Hey, everyone! Today is our stop on The Winner’s Crime blog tour! We were asked to write a post about the term “winner’s curse” and what we would pay too much for. “Winner’s curse” is a term that means you’ve gotten what you wanted, but at too high a price.
In The Winner’s Curse and The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski, Kestrel purchases a slave, and her world falls apart. There is war, rebellion, death, poisoning, etc. So the phrase works in the titles for these books because Kestrel wants Arin, but how far will she have to go to keep him and save her world from falling apart? In the next book in The Winner’s Curse trilogy, the stakes are ever higher.
So what would we pay too much for?
In an odd twist of irony, the one thing I would pay too much for is financial freedom. I know, I know, that’s kind of silly because you need money to pay for that in the first place, but what if I could pay with something else besides currency? Because I don’t want to be rich. I don’t think I would even like being rich. I just want to be able to buy the house that I want, pay off my debt, and go on vacations every once in awhile. It would be nice to not live from paycheck to paycheck. It would be nice to be able to save a couple hundred bucks a month so I can put that down payment on a cozy little manufactured home I so badly want.
A few weeks ago I would have chosen something else, but since we decided that we were so over renting and we have been looking at real estate, the financial situation has just gotten so ridiculous. There are all these loan options through the VA (military) and FHA, but it never seems like you are able to get the one thing you want. NOTHING covers manufactured housing. And the VA is so picky about where they will let you live. And I am just incredibly frustrated. If I had the money for a down payment, I could just go the traditional loan way and not have to worry about ANY of this.
So financial freedom? I might give anything to have that right now and worry about the risks later.
I am going to cheat here – I am living in the middle of my winner’s curse at the moment. I returned to school in 2010, fiances be damned. I took out more loans than I could ever hope to pay back, and now they have returned to bite me. However, even with the struggle, I am thankful I went back.
From my first day to my graduation, it helped me develop as a person. School was a different environment. I was able to step away from the poison at work and begin to heal in a nurturing environment. I learned how to communicate and adopt better practices and more productive social traits. I tackled many of the bad habits I picked up from working with hateful opinions and hateful attitudes. It was intoxicating, in a good, good way.
My degree was to teach early childhood to the sixth grade. When I graduated, I quickly found out that the teacher glut was not just a myth – teaching jobs were drying up. I obtained one interview, and while the feedback was very positive, I lost the job to a bilingual teacher, willing to take the same pay as a monolingual teacher for the job opportunity. Homeless (I wasn’t able to afford an apartment, and I lived in hotels for a while), panicked and jobless, I took a job as an early childhood teacher at a child development center. In short, it was horrible. The new director was awful, and I hated the job. My curse had come, and it was time to pay the price.
However, I now have a job that is enjoyable and worthwhile. I volunteer to give free eye screenings to school-age children, and while my pay is not at the teacher-level, there is room for me to grow and climb high.
In short, I overpaid for my education and my personal growth through a university, paid a heavy price, and while I still struggle with my student loans, I have a job that makes me proud and gives me a better understanding of myself and the opportunities around me.
I’m actually in a bit of a winner’s curse situation at the moment. There are quite a few things that are worth more to me than money, and one of those things is family. I have precious few family members who have treated me kindly, and the ones who have, I like to keep close to me. Since moving 700 miles, from NJ/PA to North Carolina, obviously I have not been able to be as close to my family as I like, with the exception of my mom and my sister, who I followed to this tiny town.
This autumn, Mike and I helped move his dad and two teen siblings from Philadelphia to our neighborhood. His father is in poor health and Mike’s younger brother is special needs, and so this move was a financial strain for us. We had just bought a new car, as well, and so we were feeling the tug on the purse strings when all of this began. Then came Christmas. So the move and the big holiday we had may not have been the best financial decisions we’ve ever made.
But I wouldn’t change anything. Mike’s father has always been so good to me, ever since Mike and I met in 2009. He’s been a stand-in father for me, when I finally decided to let go of my own. He’s put a roof over my head and food in my belly, and I would do anything to be able to return all the love that he has shown Mike and I over the years. So while Mike and I are struggling to get ahead again, I would do it all over again.
So, much like Kestrel, we all have things we would pay too much for despite the possible risks involved. Do you have anything you would do this for? And don’t forget to grab your copy of The Winner’s Crime which will be out in stores and online tomorrow!