Y’know, ridiculous as it sounds, my alcoholism has prepared me for the coming trials and tribulations better than one might have thought.
I was just reading about an ophthalmologist in Boca Raton who lost $4.5 million in savings in the Bernard Madoff deal, along with his grandkids college money, and about $25 million of his kids’ and neighbors’ savings.
Now, one is inclined at first to think, hey — he had it, now he’s finding out how the po’ folks live. But think about it. This guy is 78 years old. He worked all his life to get what he had. Sure, he’s been living higher on the hog than I have, but it was his money. He earned it, not some poor stiffs laboring on an assembly line making bread for The Man. Then he retired, having set up his kids and everything, he’s enjoying the fruits, and POW!
That really sucks.
Me, on the other hand — I blew my shot at getting rich, if I ever had one. I don’t have money to lose. But the upside of that is I know how to live down here. I don’t have a $200,000 mortgage, because I couldn’t afford to buy a house. I don’t have people repossessing my Mercedes; I drive a Hyundai. I’m not going to miss the Club, because mine is…well, you know where mine is, and if I can’t pay the dues, they let me in anyway. A night out at Red Lobster is a big deal for my family, and we know how to enjoy a steak dinner of “shoulder round tenders,” whatever they are.
I feel sort of bad about the kids’ education, but neither of them seemed to show much interest in college, and they’re both married to fine men and doing great.
The fact of the matter is, because alcohol and my own foolishness took everything, and I’ve had to learn to get by as a bottom feeder, this recession thing is going to hurt me a lot less than it’s hurting the good doctor. For me, it’s going to be belt-tightening and inconveniences. For him and his wife and family, it’s a dream turned into a nightmare.
Looked at from that perspective, it’s not so bad after all.