To all of my brothers and sisters in line at the post office mailboxes at nine pm on tax day.
Let them say what they will about us but we, the kindered spirits who put off the inevitable until the very last possible moment, are the wise ones. The survivors. Or at least the fun ones. Okay, well if nothing else, we are one.
We live on the edge, we tempt fate, we ride without helmets and go outside without sunscreen. We watch the clock, waiting until we can wait no longer and we congregate like long lost family. I may have seen the same faces last year. A tax day reunion of like-minded-I’ll-be-damned-if-I’m-going-to-write-this-check-one-minute-earlier-than-I-have-to procrastinators.
We know we could have done it yesterday or last week or last month. We are making a statement of sorts that no one save ourselves even cares about. Our dishes are done, we excel in our jobs, we pay our bills, we eat well and work out. We are just like everyone else except…..
Many years ago when this tradition started for me, my Dad and I would wait, even if the envelope was stamped, until just before midnight. We would slip the envelope into the overflowing box, smile knowingly at the others as we walked back to the car thinking “Hmm, I showed them”. I showed the IRS and the Department of Revenue. I showed them. Then we would get a drink. Spending every cent of the interest we had accumulated by waiting to sent that check. I showed them.
Tax day has come and gone. For some with very little impact. For some with a good sized refund that has already been spent and for us, my brothers and sisters who wait in line at 9 pm on tax day—I salute you. Today our savings have been spent yet we smile. We smile because we showed them. We made them wait. We, the procrastinators made our statement and we made it loud and clear to the entire world. Or maybe we didn’t.
Benjamin Franklin said, “The only things certain in life are death and taxes.”
I put off my taxes until the last possible moment and I plan to do the very same with my death. I imagine my tax day post office family share that attitude so yes–we are the wise ones, the survivors.
Next year the drinks are on me.
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Editor: Renée Picard