Every other year or so, I’ll have an emergency of one kind or another that will only invariably be settled after several frantic and harried calls to my long-suffering parents.
This year’s emergency—which erupted today—was about the oft-delayed matter of filing my personal income taxes (due on April 15 for those of you who’ve been delaying it as I’ve been).
Before this year, I’d never had to file my own income taxes (one of the few unmitigated pleasures of employed serfdom). I had stupidly assumed that the process would be straightforward enough now that I was self-employed.
(It probably is straightforward enough, but if you hand me a government requirement on a tight deadline, I will invariably panic and develop an instantaneous form of dyslexia.)
It took half an hour before my parents calmed me down enough for me to start thinking coherently again. I’m still not very clear about what it is I’m supposed to do, but at least I know what kind of documentation to get and where to get it from. Then I’ll email all the information to Dad and then he’ll tell me what I’m supposed to do.
(It’s at times like these that my mom fondly calls me the “dumbest smart person” she’s ever met.)
Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do without my parents. It’s embarrassing to be so routinely helpless at this ripe old age of 30, but then again, no one’s really taught me about these things. Everyone seems to assume that buying insurance, opening accounts, maintaining cars, running households, paying taxes and writing wills occurs like a reflex when you finally hit adulthood, but these are skills that can only actually be acquired through trial, effort and persistence (very much like breastfeeding, as my friends with children often say).
So after this debacle, I truly hope that there aren’t any more surprises down the road. It’s at times like these that being grown up really isn’t any fun.