Sunday, July 15, 2012

I Won the Lottery

Last week I bought a lottery ticket.  I never buy lottery tickets, but for some reason, that day, I felt the need to.  The jackpot was $50 million, and after looking through the mls listings at houses in the Lower Mainland, it seemed like we'd need to win a lottery to get one.  Although it was completely out of character, the pull to drive to the store and purchase a ticket was so strong, I couldn't ignore it.

"I have a good feeling about this," I said to myself in the car.  "I'm sure this one is a winner."

Ticket safely in hand, I tucked it away and promptly busied myself with other things.  There is much to do, I'd tell myself.  There's no way that I could possibly win the lottery.  Still, there was a niggling thought in the back of my mind.  What would one DO with 50 million dollars? Buy a house, my brain would answer, because over the past two weeks, that is exactly what we have been trying to do.  Houses in Greater Vancouver are now on average worth $1.1 million dollars, so if you want a piece of property in the city, you may just need to win the lottery.

In twenty years, John and I have moved exactly four times.  The first time, into a big house in Campbell River, John did all the legwork and bought a house before I had even set eyes on it.  The next one was a teeny townhouse as he looked for work, and the third a house of horrors that we were duped into renting when we first moved to the Sunshine Coast.  This time, for the first time ever, I'm more involved in the purchase of a house then I have ever been before.

This is a job to take seriously, people. I must have a good kitchen and this time, unlike the years before when I was newly married and a dewy eyed 20 something, I know exactly what I want.  I've met kitchens and hated them, some I've grown to like, and others, I've adored.  For the house to work for me, it has to have a good kitchen.  Of course, we each have different criteria about what makes or breaks a house.  For John, it has to have a big garage for his toys, and Kevin insists that we need a 'man cave'.   I envision his man cave to be something of a command central for all things computer related, complete with his hand built servers and whatever other technical gizmos he's got going in that room of his that we have lovingly named "The Abyss". I am also itching to have a real office that I can claim as my own work space for writing.  Wouldn't that be the coolest?  I've never really looked at a space and considered it my writing office, before.  I never considered myself a writer in all those other moves.  Now I am not only claiming that title, but a space as well.  How things have changed!

We flipped through the listings sent by our real estate agent. Too big, too small, on a flood plain, and finally came to one that John liked, but so far I hate the kitchen.  From the pictures, which to be fair are always hard to figure out online, it's shoved in the corner of a great room and has black cupboards.   Which makes me want to apologize if YOU have black cupboards, and maybe I'm not giving them a fair shake.  Maybe in real life, black cupboards look amazing but at the moment, I can't picture it.

 Throughout it all, the lottery ticket sat and waited.  Friday passed, and it was announced that the prize was won, but nobody claimed it.

"This is a winning ticket," I thought as I drove to the mall to have it checked,  "I can feel it."

The paper crinkled in my hand as I handed it over to the cashier to check.  Is this it?  The last day I ever have to worry?  Was my intuition right?

"Yes, you won!"  The cashier chirped merrily and I snapped out of my trance.

"What did I win?"  The words were careful, measured.  I can't believe it.  I WON.

"A dollar!  Would you like me to pay you out, or buy another ticket?"

A giggle burbled up from my throat and worked its way to a full fledged laugh.  All this time, I had wondered and I was right.  After all I did win, just not the amount I was hoping for.    

"Oh, I'll get another ticket, why not?"

I won on the first one, why not chance another, right? 

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