Monthly Archives: January 2016

Things you need to know

two-dollar-billLet me get right to it. Yes we are now enjoying the sun and surf in SoCal (that’s “local” for Southern California) and no, we did not win the lottery. Not for lack of trying. I put down my two bucks on the draw. I mean, who wouldn’t? Who wouldn’t take a chance at depositing 1.5 billion smackers in the bank? Or a little over 2 when imported into my home and native land. So what if some of that gets taxed away. The way I figure it, there’ll be plenty left after Uncle Sam takes his take. Unfortunately I don’t have to worry about that right now because, as previously mentioned, I didn’t win. Not that I wasn’t ready for it. I was. You see, I thought it would be prudent, just in case, to read all of the information that was being offered on the Internet to those who might be in line for the big win. So I did. And let me tell you, there was lots out there to ponder. Mostly, I suppose, because so many of us were so sure that this was going to be “our day”.

One thing you might know, but if you don’t probably should, about a shallow person like me is that at times I can be a little skeptical. You see, as much as I would like to be able to take everything I read on the Internet at face value, making my life oh so much easier and less complicated, I simply can’t. If you are anything like me, and I’m not implying that any of you are, there are just times when that little bit of doubt creeps its insidious way into your otherwise open and accepting mind and you begin to wonder. And when I wonder, sometimes, and only sometimes, I begin to think that perhaps there might be another, if not better, way to go about things. And so it was that after studying all of the “things you should do if you win the lottery” articles available on the Internet, I came to the conclusion that this was one of those times. That the advice, while substantial and I’m sure created in all good faith with everyone’s best interests in mind, was not always completely, how should I put this, sound. So at the risk of sounding presumptuous, I thought I would take some time to share with you both theirs and my suggestions ‘cause even though we didn’t win this time, there’s always, as they say, another day. Here we go.

  1. Don’t tell anyone. I get that. The last thing you want is everybody and their dog knocking on your door asking you to share your shekels with them. So best to keep the big win to yourself for a bit. Although, from what I understand, you probably should tell your spouse lest you end up in divorce court harbouring your little secret. Apparently judges frown upon that and have, in the past, rewarded your soon to be single partner with what used to be your jackpot. Oh, and you may want to tell your realtor. And the Porsche dealer.  
  2. Get yourself a team. You’re gonna need a lawyer, an accountant, and a financial planner. At least that’s what they tell you. Now if it were me, and as we all know it was not, I’d put in the call to the lawyer, because there’s sure to be some wills and estate stuff to do, and the accountant as I figure I won’t be able to get away with the short tax form anymore. But the financial planner? Here’s the thing. I’ve just put 1.5 billion dollars in the bank. Let’s just say I get myself a long term commitment for around 3%. Without doing the math I’m going out on a limb to say life will be just fine. Especially since I’m saving all of those fees I would have had to pay that financial planner.
  3. Find a good therapist. Now on this I have to concur with the experts, although we differ some on the details. You see they think that the winner, not realizing what emotions their new found circumstance will unleash will need someone to talk to. They think there’s no way of knowing down what path the mix of joy, excitement, terror and guilt will take you. I on the other hand, think that those of us who lost might want to make that call given the disappointment, anger, tinge of jealousy, not to mention, dashed dreams we are now burdened with. Come on. It’s not just me. Even the usually upbeat and cheery Kelly Ripa (yes, I watch on occasion), who I am pretty sure is doing ok all on her own, expressed her disappointment and was even a little green with envy on the day after the big day.
  4. Don’t quit your job. And this my friends, is what makes me a tad skeptical about all of the aforementioned advice.

By now all of the hoopla has died down and we can resign ourselves to living today as we did yesterday. A dear friend of mine continues to remind me that given our lot in life, we have already won the lottery and I know she’s right. I mean I have nothing to complain about and I am continually grateful for each and every day. I’m happy and content with the way things are and have no reason not to be. Even so, let’s face it. 1.5 billion is nothing to sneeze at and what the heck, I’m ready for it.

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It’s not just another day

calendarlargeLots of people say they learn something new everyday. If I have to be honest with myself (which btw, is my preference) I would have to admit that I don’t always, but I did today. Apparently yesterday was not just another day. Yesterday was
World Introvert Day. Honestly, up until a few hours ago I had no idea there was one. Or, for that matter, an organization that helps all of us to better understand this apparently most oft, misunderstood minority. According to this group, who I am assuming is made up primarily of the aforesaid personality type, they are often mistakenly viewed by others as “arrogant and strange” which could not be further from the truth although, as they go on to say, the majority of introverts are in fact, gifted. I suppose, this is as good a reason as any to allocate them one out of 365 days to call their own. And January 2 seems to be quite an appropriate day to dedicate to this group. After all, I imagine that most of the introverts have struggled a little over the past few weeks, what with all of the hoopla surrounding the holiday season. Not to mention the hugging that has become so  commonplace during these types of celebrations. So why not give these people a day to revel in their own self worth? Who’s the worse for that?

But, that’s not all that I’ve learned lately. Little did I know that December 21 was National Short Girl Appreciation Day, a day I can get my head around unlike National Hug a Short Person Day which, as you can well imagine, is a day that I plan to stay out of the reach of, well just about everybody. The thing is, if people want to appreciate me simply because I am short, I can get on board with that. And, according to the rules of the day, I qualify even though, and I say this at the risk of losing my status, I’ve never really thought of myself as being short. You see, the way I figure it size is what you make of it. I can still recall the time that I met someone I had previously only encountered on the phone. Having had several conversations, we eventually got together and, as she walked in the door, with nary a glance around the room, she quite surprisingly exclaimed “I thought you would be taller”. Which puzzled me because who ever knew that a voice could be “tall”. And what if she had thought my voice sounded “short”? Would she have come in and said “I thought you would be shorter?” See what I mean? It’s all relative. Nonetheless, I did think it was a little bit of genius to dedicate the shortest day of the year to short people. Which, as these things almost always seem to do, got me thinking. If there was, and I’m not saying there should be, a National Shallow Person’s Day, what day would that be?

So right off the bat there are dates that simply have to be eliminated. Like January 15, or any day thereabouts lest by some unfortunate accident we were to overlap with Martin Luther King Day, a day that even a shallow person would not want to usurp. For that matter, anything close to Labour Day, President’s Day, the Queen’s birthday, Christmas and all other religious holidays, are off the table, mostly for obvious reasons that I shouldn’t have to explain here. I did give some consideration to the “Hallmark Card” days (well that’s what we call them in our house) like Mother’s and Father’s Day, Valentine’s and Halloween, the latter being a real contender until I realized there could be some expectation around costuming for the occasion.  The funny thing though was, the more I thought about the best choice of a day, the less able I was able to come up with anything remotely as clever as the ones I had just learned about.

And that’s when it happened. That’s when I realized that shallow people don’t succumb to convention. We’re not slaves to the calendar. No one can tell us which day should be ours and which day shouldn’t be. Afterall, we’re shallow. Isn’t life really mostly about us? So here’s what I say. Go ahead and pick your day. Any day you want, barring the ones mentioned above of course to avoid casting any sort of shadow on our kind. Own it. Make it yours. You deserve a day of your own. As a matter of fact, I’m making tomorrow my very own National Shallow Person’s Day. So, go ahead. Wish me a happy one. And I’ll be sure to wish you one too, if you tell me when it is of course. 

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