Tuesday, April 15, 2003
Goofus and Gallant
posted by Julie |
Poop. I'm doing taxes. They are due in the U.S. today. And I am doing them today. I'm sure into tonight.
I'm the reason our taxes aren't done. It's a little matter of the way I earn my income (entirely independently) combined with the high art I've made of procrastination. I've worked at this art for a lifetime. I'm a writer. It's what we do. One could argue I'm doing it now.
It would be too much to burden either a husband or an accountant with my way of doing the my year's books on tax day. It's really asking too much of myself, too, but here I am, again, looking at my disheveled records bin and seeing myself in the line at the post office this evening, with my fat envelope for the IRS. (There's something actually kind of nice about lining up with the other taxpayers, who all owe the government money, who are all hollow-eyed from too much caffeine. There's a tradition in it.)
Still, if we switched to a nice old-fashioned system of men with clubs and hot coals coming to our door and demanding money for the king, something that would be over much more quickly, I'm not sure I would mind terribly. It would be fast and less painful than this.
My husband will not sympathize with me today. He gets things done right away. He breaks large tasks down into little doable chunks so he's not overwhelmed by them. He does this naturally, because he just hates to feel pressured. He is the Gallant to my Goofus where procrastination is concerned.
You remember those twin boys from Highlights Magazine for kids? The twin boys who were so different, the do-good one and the do-bad one. Goofus was a slob. Gallant was neat. Gallant picked up his side of the room every day. Goofus couldn't find his shoes, which were in a jumble under his bed. Etc. In our household, I am Goofus and hubby is Gallant. And that's just the way it is.
I would like to have more Gallant where taxes are concerned. I have it for other things. It takes Gallant to write The Skinny Daily Post, which is the extremely rough draft of a book. I would never sit down to write a book, of course, but plugging away at daily essays is doable.
It takes a lot of Gallant to lose weight, pound by pound, to break habit changes up into doable chunks, to break down the mountain of massive weight loss and fitness pebble by pebble, habit by habit, recipe by recipe, day by day. Little changes over time. Small drops on the scale. Littler goals.
So why not a little Gallantry in my accounting? And dusting? And grooming? Yardwork? And…
You know, I really should go work on those taxes now.
I'll be much poorer tomorrow,
Goofus and Gallant
Goofus and Gallant let loose on the world
I'll be here today