I just want to remind all of you that you need to get your taxes in the mail tomorrow. I’d like to also add that now is not the time to get creative. I tell you this from experience.
When I first graduated from college the design industry, which was my area of study, crashed. I had many freelance jobs that snapped together an income of about $14,000.00. Granted, it was the 1980’s but even then that sum was nothing. When faced with doing my taxes, I waited until the last moment and then treated it like an art project. Math must add up and mine did not.
The IRS put up with my creativity for 3 years and then declared I owed them $5,000.00. I didn’t have the money and thought I would end up in jail. I envisioned myself wearing stripes, eating bread with no butter and looking longingly up at the sky through bars. It was a very sad scene in my head and one colored with those creative juices that got me into trouble in the first place. A friend heard about my dilemma and told me about their accountant, Wayne, who lived in the bottom of a brownstone he owned. I don’t know what it is about accountants but all of the ones I’ve been acquainted with work in rooms filled with boxes and piles of papers. Wayne was a tall, stringy fellow with rutted skin and thick eyeglasses. He had a strange problem of being bald except for about 3 hairs on top of his head and each of them always had dandruff flakes hanging on them. It is safe to say, ” He was not handsome.”
Wayne was bright though and he took my case for a minimal fee – in fact, it may have even been for free. I knew this was a large favor and so whenever I would go see him amongst the stacks of papers, I would make him laugh. He had an odd chuckle that ended in a high pitch squeal. Wayne eventually won my case and it was the IRS that owed me $400.00. I was thrilled and gave it to Wayne since he earned it and kept me out of jail. I continued to have Wayne compile my taxes for a number of years that followed. I had gotten in the habit of making Wayne laugh during my visits. One day, Wayne said he had a friend he wanted to set me up with on a date. Always looking for the man of my dreams, I said that was a great idea.
There is something else I want to point out: nothing is for free. Over the years, I had failed to notice that Wayne’s wife was no longer around. In the beginning of my visits, she would call out his name in an angry note that used to echo around the stacks of papers. “WAYNE.” When she did appear, an air of misery surrounded her. I didn’t pay much heed or thought as I was handing off paperwork or ending a fun story for Wayne. That is, I never thought of her until my blind date showed up at the door. Yes, Wayne stood there and it didn’t go well. It turns out, he had just gotten divorced.
I will always be thankful to Wayne for getting me out of that heap of trouble I got myself into. It was always gratitude and not romance that I had in mind. Still, I give him credit for crawling out from under his papers to seize an opportunity. Another lesson is, sometimes you can never go back to the way it was.
My accountant now charges me large sums of money and I never try to make him laugh. I just want him to do the math.
I have no photo today and I’m traveling this week….