What was taking him so long to get online?
Didn’t he know that his W2 came up early which meant that we could file our taxes? No, he probably didn’t have any idea, which is why he was taking forever on coming online. Or maybe he did know, but he was torturing me. He likes to do that.
I was waiting (impatiently) for my husband to come on Skype so we could file our taxes. I kept checking the computer every few minutes and eventually wrote him a message:
“Hi! W2 is up! We can file taxes and get our refund back sooner and make our banking account very happy indeed.”
I sat in front of the computer screen, drumming my fingers against the computer desk. Any DAY now, Tom. It was his day off so he wasn’t working. He was sleeping. It must be nice to sleep in until whenever you’d like. I know it’s hard for him being in Korea while his family is in the States, but at least he gets time off.
“Mom?” Tommy asked. “I’m hungry.”
“Me too,” I answered.
He rolled his eyes. “Mo-om. When is dinner?”
I checked the time. Crap. I should start making dinner. Didn’t I just make dinner last night?
“Um,” I said, standing up. I went into the cabinet, pulling out a can of frosting and a knife and handed it to Tommy. “Bon Appetit.”
He took it and frowned. “This isn’t healthy. This isn’t dinner.”
Any other kid would be THRILLED to be handed over a can of frosting. But not my kid. He has Aspergers and is really big on rules. In his head, rules state that frosting is not a proper dinner. And he’s big on what is healthy and what is not, because he wants bigger muscles. He once scowled at me as I ate a Twinkie and went, “That won’t give you muscles.” Well, no, but it will give me happiness.
(And you should see Tommy’s reaction when we’ve had ice cream for dinner. Throughout it, he looks as though he’s in pain and will mumble, “I really don’t think this is a dinner.” Don’t worry, I also supply plenty of fruits and veggies.)
“Okay, fine! I’ll make dinner. Want some eggs?” I asked. I am not a fan of cooking. I wish I liked being in the kitchen. Granted, I do love food, I just don’t like to be the one making it.
“I’ll take eggs,” Tommy said, setting the frosting down and staring at it as though it were diseased.
So I made eggs, checking to see if Tom came online.
We all sat down and ate—well, Natalie smeared her eggs across her plate and licked the jelly off her toast, leaving the bread.
I cleaned up and went back to the computer, not thinking Tom was on.
And then I saw Tom’s message.
HELLO? ARE YOU THERE?
Um. It’s not like I can hear him shouting.
I called him up and he answered.
“Did you get the W2?” I wondered.
Tom nodded. “Yeah. I already did the taxes.”
My heart dropped. “We were supposed to go over the numbers together.”
He is not the best with numbers. Neither am I. But I figure the both of us working on them together is good enough.
“I got it done,” Tom said, chomping on his beloved M&Ms. I wish I could go over there and hide his M&Ms.
“But Tom, we needed to go over everything. Did you even get our account number right? What if the money goes into someone else’s account? What if the money is just GONE!?” I was beginning to panic.
“It’s not gone,” Tom said calmly. Chomp, chomp, chomp.
“But how do I know—” And then I saw Tom smirking. “You didn’t really file the taxes yet, did you?”
Tom shook his head. “Nah. It’s just funny to see you riled up.”
I’m glad I amuse him. “That wasn’t funny, you annoying M&M freak.”
Tom raised both hands in the air. “Wow. Thems fighting words.”
“Just…let’s get it done so we can get the refund and consider ourselves rich for a few weeks even though Reese Witherspoon probably makes the amount we’ll get back per minute,” I said. I pulled out last year’s tax return. “So let’s get started.”
We plugged in all the numbers and got a nice amount back. Still, it’s not like we’re going to blow it. I’d like some to go into a savings account, some needs to go to a credit card, and I’d like a new bedroom set.
“But we’re not getting a black bedroom set,” I warned Tom after the taxes had been sent to the IRS.
“Why?” Tom loves the color back. When we were dating, he had black furniture and I felt like I was walking into a funeral home. Or, you know, Batman’s cave.
“Because it’s dark and depressing. I want something light and cheerful. Like oak.”
Tom stuck his tongue out. “Oak?” he repeated. He made it seem like it was a dirty word.
“Look, when you get back from Korea we’ll go bedroom set shopping after we move to Oklahoma.”
“I want a temper pedic bed,” Tom said.
“I’m not sure if it’s in our budget, Tom, and plus, our mattress is fine.”
“I want a temper pedic bed. If you give me that, I’ll give you oak.”
“We’ll see, Tom. Mind you, we’re also getting a new computer desk, since ours is falling apart. A piece nearly landed on my head the other day,” I said. It was true. There I was typing a chapter out in my novel and KATHUNK, a piece of the computer table landed by my arm.
“Temper pedic bed!” Tom chanted. When Tom gets stuck on a subject, he doesn’t like to move on. “And you don’t go nuts when the money is in our account. I know you and Target.”
“Target and I have an understanding,” I assured him.
Tom rolled his eyes. “Just don’t go nuts.”
“You don’t go nuts.”
“What the hell am I going to buy in Korea?”
“I don’t know. You said you loved this Korean woman who makes delicious Korean food. Maybe you’d ask if she was for sale because after all, I’m a crappy cooker.”
“We’ve been through this Amber, you can’t buy people. Every year for your birthday you ask for John Krasinski and I’m sorry, you can’t buy a human being.”
“We’re not talking about prostitutes. Just…don’t go nuts. If you want to go to New York, you can’t go nuts.”
“I won’t! Geez!” If all goes well, I’ll be going to New York in May. It’s an early birthday gift. I’ve always wanted to go to New York and it looks like it will finally happen this year. I’m going with Jennifer and we’re going to be total tourists.
So yes. Taxes are filed and now we’re playing the wait for our refund game.
And I won’t go nuts, either.
I might go nuts in New York though. They have amazing shopping and food.
I’m more excited about the food.
Oh, and jumping around on the giant piano that they have set up in FAO Schwartz.