Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Karen and Richard

Okay, so far we've only told our parents.

And Karen.

The lady who did our taxes.

Because you try keeping a straight face when Mrs. Tax Deduction asks if you're planning on expanding your family and secretly you know it's expanding right now in your uterus.

It was our second go at filing our taxes jointly and H&R Block somehow managed to entice us again, well, what with its close proximity and promising to do all that pesky math and all. So we walked the few blocks to the local office, and even though we got chastized for not making an appointment, Karen fortunately had a last-minute cancellation and squeezed us in.

She immediately reminded me of a "Saturday Night Live" character -- someone who dresses insanely conservative, has the world's best posture and looks as if she spends all of her energy trying to contain her itty bitty laughs.

So Jerry and I made it our mission to get her to crack up.

"Did you replace your furnace, any windows or storm doors?"

"We screwed up replacing our front storm door so badly that we had to buy a second one. Does that count as one or two?"

Little laugh and a straight answer.

"Do you have any dependents?"

"Just our dog who follows us around more closely than our shadows and whose fragile spirit would die immediately without our love and affection."

Bigger laugh.

"Do you have any foreign investments?"

"Does funding an Islamic terrorist cell count?"

Huge laugh.


After all the paperwork was completed, Karen couldn't help but go over ways we could get a bigger tax return next year. She mentioned replacing our windows to an EnergyStar brand. Or installing solar panels on our roof. Or buying a hybrid vehicle. Or putting money into a Roth IRA account.

"Then there's the simple tried-and-true method of having a child," she said. "And, if you have it by Dec. 1, you'll get the credit for the whole year. ... Although, I guess your time is running out for that."

Jerry and I just looked at each other and smiled.

"Lets just say, hypothetically of course, that we do have a baby by the end of this year," Jerry said. "What kind of tax credit would that earn us?"

"Yeah, hypothetically, if we were to have a baby on or around, oh, Nov. 10," I said, referencing my due date.

"Well, then you'd automatically get $1,000 back," Karen said.

And maybe Karen can't really let loose and laugh freely on a regular basis, but she can pick up on subtle hints.

"So is all that really hypothetical or are you expecting?" she asked.

"Yeah, we found out three days ago," Jerry said, and quickly added, "but we're not telling anybody but our parents. ... Well, and now you, Karen."

She giggled in her controlled, stifled sort of way, inexplicably got up, walked to a nearby filing cabinet and came back with something encased in plastic.

It was a bib. An H&R Block bib that says, "I'm a new tax deduction."

"Aw," I said, not being able to help it. I mean, why is it when I see any baby stuff, the word "aw" immediately flies out of my mouth?

And even though H&R Block took all of our miniscule tax return and more in fees for its service, we did get a bib. Well, that and the company-branded pen that I "accidentially" stuck in my purse after signing all those documents.

On the way out, we stopped at the front desk to pay the older guy who chastized us for not calling ahead. And when he saw our bib his whole body relaxed, his face brightened and he asked if we were expecting.

Okay, so we've only told our parents.

And Karen.

And Richard.



Sing: "We've Only Just Begun" said...

Karen and Richard? I thought this was either about the 1970s singers, the Carpenters or the names you both picked!

Rita said...

Awwww! :D