My Season of Discontent

I’ve been having nightmares for about a week now. The first night was the worst, involving a series of dreams that involved much maiming and dismemberment to all that I love. The Hubster, Boy Wonder, my car, myself and, (still trying to figure this one out), Mick Jagger who was also my father.

Let’s not get all sidetracked analyzing why Mick was playing the role of my father and focus on the whys and wherefores of the nightmares, shall we?

I can count on this season of nightmares right alongside spring and allergies because it’s tax time.

There, I’ve said it. Out. Loud.

Tax time.

Every year it’s the same routine. I procrastinate my way from January first, dilly-dallying my way through February, March and into April and then the nightmares begin.

I’ve had my tax software since Christmas. There it is, sitting on my desk. I can’t even bring myself to load the bloody disk onto my laptop.

That’s right, I do our taxes. It’s like the only computer game/gambling I indulge in. I think I should state that I have always received a refund. I read up on the current new tax laws every year to make sure I am taking all the breaks we are entitled to.


Back in the early 90’s I bought a book by some financial wizard and found out that there’s a little known tax form known as “X”. Form X allows you to file for tax breaks up to three years previous that you didn’t file for. I did and ended up getting a check for just over $800. I’d say the $25 investment in that book was well worth it.

The year I found myself, not quite yet divorced, I had Boy Wonder’s father being ever so thoughtful about doing “our” taxes, I knew something was up, as he never took on any financial work willingly, so I hopped on the Internet to investigate. There I found that, even though we were still married, I could file single as Head of Household if he had not lived with us for at least six months. He hadn’t and I did.

Let’s just say that there is justice if you are willing to look for it yourself. That refund assured that I could pay the mortgage for another six months and filled the oil tank twice.

So then, you are asking, “Why the nightmares if you always come out on top?”

Good question. Really, really, good question.

Because I always wait to the absolute last minute to do our taxes and that leaves me no room for error in case the unthinkable were to happen. Of course, the fact that all my receipts are in assorted little bins and boxes spread throughout the house tends to add to the anxiety levels as well.

I don’t start out that unorganized. Indeed, at the beginning of every New Year I make a trip to Staples and acquire a truckload of supplies resulting in shiny new files and folders all neatly labeled with the help of my P-Touch. There is talk of master excel spreadsheets and monthly totals.

Which makes perfect sense because it’s the first step in the tax preparation avoidance process.

I am completely anal about the filing system until somewhere between June and July. By then the tax refund has come and been spent and the cycle of madness can begin anew.

I should be ashamed of this unbroken cycle of madness and I would be if not for one thing. The yearly licensing of the dog. Oddly enough, I can’t manage to do that on time either.

It’s not even difficult. You go into the town hall offices, hand over a check for $15 with proof of rabies shot and they hand you a little metal tag to put on their collar. They even send you a post card reminder 2 weeks before the deadline.

It would be easy except that the deadline for dog license renewal is April 15.

How am I supposed to remember to renew the dog license when I am in full tax prep avoidance mode? Exactly, I don’t remember to renew the dog license.

Until the police department sends out their threatening letters in June because my dog is now apparently a fugitive and has a warrant out for his arrest.

So I ashamedly march myself into the town hall offices and hand over my check which now includes a ten dollar late filing charge and apoligise for my transgressions and have them remove Zack’s name from their list of fugitives.

That shame leads to a period of self pity and apathy where my paperwork begins piling up on the corner of my desk until I shove it into a box when it gets too high and that box gets shoved under my desk when it gets full. Another pile of paperwork begins forming on the corner of my desk … you see where this is going?

I am determined to break this cycle of madness. Yesterday I went to the vet and obtained a copy of Zack’s rabies certificate. (Because the original is in one of the 4 boxes of un-filed paperwork.) I am headed out to the town hall offices this morning to hand over my $15 check and get the new tag for his collar.

That would indeed seem promising if not for one thing:

I am doing it to avoid pulling out the four assorted boxes of un-filed paperwork and begin sorting through them!

But hey, I have to start somewhere don’t I?

Dedicated to all my fellow procrastinators doing their taxes instead of playing this weekend.
©2006 Dawn Marie Kelly, all rights reserved.
posted by Angel @ 1:50 PM |


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