One for you, nineteen for me …

I’ve been making and postponing appointments with my tax man for six weeks now. I just couldn’t bring myself to sit down and sort through my mess receipts. But I finally bit that unsavory bullet, and headed off to see Bobby, my tax preparer. Just getting home from that adventure now.

Bobby is maybe three to five years older than I am. He’s Bangladeshi and has a small shop in the garment district. Tax preparation is his side hustle, and he likes to think that tax prep for creatives and freelancers is his niche — writers, artists, musicians, models, actors. (This is the first time I’ve ever been lumped into a category with actors and models. I find it funny, but I also like it.)

I was referred to Bobby last year. I suddenly found myself without a tax man, as it seemed the ancient little man who’d done my taxes since 2013 had passed away. A writer friend recommended Bobby, so I went.

He worried me at first, was dismissive of my work as a writer because it wasn’t supporting me even a little. The beginning of our first conversation was almost contentious. And then it became mansplain-y, with Bobby needing to tell me all the things I should do if I had any hope of being a “real” writer.

That theme continued tonight. Clearly, Bobby likes to mansplain my life and career and give me instruction on the choices I should be making. And writing is absolutely his favorite area of faux expertise. My writing doesn’t pay the bills, and he can’t understand why I don’t change that.

“You should really think about getting published,” he said to me tonight after he submitted my taxes. “Just go to talk with a publisher and get a book deal.”

Friends, did you realize that was how to do it? I have been wasting a lot of time, clearly. Should have been marched my no-manuscript-having butt into Houghton Mifflin and scooped up my contract already!

Despite this annoying behavior, I’ve decided that I like Bobby. Most importantly, he does a great job on my taxes. But equally important (kind of?) we have really interesting conversations — earlier tonight we talked about the slave trade, talked about why we like to travel, talked about birth order and our siblings.

Surely I will eventually tire of Bobby’s mansplaining and need to find a new tax preparer, but it’s working for now. And tonight I can go to sleep with visions of a nice return dancing in my head. Thanks, Bobby!

It’s the annual Slice of Life Story Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers! With hundreds of folks participating, there’s more than a little something for everyone … and plenty of room for you to join in!

4 thoughts on “One for you, nineteen for me …

  1. LSquared

    I like my tax preparer, a woman who knows real estate tax and we chat. She’s good and I love the relief of coming out of her office with a return coming to me.
    I like the funny conversation set that you have with your tax man. I’m still chuckling over his insistence that you get busy and get published!
    It’s funny to think that people imagine that writing would be more satisfying if it produced income. Or is it giving you street cred to get income?
    Nice job characterizing the tax man and your internal dealing with his mansplaining.


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