An embarrassingly predictable and prosaic title, it is true.
Since my father died 5 months ago, I check the obituaries each morning on the New York Times website. I'm not really interested in who died. But there is a general feeling in my family that my father was cheated out of his lifespan. He was 80, it is true, but his father lived to be 99 and his mother lived into her 80s.
He wasn't sick. In fact, he was hale and hearty, a very tall, big, LOUD, talkative fellow who had gone to aerobics that morning. He died while watching a movie on television with my mother: he said "My head hurts" and "That's Tom Hanks." A blood vessel had burst in his brain. I guess he really died a few days later, about nine hours after we had the life support turned off.
Reading those obituaries increased my sense of unfairness. So many 98 year olds! Even 88 year olds! Today, I saw that Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick had died. She was a very famous literary scholar. Her most famous work is called Between Men and it is about homosocial (as distinct from homosexual) desire. This is something of a development of the work of Rene Girard, Deceit, Desire, and the Novel, which is about triangulated desire.
The point here, looked at in the context of literary works, is that the relationships that count often are not the ones between men and women, but rather those between men. The men are battling it out for honor, prestige, or whatever. Just read the beginning of the Iliad and you'll know that is true.
I didn't use Sedgwick's work too much in my own teaching or studies. But I've got to say that it helped me understand the dynamics of my own little world at work. Thank you, Eve Sedgwick. You were only 58. You definitely didn't get the lifespan you deserved.
Now for TAXES.
Yes, it is April 15. I've always done the taxes, though in a very time-consuming, inefficient, and probably costly way. I even did the taxes for Mr. FS before we were married.
But this year, I can't finish. What pushed me over the edge was the fact that I had to cash out the UGMA accounts I established for my children. I put in about $3000.00 for each of them. Ten years later, that's about what was left. TIAA instituted fees for accounts with low balances, so, to avoid the fees, I cashed out. This was lucky because it was right before the really big stock decline. (Too bad I didn't cash out of my bigger accounts at the same time!).
Anyway, I have no idea how to do this--gain, loss, what is it? Frugal Son also earned $1200.00 last year. I told both kids I would figure out how to do the taxes for them.
While I was flipping out about this, I neglected my own taxes, which involve only slight complexities--a little self-employment income for each of us. Since paying off our house, we don't even do a long form.
A five minute computation indicated that we will be getting a refund. I do this every year, and I am always right within $50.00. Nevertheless, I have to slog through the forms, which takes hours. Even though I like doing computations, I am disorganized.
So--extensions for all! I am thinking of sending in a small check for each child just in case a small amount is owed.
Dear Readers: Please say it's OK for me to get an accountant! Mr. FS has been begging me to do this for years. And--how does one find an accountant anyway? Help.