Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My $100 Windfall


One regular Christmas gift from my mom is a handful of instant scratch-off lottery tickets. While I never expect to fund a retirement account from any winnings, there's that lottery dream moment that you automatically get because until you rub that coin across the shiny gray spot, the world COULD be yours ... and this is the promise that keeps state lottery systems booming year after year.

As I worked my way through the 10 tickets, my dream faded slowly, but with a hint of promise because I had a few free ticket winners, and a $2 winner. In my mind, to keep the lottery gods on my side, any winnings go back into the "pot" for the purchase of more lottery tickets, with the plan of having a never-ending supply of tickets (and big hopes!) coming my way. Now we both know that never quite works out... the luck always eventually runs out. This time was pretty much like any other. My five new tickets turned into four, and four turned into three.

There I was with my three little potential pots o' gold, saving them to savor after everyone had gone to bed... just me, a glass of Arnold Palmer iced tea, a day old donut, the TV remote, my tickets and a quarter (due to unexplainable superstitions, I refuse to scratch off my tickets with anything less than a quarter). And, since I am the one responsible for the vacuuming in the house (NO... vacuuming once a year does not entitle you to say you vacuum here), I was scratching them off over a magazine because those weird little shavings get everywhere! My butt hadn't even settled into the groove in the sofa when lo and behold.... the very first spot was kind of implying that I had won $100. I reached for my reading glasses. Still $100. I reached for my bifocals. Still $100. What? I wanted to scream, but then I figured the dogs would start barking so I thought better of it. I looked at the clock... it was midnight... everyone I knew was sleeping, so I couldn't even TELL anyone! I put it in a safe place, sent out some very braggy e-mails and Twitter posts, counted on some sweet dreams, then headed to bed.

The next day at 6 a.m., funnily enough, come to find out that no one seems that excited about a $100 windfall in my house. I still was!!! I couldn't stop thinking about what to do with the money. Do I buy $100 in instant tickets? Probably not. Seems kind of showy!! Also seems kind of dumb. Should I put it toward those Oakley sunglasses I wanted at Macy's? Should I take it to the casino and have 400 pulls on the quarter slot machine? Should I put it toward the $500 payment on my son's camera for school? Uh, no. How did that thought even sneak in there?? This is FUN money! And now, three weeks later, I still don't know! I still have that ticket tucked safely away and I check on it often .... is it weird that I peek at it three times (or more) a day? I figure when the right expenditure comes along, I'll know it.

It has got me thinking, can you imagine if I ever did hit the "big one"? I might actually do a real backflip, which would be the first backflip of my life. At least I'd have money for the chiropractor!! :)

Until the money tree grows in my back yard.... I wish you all a great day!



Monday, January 30, 2012

The Not-So-Secret Life of My Dramatic American Teenager

Hi friends,

My daughter is halfway through her freshman year of high school, and I am beginning to think I should have put her in a performing arts school because the drama she is kicking out lately would surely have her at the top of the class and starring in a first-class Broadway production.

See, I was an easy kid at that age.... stayed home a lot, happy just talking on my baby blue Trimline phone and playing Atari (I was a beast at Frogger!!). I never had a car, didn't want the responsibility that came along with it, but had a blast all the same. Fast forward 30 years. Now, while my daughter is a beautiful girl, smart and funny, I am sure somewhere I am in the middle of a big karma payback because she is putting me through heck and back. You name it, it's complicated or emotional. If it's food, we have calories, fat and sodium. She has COMPLETELY ruined Twinkies for me, and for that I can't easily forgive!! If it's clothes, it's not Kohl's, Sears or Penney's, it's Buckle, Hollister, Gilly Hicks and Abercrombie. I am pretty sure her body would turn to dust if she put anything other than a super-cool name brand on it. And boots, it's all about UGG, and trust me, at $200 a pair, I am saying UGG (ok, I know it's UGH!!) a lot. Her latest pair were gold sequin boots, which I told her made her look like C3PO from Star Wars (and yes, she said, "WHO??"). The kid hasn't seen one Star Wars movie, can you believe it? Sorry, I digress. BUT... the worst of all is BOYS....

Boys!!!! Like I said, she is cute, charming, obviously well dressed (and soon likely to be living in a box because of it!) and socially has mastered things I still don't get and surely never will. Maybe most importantly, she knows how to "work" her hair... mine gets 10 strokes of the brush (on a good day), and we call it done. This all adds up to her having an easy time meeting and being comfortable around the opposite sex. Recently she came across the love of her life (du jour) at the drive-through of a local fast-food restaurant. Via his name tag, and through the magic of social media (THANKS A LOT FACEBOOK!) she found out who he was, sent a friend request and the rest was history. He took the bait and ran with it, and soon enough he asked her to "do something," and two weeks ago they hung out at his house. The first six days were heaven on earth, and she was in la-la land, which I am not going to lie, had me really wanting to GAG. Naturally, it didn't take long before she saw the downside of dating an upper classman and Mr. Hot and Super-Dee-Duper turned into Mr. I Don't Understand Why He's Like That. In other words, the last 10 days or so have been like living a nightmare, like a Taylor Swift song that I can't get off of replay. Now that I think of it, maybe drama is an understated word for it, and just maybe, the right word hasn't been invented, but I'm working on it... so keep me in your thoughts because my sanity has its bags packed and is ready to catch the next flight....

Anyway, it's good to be back... feel free to follow me on Twitter at cindytwit... you can find daily doses of my life and times there....

Love and hugs to all!