Wednesday, April 13, 2011

TAX TIME

I work part-time for a tax preparation company. I like the people that I work with, learning about taxes, and for the most part helping people prepare their taxes. So I thought that I would give you a list of 'helpful hints' when getting ready to have your taxes prepared by a professional.

(1) Know how to spell your children's names and their date of birth if you are going to tell me that they live with you. Calling Nutter Butter's mom to find out when his birthday is will make me really sad when she doesn't know (unfortunately a true story).

(2) Be prepared to prove everything you tell me to the IRS. I don't have to believe you, they do. But if you are going to lie to me, work at your story. It's the respectful thing to do. I will ask questions, and if you are inconsistant, I will not do your taxes.

 (3) Don't walk into the office 5 minutes before closing and think that I am going to be able to finish your return tonight because you have to have your refund by this weekend. In a semi-related note, please don't go the the bar and get drunk before you come to see me 5 minutes before closing. The city I live in still allows smoking in bars, and the smell of smoke on your clothes is really offensive.

(4) When I tell you the IRS will keep your refund because you owe back child support or didn't pay back your student loans, don't call me asking why the IRS kept your money when you already know why.

(5) Show up on time for your appointment. Better yet, just show up.

(6) Bring all your documents and open up your big-assed stack of envelopes before you come into the office. If you forget something, don't make pissy comments about having to run back and forth with documents you forgot.

(7) No I won't just ignore something that is required by the IRS, so don't ask. I like my job. I'll like it even better when you leave.

(8) When I ask you for your documents, don't keep the second folder with all the shit you don't know what do with as a special surprise at the end.

(9) Don't yell at me because you didn't remember that the bank account you gave me for your direct deposit is no longer open. And don't tell me that the bank closed your account because you kept bouncing checks. Just because I do your taxes doesn't mean that I am emotionally invested in your train-wreck of a life.

 (10) Do not come into the office on the last day to file with a shoebox stuffed full of all your receipts for the year and act surprised that we don't have time to organize your world/prepare your taxes. Didn't we have this conversation for the last 2 years in a row? Didn't I call you repeatedly in March begging for the shoebox? The batteries in my magic wand are usually dead by the last day to file.

(11) Most of our clients are great. If you want to be one of the favorites, follow the above rules and bring me cookies, cupcakes or candy.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I had a frightening conversation this week in the lunch room at work and have had nightmares ever since. I was asked the question, "If you are in a coma, who would pluck your chin hairs?" This is a cruel question for any woman over forty. Although this may not seem like typical lunch room chit chat for most people, we were talking about our biggest fears. I made the bold statement now that my children were practically grown being in a coma was no longer a big fear.

For the record I have lots of fears. When my children were little, I had a fear of dying and leaving my children without a mother. I think some of it was too much time spent with Disney characters- motherless young women easily duped by mean people until some guy shows up. Cinderella, Bella, Snow White, The Little Mermaid..... the list was endless. So, I took out 2 life insurance policies, so they would be able to have piano lessons and go to college if I died. All their finances would be handled by my youngest brother until they were adults.

When my children reached an age where they would be old enough to remember my nagging voice from the beyond telling them to brush their teeth and stand up straight, my imminent death fell off the fear radar and was replaced by the fear of sustaining a head injury and becoming the mother that has to relearn the alphabet and sucks away all the family resources. Being the rational (obviously) mother that I am, I got a living will. Despite many conversations with my family, my mother could never be on board with letting me go. I could be in the deepest coma ever recorded and she would say something like "Look she twitched on purpose!" My mom is the person who reads about some guy who wakes up after 20 years and believes that miracles are possible for everyone. She would be right there visiting me, brushing my hair, and putting lipstick on me. Once again, my youngest brother stepped up to the plate and promised me that he would pull the plug if necessary.

But now thanks to a lunch room chat, the coma is back on the list. Who will pluck my chin hairs if I am unconscious in the hospital? My mother does not have the attention to detail (eyesight) that she once did. My children may promise to pluck my chin hairs if I am in a coma, but don't buy it. However well-intentioned they are, they make promises they can't keep. I have lived the classic "if we get a dog, we will feed it and take care of it" scenario. I take care of the dog. There is a good chance the dog will not be fed if I am in a coma, so now I just feel selfish worrying about chin hairs while the dog is at home slowly starving to death. Luckily for the dog, I know that I can count on my brother. This will be our next phone call:

me: Hey Jon, if I am in a coma will you feed the dog?
Jon: Sure (said with just the right amount of 'my sister is crazy' overtone)
me: Thanks!
Jon: No problem

I love my brother and rely on him to pull the plug if necessary, but I do draw the line at asking him to pull out my chin hairs.

Friday, January 14, 2011

new years resolutions

A list of deep mysteries in life

(1) Where do all those unmatched socks go?

(2) Why is it that my husband can't see his piles of papers or dirty dishes in the family room, but can spot the smallest McDonald's french fry bit in that really nasty crack between the front seats of the car.

(3) How come we can send a man to the moon, but engineers still design cars with crevices that can't be reached by the vacuum cleaner at the car wash? Or maybe we need to re-design the car wash vacuum cleaner.....now I'm confused.

(4) Why do parents ask their toddlers, "Are you alright?" when they fall down. People, they are looking to you, the adult for the answer. The appropriate response is to teach your child to stand with arms raised like an Olympic gymnast sticking a landing and say, "tah dah" after they fall. Try it; it works every time your kid is "alright."

(5) Why are we obsessed with Justin Beiber's hair? It's just hair people. It grows. He will probably be bald in 20 years, so let him enjoy getting to have hair styles while he still can.

(6) What was in the Snooki bump? You know, after 5 seconds of thought, I'm rescinding this question because I really don't want to know.

(7) Why don't all those "nice" people that wave you through the 4-way stop ratchet it up a bit and pay attention to whose turn it is? It's like the song says, "cruel to be kind" so less waving and more driving people. Are you by chance the same person who stops at the end of the entrance ramp? Use the acceleration lane people. It was named for a purpose.

(8) Why do people want to have big elaborate weddings?

(9) How does McDonalds get all the bones out of the McRib and maintain that pretty rib shape. On second thought, see my thoughts on #6. If the one person who reads my blog knows the answer please don't share the answer. Some days, the McRib is all I have.

And finally......

(10) Why do I make New Year's resolutions that I can't keep? I don't have a clue people. Happy New Year's!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Santa Claus

Santa Claus at our house can be summed up in one sentence: If you don't believe, you don't receive.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

being N and Em's mom

So why identify myself as someone's mother when starting a blog? If I read the header, I would identify myself as one of "those moms" whose life revolves around their children. So if you reached the same conclusion let me set you straight. Life is just the opposite; employing gravitational pull to keep all my planets (kids, husband, dogs, work, and too much extra stuff) from careening out of control makes me the sun and my children planets. However, I do not have illusions of grandeur. This simply means that I am doing most of the work to keep everything from colliding, a concept that most moms can identify with. However, even though I have lots of interests that do not involve my children, it is still a big part of who I am now. I want to write about my experiences, and my memories of being a mom. Years from now when my children are off being productive members of society without me, I can start a new blog called 'crabby old lady left by her children to die alone.' So back to the original question- why N and Em's mom? It's simple. I like calling my kids N and Em. It reminds me of small candy coated chocolate which makes me happy. I didn't plan any of this when I named the girls. It's just a happy coincidence. Speaking of coincidence, my free range children are off doing productive things without me and halloween was only two weeks ago, so I think that I will see if I can pilfer some M & Ms to go with my morning Joe.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My oldest baby N turned the big one eight yesterday. Like all moms, I wonder where the years went. I now have a certified adultlet on my hands. So when she picked me up from work, I was all ready. "Happy Birthday!" I had already said this at least 10 times, but I followed it up with a shocker, "Lets go buy some cigarettes."

She didn't even flinch. Those years of conditioning have sure paid off. "Mom, I don't smoke."

"I know, but now you're old enough to buy cigarettes, and lottery tickets. Lets make a list of all the things that you can do now that you're 18."

"I can go clubbing with M_H_"

"Don't you have to be 21 to get into clubs?"

"No, they have clubs for people 18 and older." I instantly picture creepy 25 year old guys hitting on my daughter. I am no longer happy. "I can buy an exotic pet," continues N, "and a gun in some states."

Oh Lord! What did I start. Here is a list of all the things my daughter can now legally do, and it's not pretty.

THINGS I CAN DO NOW THAT I AM 18
by N

(1) buy cigarettes
(2) buy lottery tickets
(3) go to a club
(4) buy an exotic pet
(5) buy a gun- in some states
(6) enlist in the military
(7) move out of the house- if only she was a trust fund baby
(8) sign legal documents to buy a house or a car
(9) get married
(10) star in a porn movie
(11) work as a stripper

By the time we get to 10 and 11, I am already laughing/hyperventilating. It was an interesting look at what is possible at 18. The world is hers. She just can't rent a hotel room or a car, so she might need me a little bit longer.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

post-election hangover

Disjointed thoughts on the election:

(1) The election was 3 days ago. I still flinch when I get the mail or turn on the TV.

(2) My post-election hangover is almost over, just don't use the word "boondoggle" when you talk to me.

(3) I need to have a bottle of champagne ready for election night to celebrate the end of the nastiness.

(4) Tell me what you are going to do, not how horrible your opponent is. They call it being a tattle-tale in kindergarten.

(5) If you don't want to be called a politician, then don't run for elected office.

(6) I'm going to start calling people "Washington Insider" when I want to say something mean and nasty.

(7) I vote with purpose and on purpose, but that doesn't mean that I want to share my vote with the whole world. If I tell you that I don't want to tell you how I voted, drop it or things will get ugly. My real friends know how I vote or love me anyway.

(8) No one tried to hand me crap when I went to vote. It was creepy and made me uncomfortable that I was not accosted by literature-bearing campaign supporters who are usually too close to the door according to pesky federal laws. Hey! Maybe I could bring my megatape measure, wave it around, and yell things like "I know my rights" to keep them away. Historically, a simple "No thank you" hasn't detered the herd from asking repeatedly if I want leaflets.

(9) I am grateful that I live in the USA and don't have to walk 3 days to get to a polling place. So maybe I'll stop whining about the election now.