Thursday, March 3, 2011

Is There a 12-Step Program for This?

There might be something wrong with me. Something so sick, so twisted, I should probably get professional help. But who would believe me? Who would take on someone with such a bizarre and incomprehensible condition? They say the first step is admitting your problem. So here it is...

I like doing my taxes. Wait! Don’t shun me! Hear me out…

I’m not talking about the part where you hand over your money to the government. I like some of the things they do with it, others not so much. This is not a political post. And I’m not talking about actually doing my taxes—like figuring out depreciation and margin interest and lord knows what else. My accountant does the hard numbers work.

I’m talking about digging out my receipts, going through my checkbook, tracking down missing credit card statements. It’s like reliving the year all over again.

The thirty-plus charges at Island Naturals in Hawaii bring back blissful memories of excessive lilikoi-coconut pudding consumption. I can practically taste the passionfruit…And look, all those charges from Orlando, Florida! The 2010 RWA conference! How fun was that... And I had no idea I spent quite that much at certain e-publishers sites. But that’s okay, it’s research.

I see why investigators look first at people’s credit card statements to figure out what they’re up to. I get a whole different perspective on myself when I do my taxes. I can see when my husband the carpenter came into my life. All of sudden, hardware store charges began to appear. I can see that most of my Christmas shopping happened embarrassingly close to Christmas. It’s right there in black and white. You can run but you can’t hide from your credit card statements.

Reviewing your expenditures over the past year is great for shattering your delusions about yourself. Yes, I DO spend a lot of money on ebooks. Yes, I DO spend an inordinate amount of time in coffee shops and no, a tea and muffin is NOT virtually nothing. Those charges add up. I’m not saying how much. Barb’s Video took a healthy chunk of my income. Do we really watch that many DVD’s? Yep.

Even if what I discover makes me cringe, it still feels good to go over it all. It makes me feel I’ve brought order to the chaos of my spending. When I’m done, I feel cleansed and forgiven. Forgive me, IRS, for I have overspent. In penance, I will say ten Hail MBaM’s and pay whatever my accountant tells me.

So there you have it. My deep dark secret is out. Is there hope for me?

What about you? Am I the only one with this weird problem, or is there anyone else out there who doesn’t mind doing their taxes? If you want to vent about how horrible they are, that’s okay too. Let's hear it!


Donna said...

I care about you and I am trying so very hard to relate to what you are saying, but it is all gibberish, my dear. Now please, slowly back away from the Tax Forms. Some nice men will be there soon to help you. They will have a lovely white jacket with special long arms that tie in the back to transform it into a chic garment that some call an "I love me jacket".

It will all be better soon.


Meg Benjamin said...

Well, yeah, Mrs. Juniper, you are indeed the only one with this weird problem. I regard digging up receipts as one of life's major trials because I'm always missing the one that's really necessary to save us a bundle.

Cara Bristol said...

I think Donna said it best! You'll be getting a knock on your door real soon.

I don't enjoy doing my taxes, but usually strive to get them done by mid-February. This year, I've been dreading it more than usual, and have been putting it off. It's actually on my to-do list for this weekend.

I DO enjoy seeing where my money goes. We charge EVERYTHING to get the air miles and then pay it off every month. So on a monthly basis I know where my money goes.

But enjoying doing my taxes? Perish the thought!

Juniper Bell said...

I knew it! Bring on the psychiatric meds. I'm sure a short stay in a lovely private facility with estate-like grounds will cure me. And I can write it off on my taxes, right?

Kelly Jamieson said...

I'd rather stick pins in my eyes....

We'll look after you Juniper.

Erin Nicholas said...

*snort* I'm with Kelly. But I love you anyway Juniper (and if you'd like to review my receipts for me next year I'll happily send them your way!)