I would still consider us winners.

October 21, 2011

My schedule has been a bit hectic the last couple of months. But this week - this glorious week - has been a breather. This week is actually the week I've been looking forward to for a month and a half. Deadlines have passed, projects have been completed and events have been checked off my list.

Typically, Chris and I will try to have a date night once a week. While it doesn't always happen, we do our best to make it work. Since our schedules haven't quite aligned lately, a solid date night has been pushed to the back burner. Needless to say, I have been itching for a date with my husband. Just a one-on-one, get out of the house, focus on each other kind of date. And even though this week has been a breather, we've still managed to fill our Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. By midweek, we were left with Thursday, or last night.

About a month ago, we were eating out at the nearby mall and spontaneously signed up to win a sparkling car that was sitting in the lobby. Chris has a lucky streak. I absolutely do not. So we signed up and moved on with our life.

Three days ago I get a phone call basically telling me I won either a brand new car or $100,000; they just needed to confirm my name. I couldn't breathe and the money was spent in my head within thirty seconds. I reminisced back to the night we signed up for that car, and oh, how it all worked out!

But I didn't really win the car or money yet. I had to come to a 90-minute presentation for timeshares (excuse me, vacation rentals) and then I would have the chance to win the car or money and regardless I would walk away with something. I told Chris all about it and that I didn't want to go waste an hour and a half of my time. He was convinced we might actually win and determined we should go. In the same sentence he explained how we would spend our cash, and if we won the car, how we would sell it and spend that cash. For about five minutes, all of our future kids' college funds were paid for in full.

Come Thursday, we went to this presentation. It was the most miserable 90 minutes of my life.

To sum it up, if we would just buy into a 10-year loan for $18,000 at a 16% interest rate and only pay $250 a month, we would get ten nights a year free to vacation for the rest of our lives! And our kid's lives! And their kids' lives! Don't we want to invest in our kids?

Ten nights, which averages out to about $300 a night, which is more than we already pay. And those ten nights don't even exist because we don't even get ten nights of vacation a year with our jobs. But we're newlyweds and now is the time! Do it before you have kids! They will ruin everything!

Then the salesman turned to Chris and said, "Isn't she worth it?"

To which he said, "Well, of course she's worth all of this, but that's not what this is about."

To which I chimed in, "Yes, it's not about that. I also try to be responsible with our money and I don't expect him to spend a lot of money on me that we don't have."

To which the salesman said, "Well, you're not like my wife."

And that kind of made me feel like I was a good, responsible wife.

I said this might be something we do in 25 years when we have more vacation time and more disposable income. It was returned with, "But this will be so expensive in 25 years."

And we said we would work it out then.

When we finally turned down the offer and they tried three more times to sell it to us and we turned it down three times over and they told us we could never come back ever again, we said our goodbyes and walked out the door where we were welcomed with our big moment to draw the scratch-off ticket that would get us our car.

We didn't win a car or the money, to break it to you gently. And I am pretty sure Chris really thought it was going to happen.

We did, however, win a getaway to San Francisco where we must leave on a Monday at 10 p.m. and return on a Wednesday at 6 a.m. and give 90 days advance notice and fly the airline of their choice and stay in a hotel of their choice and it can't be within a week of any holiday they deem a holiday and oh, by the way, we work Monday through Friday.

So that was how we spent the first half of our evening.

But then, we went next door to dinner and had a really great dinner with really good conversation and catch-up time.

And it wasn't really planned, but it kind of turned into a date night. Talking to the salespeople, I found more out about Chris and how he sees money and what he sees our future like. I got to sit by him all night and we were in the same room right up next to each other which is longer than we've actually just sat next to each other in quite a while with all the hustle and bustle going on. I got to talk to him, just him, and talk as friends as well as spouses.

While we determined that this whole win-a-car-if-you-sit-through-a-presentation was in fact something we will never do again (and we aren't invited back, anyway), we made the most of it and it was just what we needed. So I think we were winners, after all.

But really? Walk straight past those cars in the mall.

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