Only One Choice

Keeping up with the Jones’

Even if my basement had a secret room and it was filled with gold like Scrooge McDuck, I wouldn’t be able to go to the store and get the one thing I desire more than anything.  And I’m pretty sure that in the United States if I did try to find somebody to help with my purchase, we both might end up spending quality time within the court system.

My family always knew I was going to be working in a office of some type.  Whether I was carrying a briefcase into a giant glass structure or I was crossing some campus on my way to teach, the expectation was I was going to use my mind rather than my hands.  All through high school and college they insisted I take jobs that taught me the value of working with those same hands.  It seemed crazy to me at the time, I could have interned indoors rather than climbed the side of a building with a paint brush.

The pay was good, the hours were long, and in the end I learned skills that my classmates for the large part were missing out on running a cook surface at some fast-food place or working for mommy & daddy filing something.

The people I worked with taught me something very valuable, be happy that I was able to do something else in the future.  That they were in a different place and they could sometimes only dream of getting in the same type of car I was driving (a lovely 1987 Volvo 740).  You hear things like that often enough and you start to truly understand how easy your life is, even when you think it isn’t.

While there were pictures of Aston Martins on my walls, and even a few in the neighborhood, I was learning that dreams are important but they should also sometimes remain dreams.

The largest purchase has been my house.  Any responsible economist would tell you that is the way it should be.  And at times, I have worried about paying the bills when times have been rough.  I won’t sugar coat what having cancer does to your ability to spend freely on dumb things.  I spent over 50 percent of my take home pay on things that insurance didn’t cover or made me wait 6 months to be re-embursed.

There isn’t a day that goes by were I wouldn’t pan-handle on the street if it could get me enough money to be able to bring back my daughter.  The one thing I would ever be able to put a price on and the thing that might get me arrested some day for attempting!

My value system changed during those summers working with people who truly struggled at times to put gas in the car so they could get to work.  It changed again when I found out I was going to be a father.  It wasn’t about some $20 brick of cheese but ensuring that she was never going to worry about not having anything she needed.  And it definitely shifted on her death.  I have become intolerant of people who complain about not getting the right color something at the holidays or that they missed out on the new iPhone because they didn’t order it fast enough to receive it on day one of it’s release.

Every time I see a picture of an Aston Martin I get glassy-eyed and stare at what I consider to be one of the most beautiful car designs ever.  But I’d trade it and anything else someone would want of mine for more time with my daughter.

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