The older I get, the more convinced I become that I should have been born rich—not just affluent, or moderately well off, but downright filthy, jewels-dripping-off-of-me, rich. Why? Because I would know how to really enjoy it. I wouldn’t flaunt it, mind you, but neither would I hold back just for appearances’ sake. If I wore jeans, I’d be sure that they were impeccably tailored, with no breaks in the creases. My penny loafers would be of the best leather, hand tooled by Italian craftsmen. My sweatshirts would be things of beauty, made of the finest Indian cotton. I’d drive a Porsche—of course! And I would live in a 12,000 square foot home atop a bluff, overlooking Long Island Sound.
I’m kidding of course. Anyone who knows me understands that’s not me at all. But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t enjoy being rich. I surely cwould. But it would be . . . well . . . difficult, to say the least. Truth be told, I would probably be the most uncomfortable wealthy person ever.
So then, why ever would I want to be rich? Well, for starters, it would relieve me of ever having to balance a checkbook again. No longer would I agonize for hours over a thirty-seven cent discrepancy. The ubiquitous bottle of White Out that graces my desk drawer would be a thing of the past. Instead, I’d tally up my fixed monthly expenses, double that amount, and insure that that sum was always in my checking account at the beginning of each month. Then, I’d set up automatic payments. Everything else would go on a credit card, except for gratuitie, which I would give as cash.
Healthcare would no longer be a concern. Never again would doctor visits be postponed because of the size of the co-payments. The same would be true for the dentist. (The only thing I’ve ever feared a the dentist’s office was the bill.) I would have all the dental work done that I needed, and be fitted for new eyeglasses. My wife would have an unlimited charge account at Marshalls, and a regular weekly appointment with a hair stylist, masseuse, and yoga instructor. I’d be content with the masseuse.
I wouldn’t buy a new car, but I might have my pickup restored, and maybe have a nice cap installed. We wouldn’t move our residence either. We love where we live. We would probably add ten feet to our master bedroom and double the size of our bathrooms and closets. New furniture, drapes, etc., of course. I’d definitely have our lawn sodded, and have a sprinkler system installed to insure that it would forever be green. We’d get our driveway repaved, and have new carpeting throughout the house.
Being rich would allow Becky and I to indulge our penchant for charity. I remember watching a TV show in the 1950s called The Millionaire, about a man called John Beresford Tipton, Jr. Each episode, he would secretly endow some poor, desperate person with the sum of one million dollars, on the condition that they sign an agreement to never reveal the source of their endowment. Nothing would bring us greater pleasure than to be able to indulge that fantasy. Becky and I have had many a discussion of who we would help, as well as how much money we’d like to be able to give to this or that individual or family, as well as charities.
The one major purchase I would make would be a piece of property in the Catskills, where we could erect a modest house in which I could spend the entire fly fishing season each year. It wouldn’t be fancy or overly large, but it would have a generous guest suite at one end for friends to stay in when they visited. We’d take those trips of a lifetime that we’ve always thought about: a rail trip through the Rockies; a trip to England, France, and Italy, and Alaska. And, of course, we’d take the mother of all trips to Montana, where I’d fish all the rivers I could—from a boat.
But the most valuable thing that money could provide is peace of mind. It wouldn’t be guaranteed, mind you, but it would certainly be more likely.
So what would you do if you suddenly became rich? What fantasies would you fulfill? Who would you gift money to? What charities would you fund? Just think about how rewarding it would be to never have to stop and think about any expenditure. It boggles the mind. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get to the store to purchase my lottery tickets. How else am I going to make those wishes come true? Am I wrong, Donnie? Am I wrong?