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!
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