Sunday, April 15, 2007

The taxman, money, and style...

I’m no accountant, but I did Chris’ taxes a few weeks ago, and Mike’s this morning, and then spent several hours this afternoon doing my own.

I really hate doing my taxes. Last year, I had an accountant do them, and this afternoon, deep into the return, I was wishing I’d turned everything over to him again. However, I managed to finish on my own, and am now drinking a much deserved icy Corona with lime...and I’ve been thinking, again, about money. I’ve said before that money doesn’t much interest me, and it doesn't, which isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy having it, because of course I do, but...I’ve never been much good at hanging onto it. I’m more interested in the fun that can be had with it than in simply having it...

My firstborn, Alex, is marrying her fiancé, Chris, in a small private ceremony in A’s backyard at the end of May. “Mom, can you find someone to marry us?” Alex asked a few weeks ago. Alex and Chris aren’t religious, and don’t want a person of the cloth to preside over their ceremony, and yet they don't want to just go to city hall and be married by a Justice of the Peace. They want someone to come to A's, perform the ceremony, and leave: maybe a 10 minute gig, tops.

That rules out friends of the family, who'd want to mingle with us for the rest of the afternoon. I have a terrific friend, Sherri, whom I count on for resources in situations like this. She and I were sitting in a friend's back yard on a sunny, Sunday afternoon a month ago, drinking wine and talking, when I asked her if she knew anyone who could/would perform a nonsectarian ceremony and leave. Sherri speed dialed a friend on her cellphone as we sat there, and 2 minutes later...voila...the ceremony was in the works!

I spoke with the guy this week, to discuss details, and he sounds great. He’s not a man of the cloth; he can legally perform marriages in Dallas County; he’s available on the date of the wedding; he's comfortable with coming in, performing the ceremony, and leaving; and he's happy to do it. After we’d discussed these basics, I asked him his fee.

“For a friend of Sherri’s, there’s no fee,” he said. Well, he’s a friend of Sherri’s, and I hope he’ll end up being a friend of mine, but I haven’t even met him yet, and I won't ask him to marry my daughter and her fiance without recompensing him for his time. That might save a little money, but it's so not my style.

I had coffee with A and told him about it.

“What were you thinking?” A asked me.

“I was thinking a hundred bucks would be a steal,” I said.

A nodded. “Cash,” he said.

“Yep,” I said, “A crisp new bill...”

We may be divorced, but on things like this, we’ve always seen eye to eye. And that’s a good thing...


Erin said...

Congratulations on doing your own taxes! I've never even tried, although I suppose I should at some point. :-)

Tammy said...

Yayy Alex! I will NEVER do my own taxes because I'm really bad at understanding it, so kudos. ;)

I was thinking the same thing about the $100 bill :) XXOO

TJ said...

No comment...Taxes.

Terroni said...

$100 sounds like a great deal!

dreaminglily said...

Taxes... my father turns into a monster for one month every year... and it's allll because of taxes lol

About the wedding, cool, glad everything's worked out! :o)