Starting to Start
by Bella Rum
It’s a mess in here. I don’t really care about the mess. I know by now that’s how he does things, and that’s okay. It’s just that, if he’s going to make the mess, it would be nice if he actually started working on the taxes. I know I told you that he started, but I got it all wrong. Apparently he started to start, and that’s not the same as starting. We had a couple of sunny days, and it made good sense to work in the yard while the sun shined. And there were errands and chores and everyday ‘stuff’ that had to be done, and then there was that jaunt over to our favorite farmer’s stand. After such a long and strange winter, who could blame him for wanting to see what there was to see? That jar of sweet pepper relish made it worth the trip. And how do you find out how much property was worth over twenty-five years ago anyway? Understandable. These were all things that had to be done before the real starting could start.
The starting could begin any minute now.
I don’t remember exactly how it became his job to do the taxes. Maybe because he has more patience or maybe because he can actually add and subtract. When we got married, there was never a moment when we sat down and decided who would do what. The generation before us divided responsibilities mostly along gender lines. He mowed the lawn, changed the oil in the car and repaired broken stuff; she cooked, did the mending, and took care of the kids. Sometimes the lines were crossed, but not too often. He did not change diapers. She did not change tires.
H and I never intentionally decided these things. Instead we gradually realized who was good at what. I clean the bathrooms; he puts down the mulch. I pay the bills on time; he does the taxes by the deadline – barely. But you’re likely to find either of us throwing in a load of laundry or pulling weeds or painting/general maintenance. He does change the oil in the car, and I do most of the cooking. But my confession is that I’ve never wanted to do the taxes… ever, and he wouldn’t dust a table if it had three inches of dust on it.
So I will wait for him to do the taxes in his own time…
and pretend I have a choice.