‘OH MY FREAKING GOD, WE WON! We won! I can’t believe it!’ I grab the nearest relation and kiss them square on the mouth. It’s my Grandmother, so I wipe my lips across my sleeve and launch myself at my boyfriend. ‘I can’t believe we actually won,’ I sniff into his shoulder as I dream of all the ridiculously unnecessary junk I’m going to buy. A worry-free life of frivolity awaits.
This, of course, was a dream. A dream I woke up from with a sense of crushing disappointment and profound sorrow. Before I could regale my boyfriend with a tale of what could have been (dependent on extreme good luck, of course), he chirped ‘Morning. The electricity bill came.’ Of. Course. It. Did. His intuition isn’t exactly amazing (he once didn’t realise anything was wrong with me after I hadn’t spoken to him for THREE DAYS. FYI, he called my cat ‘chubby’) but now, he looked concerned. ‘Something wrong?’
‘I dreamt we won the lotto,’ I sighed.
‘And now I realise, we didn’t win the lotto.’ His interest was starting to wane at this point.
‘Um, no, we didn’t.’
‘It felt real. I even dreamt that I bought the ticket.’
‘So you bought the ticket?’ his interest piqued again.
‘So, you said “I dreamt we won the lotto”. But if you bought the ticket, then you won the lotto.’
‘Well, obviously, I’d share it with you.’
He fixes me with a cynical stare. ‘Would you?’
There was a silence. I thought I had always known the answer to this question. Every time I wistfully dream of an instant abundance of wealth, I include Jack. But now that I was actually thinking about it, I was hesitating. Maybe I wouldn’t be so eager to share. When you’re in a relationship with someone for ten years, is that terrible? It led me to think ‘why wouldn’t I share with him?’ and also ‘what else would I be reluctant to do for him?’
I realise of course that this is a hypothetical situation. It’s not likely that I will win the lotto. With my luck, it’s not even likely that I’ll win a free scratch card. But the thing is, in relationships, we often test our partners with hypothetical situations: ‘If you had to throw me or your Mother off a cliff, who would you choose?’ ‘Would you have me murdered for twenty million euro?’ ‘Would you give me a kidney?’ ‘Would you let me spend the night with another man if he offered to pay you a million euro?’ ‘Would you endure an hour of Rebecca Black on a loop if it meant I’d never get ill?’ Etc etc. Even if we are often doing this in jest, we still like the security of knowing just how important we are to our other halves. We like to know that we are valued.
Of course, when it comes to my boyfriend, I’d always felt that there is hardly anything that I wouldn’t do for him. What’s that? Walk into a volcano? Roll around in a bed of tarantulas? Okay, there are some things I wouldn’t do. And even if I say I would do something for him, this doesn’t make it a fact. When it comes to his health, or a life-or-death situation, I think I would do almost anything to save his life. Except, sharing lotto winnings with him would have nothing to do with his physical well-being. It would just make him rich. And I’d want that right?
So, as I sat on the edge of our bed in my Snoopy pyjamas (I’m just trying to give you the whole picture here), I ran through a whole host of hypothetical questions and how I hypothetically would react to them. If he needed one of my organs, would I give it? If he had to move abroad for work, would I go with him? And of course, I considered the lotto question. It all kept coming back to the same fact: we’re not married. We have no legal ties to each other, we have no children. What if I gave him a kidney, and then he left me? What if I did win the lotto, gave him a million euro, and then he ran off with his secretary? He doesn’t even have a secretary. But with a million euro, he could probably buy a harem of secretaries.
Those of you who think that my line of thinking is unnecessarily alarmist…well, you’re right. It is. I’m not going to be lucky enough to win the lottery. Hopefully, he’ll never experience organ failure (did I actually just write that?). And if we did break up under these unlikely circumstances, then we shouldn’t have been together in the first place. It did make me question, though, what is that line in our relationship? Where does it go from ‘sure, I’d do anything for you’ to ‘Um, no hablo Inglais’? What wouldn’t I do for him? And why wouldn’t I do it? Because there’s a chance that if I make some sort of self-sacrifice, he could still leave me? That’s when I had an epiphany: what the hell am I so insecure for? He has given me absolutely no reason to be. And that, my internet friends, is my problem. I always fear the worst. I assume people will inevitably let me down. I have forged friendships and expected the worst. I always felt inadequate and self-conscious. I knew I had to put a stop to this. Life would be so much better if I trusted people, and their motives, more. Yes, there are bad people. But there are also fantastic, magical, brilliant people. And instead of thinking ‘what if they let me down?’ wouldn’t it be so much better to think ‘why would they let me down?’
So as I turned to face my boyfriend on that fateful morning (at this stage, he thinks I’ve fallen into a coma with my eyes open because I haven’t spoken in five whole minutes) I think of all the reasons that I indeed would share my lotto winnings with him. I love him. I trust him. I want to be with him forever, regardless of whether we’re married or not. We’ve been through poverty, pain, sickness and heartbreak…all together. And if you’re not vomiting with the cutesies yet, maybe now you will; I realise that what makes me happy is making him happy. It’s very simple. So I arrive at the conclusion that I have known all along: I would share almost anything* with him because that would make me happy. And because I trust him. And if you think it’s shallow and materialistic to equate money with happiness, it is, but I for one would prefer to cry in a Ferrari. Despite all this, when he presses me for an answer, I eventually reply ‘I’m not sure.’ It’s best to keep him on his toes.
*Except my chocolate. Aint nobody having my chocolate.