I spent $350 on faith last week, and I’m still smiling about it.
I’d sold a few things recently, jettisoning some old baggage, including my wedding ring which hadn’t been worn for a very long time. Then I’d stuffed the cash into a dresser drawer for just the right moment of extravagance, or symbolism, or indulgence, or frivolity, or disaster. It wasn’t going to be spent on anything ordinary. You don’t sell your wedding ring, even years after the divorce, and use it to buy groceries. Unless you really have to.
I don’t have to, knock on wood. I’m not rich, I’m not poor. Like a whole lotta folks, I live paycheck-to-paycheck and wake up every morning thankful that I’ve still got a job and that it comes with health insurance. I date a wonderful man who’s the reason I’ve become accustomed to the view from the back seat of a Harley Sportster, and to top it off, he’s worked at Harley-Davidson for the past seven years as well. Like a lot of folks there, his job future is a little murky. He doesn’t complain, he’s that kind of guy. I’ve learned a lot from him. And his passion for all things automotive and his motorcycle in particular have been absolutely infectious.
So when the Harley announced another round of coming lay-offs–about 400, I think–last week, something in me clicked and fell into place and I thought, “time for a little faith here!” It was time to plant a flag and buck conventional wisdom. The economic vultures were direly predicting and hovering, the pundits were weighing in with somber tones, and I just thought, “hey wait a minute!” It’s a great company. It makes a great product that’s the envy of the world. And they’ve got a new CEO who sounds like a great guy. Quit writing the obituaries!!
So I drove to the bank the next morning, took the $350 out from my dresser drawer an plopped it into my tiny savings account, called my banker–the guy who presides over my steadily shrinking retirement account that came with the divorce–and said “buy me as many Harley Davidson stocks as you can with this little pile of money!” Obviously I’m not one of their bigger clients. I can imagine a stifled laugh, mabe even a snort, on the other end of the line as the listener contemplates an investment this microscopic.
After the broker’s commission, it came to seventeen shares. If they quadruple in value some day, or even multiply by ten, it’s still not going to make me rich. If they totally tank–which I don’t expect at all–it’s not going to make me poor. Pretty much I expect they’re just going to sit there for a long time with my name on them, and the recollection of a sudden but deep flare of hope and optimism. But at the end of the day, when I think of what else I could have spent a spare and symbolic $350 on in a single snap–shoes, a weekend at a bed-and-breakfast, dinner and a concert–I don’t think I’d be feeling nearly as good for this long!