Thursday, April 10, 2008

When Taxes are Fun.

Though I often feel like donning Indian red feathers when it comes to tax season, I’ve never actually done my own taxes. I’ve been fortunate enough to be taken care of by a careful father and a kind sister-in-law who is an accountant for a large cable company. The verb “coddle” comes to mind when thinking of how these family members care for me and my meager earnings each year. I’ve successfully weaseled my way out of having to do taxes myself. Ever.

For all the unholy avoidance I do to get out of managing my own tax numbers, I sure do a lot of complaining when the figures are read to me and judgment is final. I can’t stand not to have a tax return. To me, a world without tax returns is the bleakest of bleak nightmares—a place filled with torrential cold rain and vultures that pick on the living. That is simply not my world.

And in the door walks the first year of marriage with the debate over how to file taxes: separate or jointly. I don’t care how it happens, but I want my tax refund. I want my dream of traveling with the Dead and living in tents for a month off the money that Uncle Sam gave me back. I want my new rug (to pull the room together), and I want to spend this seemingly free money with wild abandon. I want to run through fields, giggling with glee as I feel the money building in anticipation of being spent in my pocket. There’s a whole lot that I get from my tax return that the typical person might not. My tax return is a whole bag of unicorns jumping over rainbows, turning wildflowers into candy that melts on the tongue while the giant warm sun sings silly songs from the 1950s. It’s magic.

My husband doesn’t share this magic with me. They are numbers. Taxes are not fun. We may not even get a tax return, he says. I call him “Robot Jeff” when he gets into his super-logical-consider-only-the-facts-state-of-mind. These are money matters and not the stuff that Dead tour and unicorns are made of. I think he started to glimpse into the hope-of-hopes hole that I keep my tax return thinking in when I began to cry yesterday in the car. He told me something about how not all people get a tax return every year. What?! What kind of world does he live in? Oh, yeah. Robot Jeff.

Well, while Mr. Husband Robot Jeff may be super-logical and have a brain the size of Texas, which keeps us incredibly warm and comfortable in the winter, he also has a weakness: video games. Robot Jeff was once small boy Jeff with dreams about dinosaur wrangling and spaceship flying. Yes. He used to dream.

This tax season, he’s taking back a little of the dream for himself. Instead of our putting all the returned money (yes, thankfully, we do actually get a tax return like “normal” people this year) into savings for the house we’re building, Mr. Husband has decided that half of the money should be spent with good old wild abandon! And once again, he proves that this is the man I love and simply had to marry: incredibly logical—a rock for me to depend on both emotionally and intellectually—while being super fun with hidden laughter dripping off of every finger and making happy puddles near his toes for only me to see. I like to think that I have the secret to his happiness tap—pour me a cold one, Sir, and see that you don’t skimp on the Grand Theft Auto. And now my husband wears a giddy smile as he thinks of the XBox he’ll buy, adding to our collection. He’ll be as a child with his new system for days. And me, I will ride a unicorn into the sun, seeking the mystical spending place for pouring out our seems-to-be-free-but-really-not-free-money back into the economy. America needs us. We are here. We are happy married couple spending with wild abandon for this limited time offer.

1 comment:

Nancy said...

Hi Dil,
I REALLY enjoyed that! You are such a witty writer and so colorful! Have you considered a career in children's literature? And I am so glad you love my son with wild abandon. He is one lucky boy and I'll remind him of that often. Ha. Love you! MIL