Erica Lucke Dean

"Making the world a better place, one book at a time."

what a taxing day!

April 15th

All things considered, I think I might prefer April 1st.  I wish tax day was just a really good prank someone was playing on me.  Unfortunately, the IRS doesn’t have a sense of humor.

Mike stayed up late last night completing our taxes and submitted them electronically only to get an email first thing this morning telling us that they had been rejected.

Rejected!

Someone had already submitted a tax return using one of the kid’s social security numbers! The impossibility of this was staggering to us.  Who does this?  Now we have to submit our return manually.  So off to the post office we go before the midnight tax filing deadline.  Of course, there was a line.  And they didn’t sell the stamped envelopes.  How does the post office not sell stamped envelopes? So we were back in the car to drive to the local drugstore to buy envelopes. This is what we get for waiting until the last minute.  If we had filed our taxes in February, like we did last year, this would have never happened. 

On the up side, it was another beautiful day.  There was just a slight cool breeze in the air and beautiful clear blue skies with not a drop of rain in sight.  Another day to leave the windows open. 

I didn’t get to enjoy much of the beautiful day though.  I was stuck inside all day at work.  It was another one of those days where I felt torn between my duel identities.  Not a struggle between writer and wife, as I have dealt with recently—it was a struggle between being a mother and being a banker.  I guess that means I have a quadruple identity—I’m a writer, a mother, a banker, and a wife (not necessarily in that order.)

It is very difficult to maintain my identities simultaneously, so I have to engage in a bit of a time share relationship with myself.  I often feel like I have multiple personality disorder, but I’m still me no matter what personality I’m wearing at the time.  The roles just each have their own massive demands.  Today the job was holding me back from being a mother.  That is without a doubt the most difficult position to be in.  I can juggle everything else, not easily perhaps, but without horrible feelings of guilt.  When I can’t keep the “mother” ball in the air I feel like a failure no matter how successful I may be with my other balls. 

Speaking of balls…my little bull dog mix absolutely loves tennis balls.  It has no less than a dozen of them around the house.  He carries one in his mouth almost everywhere he goes, and he tries to talk with his mouth full.  It makes his voice sound like he’s growling even when he isn’t, so I always tell people about his love of tennis balls so they don’t freak out when they meet him. 

We often call him “dogdini” because of his uncanny ability to escape from the yard magically.  One minute he can be inside the walls of our six feet tall privacy fence, and in the next he vanishes.  He has a very descriptive tag hanging on his collar for this reason.  He has his name, phone number, address, and a message that reads “very very friendly.” 

The last time he escaped I did what I always do, I drove around the neighborhood stopping to speak with anyone who might be outside—especially children.  Children who might be playing with balls.  Balls of any kind…any size.  I stopped at a new neighbor’s house.  We hadn’t yet met.  They had just moved in.  There were several children playing in the yard.  Playground balls bouncing against the driveway…baseballs tossed through the air into leather gloves…and a tennis ball bouncing against the garage door. 

I asked the father if he had seen my dog.  I described him in full detail.  He hadn’t seen him.  But I knew that with the kids playing so close by, there was a good chance that my doggy would show up eventually.  So I felt I needed to be sure he knew the dog was friendly.  There was nothing to fear from my sweet pup.  He would just want to play ball with the children.

So, with a big smile, I lightheartedly cautioned him, “You just have to watch your balls.  He’ll be after your balls for sure.”

My daughter was sitting next to me in the car and she choked back laughter and told me to “just drive away Mom.”  Which, after nodding stupidly toward my neighbor’s shocked reaction, I did. 

I have no idea how I get myself into these things. 

That neighbor has lived down the street for over a year now.  I have never spoken to him again.  I don’t know how I could ever top our first conversation!

What do balls have to do with tax day you ask?  I guess it’s just a subtle reminder that the IRS has us all by the balls every day of the year…

Until the next time…I’ll be starting my 2010 taxes to get a jump on next year!

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