I imagine that most people have their “lottery winner” fantasy: the one where you buy a random ticket and hit the jackpot, then figure out all the ways that you might spend the money. Exactly how would you tell your husband? How would you quit your job? How would you dole out handsome gifts to family and friends?
Tonight my fantasy developed a new plot-line. If I won the big one, the $30 million 6/49, I would buy myself a secret condominium. It would be small, and white, and perfect. It would have matching furniture that would not a) have juice stains on it; b) be the secret hiding place for dirty socks; and c) do double duty as a trampoline.
I would go to my secret, pristine condominium on nights like tonight. Nights after a day like today. A day that started with me trying to sew up a hole in my sock by putting my foot up on the laundry hamper, only to have the lid of the hamper collapse, trapping my leg inside and making me crash backwards and defenseless into the back wall of my closet. (And all this at 5:30 am when the rest of the world was sleeping and I couldn’t even let out a scream or a cry or a well-earned curse word.)
I would go and make tea in my sterile little kitchen in my secret condominium, after the day when I got to work to find out that the fellow who is supposed to be managing our big upgrade project won’t be in, and I’ve been chosen to take his place. Sitting in boring meetings, acting as if I know how to navigate my way through the cutover process and the testing strategy, before moving onto other meetings to go over brain-numbing verifications of processes about which I know nothing at all, and about which I care even less.
After I got out of my meetings, late, so that I could be stuck in traffic for an hour, and after arriving at the grocery store without bags, leaving me to pack my groceries cleverly in a box that has a big opening in the bottom, lying the advent calendars flat to cover the hole and arranging mangoes and paneer cheese and red peppers on top, after I picked up the kids from daycare, where I got the notice that fees are going up for the SECOND TIME THIS YEAR, and after the kids have spotted the advent calendars and yanked them out of my box, leaving cheese and pepper and mango to roll down the stone front steps, after all of this, I would go and sit on my perfect little couch in my little high-rise condominium and I would read a decorating magazine, or just sit and marvel at the complete absence of whiny children, dirty dishes and unflushed toilets.
Every now and again, my life gets the better of me. I seem to be doing a little better about it lately, but it still confounds me how no-one else in this family thinks it is their responsibility to show a little initiative and PICK SOMETHING THE HELL UP! When it comes to maintaining the house, if I don’t specifically ask, it doesn’t get done.
People mock so-called “Control Freaks” but the truth is, we’re only control freaks because everyone around us depends on us to be exactly that. I swear some days I can actually see Gee physically waiting for me to tell him what to do, and you know what? That is exhausting. It is infuriating. It makes me just want to up and run away and go to a place where nobody can find me, and nobody can bug me, and nobody expects me to do a single damn thing.
So if I had a million dollars, I wouldn’t buy you a green dress. I would buy a condo in a high-rise downtown, and I would escape for a few hours until Consuela the maid could get the chaos under control out there in the ‘burbs.