any repellant for 24 hours? Never again cut your toenails? Apparently there are few body parts my husband wouldn’t maim for the money. I, on the other hand, held firm: nope, nope, nope. I’m certain I saw real tears escape his eyes.
It’s not that I don’t want to bask in the decadence of buying Jimmy Choos with cash, or venturing out of Target for a new shirt, or spending carelessly, without any worries (“Come on kids, whaddya say we get you those braces AND splurge on new eyeglasses?”) but I imagine it comes down to being truly content. I guess I am.
Sure there are things I want (shamefully, I might consider trading one of my children for an unbelievable pair of leather boots) but most of my wants aren’t very material things. I don’t want a maid to do the laundry but – come on — who wouldn’t want someone to come in and simply put it away? I don’t care about the newest gadgets or latest technology but I’d sure be happy with an electronic buzzer that zapped a kid’s ankle every time a towel is dropped on the floor. I don’t even think a gourmet chef preparing my meals would be all that helpful to me – I’d be quietly thrilled if my own cooked meals were eaten without fuss or commotion. Imagine that.
It’s a good thing my husband and I are a good match. He keeps playing the lottery and I keep clipping coupons. He dreams big and I find subtle elation in a great haircut or a pair of jeans feeling a wee bit looser than the previous month. And in the spirit of a happy marriage, every once in a while we meet in the middle. Rather, I cave just a little: I did agree that yes, for a million dollars I would sleep in the Amityville Horror house for a week. With wine. But that’s it.
Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was featured in the 2014 Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements. (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore). A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. and@Eyerollingmom on Instagram.