We had a trip out this past weekend, and I was stupidly tired on the drive home. So Mike was able to catch me off guard and trick me into one of his favourite games: “What we’d do if we won the lottery”.
I vowed I wasn’t going to play any more with him because it tends to descend into bickering. Normally around the time he tells me that the millionaire him couldn’t face life in a house that didn’t have a dedicated snooker room.
We always follow the same pattern. It starts with him talking about the economics, interest rates and how we could last on the interest alone if we put £Xm into a long-term savings fund (I can’t say how much the ‘X’ is there because I don’t really concentrate enough on that bit). Then we establish roughly how much we’d have left, usually settling on something around £6 million.
He’d like to travel, carrying a fabulous camera with him. Not to the normal places, but to the off-the-beaten-track, possibly-eaten-by-tigers-or-worse places. And he’d like to come home to a house with a snooker room.
I’d like to stay close to home. Possibly write. Possibly paint huge canvasses whilst floating around the garden with a scarf tied around my head. Naked, possibly, if we’re not overlooked. I’d like to dance, and I’d like to sing at the top of my voice with no risk of anyone hearing me.
We sort of meet in the middle when we talk about having a swimming pool. That’s the bit that we agree on.
And then we meander down another route for a while. One that talks about these some of these things being achievable with time rather than money, and about how both of us could put more energy into being creative for at least a few hours a week.
There are lots of us, it seems – I asked a couple of people at work – who play this game. Some of them don’t even play the lottery.
And I know that lots of money would answer lots of problems for lots of people. But it’s also about bravery and freedom. Money buys ‘stuff’ and takes some of the anxieties away. But it can’t hand us all of the answers we’re looking for.
It’d be nice, though. Wouldn’t it?