Sometimes things come together and make life feel less unfriendly and difficult…good even!
A bit of background: last week we sorted out our taxes.
Ever since a weird, self-destructive, neuron fired in my brain, causing me to introduce myself to the Inland Revenue, I got a severe annual beating by the bastards. Not only did they fuck me for money that I owed as a result of poor accounting at my (PAYE) job in the previous year, but they then insisted that I pay in advance for the next year. Yeah thanks. As a reward for honesty, I get my arse raped by the forces of unfairness.
In fairness, when I moved to the US and completed my final tax return for the UK, their response to my overly honest confession that “I have made up these numbers because I emigrated and all of the documents needed to complete this return are on a boat somewhere in the Atlantic” was met, for the first time ever, with a substantial refund.
This year we decided to get an accountant to sort us out. OK, it’ll cost us a few hundred bucks but at least it should save us as much. So, last Saturday, we went to the accountant armed with our various bits of paper we hoped would provide us with a massive refund.
To spare you the tedious details, here is a summary of our experience: we ended up owing either $2400 or $1900 depending on whether we file separately or together. This was a shock, because we were expecting a refund – especially as we’d bought a house this year; it turns out that we were less than seven days too early when we bought to qualify us for the benefit…
We were both most pissed off about this as you can imagine. My experience with the tax fuckers in the UK had prepared me for this, but it was still a shock to go from refund-expectation to debt-realisation.
Weirdly, I was less worried than I would have been in the UK because the accountant told me that next year we’ll be set. OK we thought – it’s a major kick in the financial bollocks, but we’ll probably be ok. And at least next year we’ll win. Also at least he’d saved us $400 by telling us to file together rather than separately. Damn, he’s even paid for himself! A big debt in the short term, but with a positive long term.
But today, magical things happened. Firstly, Michele had her first day working in the wildlife rehab. She was expecting to be eased in via tedious pursuits such as doing the laundry and making the tea, but they threw her in right to the deep “feeding the baby animals” end. She fed baby squirrels, baby owls, hawks and all sorts! I’m so envious. Obviously, she loved it! The people there obviously loved her too because they moved her up into yellow-belt (or rather badge) owing to her natural abilities with dealing with the more gruesome side of wildlife care. I’m so proud!
Then after work, my friend and workmate Tom suggested we go over to the nearest bar for happy-hour which not only includes cheap beer, but free wings! This always cheers me up. Half an hour there is just enough to give me a buzz before catching the bus. As it turns out, the bus that arrives just after the beer and wings is driven by the most amusing guy, who seems to have been placed on the earth solely to cheer up bus passengers.
After I’d arrived at home, greeted our lovely birds, and then settled into my favourite bit of the sofa with a glass of wine and a parrot, Michele brought me out a bowl of home-made seafood risotto; my favourite meal!
Just then, the axes of good fortune aligned perfectly, and the phone rang. It was our accountant; he had re-analysed our documents and worked out that we were owed $1900 if we file together.
Sometimes things are good.