I think it’s a character flaw. Or I care too much. Or maybe I’m just OCD.
The fact of life in Peter’s head is that I get inordinately nervous about taxes — every year — even if I think/know I’m filing them just the way I’m supposed to. I don’t think I claim anything out of the ordinary. That little thermometer that’s supposed to tell you your tax audit risk is all the way in the green, and yet I still get paranoid about my taxes.
To be fair, I have a history of being THE GUY who gets pulled over by the cops for the most insignificant things. Last summer when we bought our new car, I was sitting at a stop light ON OUR WAY HOME FROM THE DEALERSHIP when a squad car that happened to be behind me at the light flashed his lights and pulled me over when the light turned green. It seems that the license plates on the new car didn’t match the description of the car in the DMV records. So I sat there while he looked at the bill of sale, spent five minutes on his radio confirming that the “problem” was that the state had not yet updated THEIR records — and that I was innocent of whatever he thought I had done wrong.
But, that is life with Peter. I have been driving I-80 in the middle of Wyoming — in the middle of the night — and had a headlight burn out. A friendly trucker going the other way told me over the CB that was what had happened and wouldn’t you know it — in the middle of nowhere 2 minutes later there’s a Highway Patrol behind me with flashing lights to write me a vehicle deficiency citation. I mean — you can drive all the way across Wyoming and NEVER SEE A COP — and I find one at 3 a.m. with no difficulty at all.
I have been audited by the IRS once. I showed up with three paper boxes (you know those cases that hold 10 reams of copy paper) filled with receipts (back in the day when I was self-employed). We spent the better part of the day playing fetch when the examiner asked for receipts. When we were all done the net result was 0 dollars owing, 0 dollars owed. But that didn’t mean I wasn’t as wet as a noodle when I walked out of the office.
I can go to the doctor about my heart problem with less anxiety than I face when dealing with The Government. I hate dealing with the Department of Motor Vehicles — even if I’m just going in for an updated license.
Well, our taxes for 2017 are done. It took longer this year than last. The questions are routine but invasive nevertheless. I doubt I’ll ever get over my trauma; I wish I could understand WHY I am the way I am, but I doubt clarity will ever come on that account either.
In the end…
I’m just glad my taxes are done for another year.