Today I did my taxes – but this year, for the first time, I enlisted the help of Dear One and a daughter, so that the kitchen was a flicker of clicking calculators and helpful advice from the Young.
“If I were you,” said the daughter, “I would put those receipts into their categories when I first came home with them, instead of jumbling them up in gigantic crumpled handfuls and stuffing them in your desk drawer.”
“Thank you. Thank you very much. Now can you think of some way to be helpful other than pointing out what an idiot I have been?”
Because she’s so good-hearted she did not point out that she had already loaned me her calculator or that she had been patiently reading out the bottom line on each receipt so I did not have to decipher the faded numbers, violet and tea-stained. “Would you like me to read you some poetry?” she asked. “Would you like me to read you The Dong With a Luminous Nose?
“Yes please,” I said, and she did, and this helped me perform my nasty tax duties without ever having to sacrifice my sang froid: