Almost a birthday

Dave X Robb with tax formI KNOW I’M LATE. I was busy celebrating my semi-birthday. I’ve told you about all of these targets I’m putting on the calendar like the monthly writing retreat and the blog postings every 10 days, but I forgot about a fun one suggested by a friend: on the day of the month that corresponds to your birthday—for me, the 8th—do some new thing. It can be anything that you haven’t done before.

Fun, right? Do it for yourself! I had forgotten all about this monthly mini-celebration, but noticed it on the calendar a couple days beforehand (which just goes to show the beauty of putting things on the calendar). Luckily, I had just made plans to do something I had never done before: a tax sex date.

Yes, it’s what it sounds like. The idea came about spontaneously, as I happened to be chatting with someone I like to have sex with. We hadn’t seen each other for a while, and he also hadn’t done his taxes yet; next thing I knew, we had a tax sex date set! I don’t normally look forward to doing my taxes. Suddenly, I could hardly wait. I encourage those of you who are still procrastinating on tax-filing to give it a try.

As an interesting coincidence, I had been giving some thought lately to how sex fits into my life (or doesn’t), how it can be used as a distraction, and how chasing after that momentary (or hopefully a little longer) pleasure can cause a mighty amount of mental distress. As with all such important things in life, it comes down to motivation. I can approach sex from a needy, insecure place or choose to hold a serene, giving, loving perspective.

In this particular case, we seemed to agree: even sex as mere distraction (though one always aims higher) could be justified in the interest of getting our taxes done.

The beauty of this idea is the incentive system you can set up, rewarding yourselves for milestones reached—say, sending off the completed return or (for those with less will power) typing in all of your W2 information or (works for me) showing up at the door. Whatever it takes to get through the godforsaken process.

There is a down side: You might be tempted to rush through parts, making errors or missing some deductions. Your carefully sorted piles of receipts might get messed up. And, almost certainly, filing your taxes will take longer this way. In fact, I only got through federal and still need to do my state tax return. Who will I call?


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