Can't Buy Me Love

"I don't care too much for money; money can't buy me love." - The Beatles

Tomorrow is payday.

It's a good thing, too, because this has been an expensive month in our household. We've had car repairs, plumbing issues, and the normal costs of raising three sons with shoes on their feet and pizza in their bellies. Let's just say that our checking account is lower than the Potomac in August. It's causing me more than a little stress.

Here's a crazy thought. What if I was due to earn $114 million over the next five years?

Wouldn't that be awesome? Wouldn't that relieve my stress? Wouldn't that bring me joy and happiness, peace and love?

Just consider the enormity of that figure. Can you even imagine how much money that is? The math is breathtaking! It represents what Karen and I would earn in 1520 years. If I had $114 million, I could pay off my house, my car, my credit card, and have 113,882,234 left. I could put the remainder in a CD paying a paltry .001% and be so flush with cash I could buy us all not only new shoes, but new socks as well--maybe even those really expensive over-priced Nike ones that would make me look cool!

Yes, if I was due to make $114 million in the next five years, I'd be the happiest man in the world. I'd be the most popular man in Frederick County. My beautiful wife would be adorned in the latest fashion, and I'd have so many friends--true and committed--I wouldn't know how to divide my time. All my worries would be over, a memory as distant as my last paycheck.

Or would they?

Maybe we should ask Alex Rodriguez.

Perhaps you've heard of him. He is one of the greatest baseball players in history. Top ten all time in homers, RBIs and runs. 15-time All Star. Finished in the top 10 MVP voting 14 times and won 3 of them. Baseball's first $250 million man. Yeah, that guy. At age 38, he is still set to make another $114 million.

He is also a steroid user and one of the most despised players in sports. His wife left him. The fans hate him. His teammates ignore him. His team would do anything to get rid of him. The media hounds him. The Commissioner's office is about to suspend him. Despite his enormous fame, talent and wealth, he never received what is most valuable--joy and happiness, peace and love. Baseball writer Buster Olney likened him to Charles Foster Kane, magnate of Citizen Kane fame--a man whose crash from the pinnacle of success left him broken and alone, without a single ally. At least he'll have his $114 million to keep him company. Too bad it won't buy him what he really needs.

So tomorrow is payday. Another day, another pizza on the table and a pair of sneakers on Thomas's feet. I'm happy about that. I'm even happier I am not Alex Rodriguez.