Tax Season is upon us.
The returns are completed, Mrs S picked them up from the accountant a few days ago and they’re all awaiting my signature. Accountant.. my mother was an accountant, she was a CPA, or as I used to say an level 5 Accountant. She turned her love of figures and forms into a distinguished career as a revenue agent with the IRS. This was after I had gone to school and left home. I didn’t know that revenue agents were actual Federal law enforcement agents until one day when were flying together to a family event. This was pre 9/11 mind you.
We showed up at the airport, a few minutes later than we should have. Those anxiety issues that I mentioned yesterday, well, suffice to say that they’re exacerbated exponentially by even the mere thought of being late to something. My mother knew this, and bless her soul, she took care of things. She whipped out her badge, which up to then I had no idea that she even had a badge, showed it to security and just like that we bypassed the security screening and got right to the gate. That was the day I also learned that my mother packed more than just a bad attitude and sharp tongue.
I do have to take an aside here and mention that Mrs S also knows that being late to anything causes me to go bat shit crazy. However, for Mrs S I’m quite certain that this is a source of enjoyment. She likes watching me twist and rocking myself when we’re running behind. Either that or she doesn’t care because frankly she’s never been on time to anything in her life except the one thing that I was quite late for, and that would have been our wedding.
Packing and carrying a badge still didn’t make up for the fact that, in the end, Ma was an accountant. You know what they say about accounts is quite true.. they become accountants because they don’t have the personalities to be undertakers. No offense to the corpse drainers out there. And then there’s actuaries. I had an actuary work with me once, she was a smart lady, super smart. I define smart as someone who knows more about something than I do. My son has a friend who’s going to be majoring in actuarial sciences when she goes to college next year. I think an actuary is a like a 13th level lawful good accountant. This is would be different from a 13th level chaotic evil accountant, which I would call a State Farm Rep.
But like a lawyer, when you need on you need one. And since accounting and actuarial sciences are on the, let’s say this, everyone has strengths and everyone has things they aren’t good at. And we all have some thing’s, which are so far outside our abilities and competencies as to be completely alien to us; this is how it is with me and accounting. I like to quote the great cultural icon of my generation who would say on occasion, when the string coming out of her back was pulled “math is hard”. I know the feminists went crazy when Barbie told this bit of wisdom to a generation of girls and went as far as to claim that this was the reason girls underperform in math and in science. Really? That’s it? How about those subjects are impossible for Left Brainiancs. I happen to be one of those and for those of us for whom math is indeed “hard” I never thought that Barbie wasn’t telling me anything I didn’t already know. Skinny white chick tells the truth.
And I’ve come to believe that the girls, now women who I know and who do excel at math and science probably didn’t take advice from a plastic doll, even when they were young. So to quote another cultural leader of my generation, “lighten up Francis” and I mean Francis as in either gender.
This math thing BTW is a curious deal because my sons excel at math, they even use the formal term; “mathematics” when describing what they do. Ironically, neither one can write, and I’m not entirely certain they can read because I ‘ve never seen either one of them do it. “Dad” the oldest complains, “I have a massive paper for this stupid humanities class, its’ a going to take a week to write it.” This is the A student in advanced analytics and calculus. I haven’t been able to help him with his homework since the 7th grade. “How long is the paper son?” “Has to be a THREE THOUSAND WORDS! That’s like 100 pages.”
By my calculations that’s about 7 pages but who am I. “Son” I replied, “that’s about a 20 minute project if you sit down and do it.” “Dad you don’t know how hard it is, no one sits and just writes crap about nothing.. “
Whew, where do I go with that one? “No only about an hour a night by my calculations.” “Hour of what” “Smart people spend an hour a night writing, keeps the brain fresh and the fingers nimple.”
He likes math better because math, or mathematics “has correct answeres”. Humanities does not.
Mrs S used to do our taxes. She did them for a long time, and frankly I was always impressed as our taxes are little complicated. We have some investments, some farm income and a few other things, not many of which I know about. She did them for us until one fateful season when she realized she had mailed them in with an error. Actually, she didn’t realize it, the Government realized it and sent her a love note about it. I kinda thought I’d be seeing her on visiting hours for a while and made the huge mistake of kidding her about it. She reminded me that I had signed the returns too. I wouldn’t do prison well. I’m an old soft pasty fat ass. I’m pretty sure I’d get sold inside of a week for a pack of Winston’s. That wouldn’t be good.
We now use an accountant. Costs a few yards but the relief in knowing that in the event of prison time, he’s going, not us.
So I hope.