This morning, I have to add up all my reciepts for 2004 before taking them to my beloved tax weasel tomorrow.*
This involves math.
Simple math. Addition kind of math. Easy math. Calculator math. But nevertheless, a vast and staggering quantity of it, a banal task of repeated tedium and checking of work unmatched since high school or this time last year. It looms there, lurking a bit, like the silent monolith of 2001. It waits for me, so that it can either terrify me with the quantity I spend on art supplies, or, worse, the quantity I didn't spend, and which is thus subject to taxation.
I do not resent paying taxes. Much as I hate Dubya (and believe me, I hate Dubya with a fierce and burning ire) I am nevertheless quite glad of government and things like road upkeep and public schools. I would prefer less money in nonfunctional missile defense shields and more in health care for the uninsured, I don't like the way a good chunk of my taxes are spent, but nevertheless, I'm fine with my role as taxpayer. Hell, I'd happily pay a good bit more if it meant free health care, or better environmental protections. And I don't get the cushy money-taken-out-in-advance kind of taxes, I get the "hit with a bill for a few thousands dollars come April" kind of taxes. This isn't fictional money, this is money I've actually met and gotten to know and am buddies with. And yet, I'm still pretty much okay with paying it.
But I hate DOING the taxes. Pick up the forms, and immediately, you feel like a criminal about to be hauled away, unless you can fill out the paperwork ABSOLUTELY CORRECTLY explaining your alibi. There is a hideous sense that you have already done A Bad Thing by earning money. And despite all laws of logic, you still have some horrible sinking feeling that you will somehow manage to owe more money than you have actually made.
This, if you ask me, is why private accounts in Social Security are doomed to failure. A great swath of humanity is terrified of money and paperwork in combination and approach it with dread, when we think of it at all. We do not thrill when we fill out Section C. We put off Section C as long as we possibly can.
By, for example, blogging about it.
Edit: The cat, on the other hand, loves tax time. EXCITING BITS OF CRINKLY PAPER! WOOGHHHAHH! One of my business expenses is currently battling her across the floor, soon to be stashed in some obscure crevice, so that when I eventually move out of this place, I can find it and reflect briefly on that mat I bought at AC Moore many long years ago.
*I heartily recommend the services of the tax weasel for all artists. Yes, it can cost a few hundred bucks, but it's so much cheaper in terms of piece of mind than trying to do 'em yourself.