My husband is a smart man. Annoyingly so. If I wasn’t so wrapped up in my own deficits I’d probably have time to feel insecure about it. Math, languages, finance, photography, computers, cooking, building shit, he knows a lot about a lot of things. He’s like a human compass and can use the sun to navigate a city as chaotic as Rome. I have yet to see a problem put before him that he couldn’t solve. He is as logical a creature as you could ever find. And I’m very fortunate to have him balance my general state of cluelessness.

But he does have one interesting gap in his rationality.

Neil loves lottery tickets. When we lived in Canada, every week he’d hand over 2 bucks for his chance at the big prize. With great dramatic flair he’d wave his ticket in the air, “This is the one. I just know it.” And every week he was genuinely surprised to discover that he was not $10 million dollars richer. While I’m no genius, I do know the odds of winning but there’s something so beautiful about his optimism, his unwavering ‘why not me?’ line of thinking.

So now he’s all over the Euromillions prize. He walks up to the tabac and requests his little piece of paper. You should see the smile on his face. Standing next to him I can almost feel his hope. It’s odd because I’ve never seen a person less attached to money and material than Neil. I mean this is a man who was happy to slash our household income by 70 percent to live a small life in a small town. He is a model of financial restraint. Apart from his wedding suit, he has never once paid full price for a piece of clothing.

But my husband is also a kind man. Many a time I’ve asked to hear his plans for a giant check with a big string of zeros on it. First, he graciously offers to give me half as if he weren’t required by law to do so. Then he quickly lays out his plan for his family, how he would want to set everybody up so that they could be free to do whatever they want for the rest of their lives.

Of course I am probably the most illogical person on the planet so his lottery fantasies easily rub off on me. Now I too expect him to win and I find myself creating elaborate fantasies about my half of the loot. Obviously, family, friends and charities are my first thought but I will admit to portioning off a small amount for a new wardrobe from Paris. Nothing stupid like a $10,000 purse from Hermès, just some nice Frenchy clothes that fit me. But my big splurge would be travel. Vienna, Prague, Warsaw, Budapest, Seville, Copenhagen and full tour of France and Italy.

I’d eat a meal at a world famous restaurant and taste one truly great wine. I’d go to a spa and have a few things rubbed and wrapped. I’d hire my physiotherapist, Elodie to tend on me, and only me, for the rest of my days. I’d start a sour cream factory here in Semur. And I’d buy every book I’ve ever wanted to read.

I’ve thought of getting my own ticket. But I already hit the jackpot with Neil and now I have the blook business. And even for a fool like me, that’s just too much luck to push.

What will you do when your numbers come up?

 

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