Thursday, September 11, 2008

possibly the most pointless exercise in the world

We all know that the US has a huge budget deficit, and thus is invested in preventing people from cheating on their taxes. Fair enough, but I think that when there are corporate loopholes big enough to drive an oil tanker full of money through, there is a point where documentation and auditing of us puny individual taxpayers can be taken too far . For example:

We donate unwanted clothing to charity, and this can be deducted from our taxes, just like charitable donations of money can be. It used to be that we would simply keep a tally of items donated, then refer to our accountants list of the values that could be deducted. Now, our accountant has decided that we need to document each item, which means take a photograph of it! I don't know about you, but actually going through my closet, sorting out unwanted clothes, and writing down what I have put in my big plastic bag is a gargantuan effort. The thought of taking a picture of everything too made the task insurmountable.

My last few rounds of closet purging, most recently inspired by too much watching of 'what not to wear' while on maternity leave, I just threw into bags, so downstairs in our basement I had several large bags of undocumented clothing. And since geekybaby turned out to be a little boy, I had bags and bags of tiny girly outfits (geekybaby wears his sister's old pink pyjamas, but when he goes out of the house I prefer him to be attired in a more masculine fashion, even though this is San Francisco, where boys in flowery pink are an integral part of the landscape).

But the day of reckoning arrived, we are upgrading our 'half finished because we ran out of cash' basement guest suite into a more luxurious dwelling, with heating and a bathroom. And we are on a tight timeline because I have promised my parents that their guest bathroom will be ready for their much anticipated visit in November! Since the room that will be the bathroom has been used for the past few years as storage, it was time to finally get everything donated. So I spent my Saturday going through the bags and photographing the clothing. It felt like the stupidest task in the world. I can only imagine that we will one day be audited, and some poor soul will have to leaf through piles of photographs of tiny shoes, pants and onesies. I can't wait for the phone call that tells us "Oh, Mr. Geeky, I see you claimed for 45 onesies, but I only count 42 in these pictures, off to tax evasion prison with you"!

Some of my old clothing had been in bags for so long that I had almost forgotten I ever owned it, so I was tempted to pull things back out again! I resisted, these clothes had been rejected for good reason, but much as it is a good idea to rotate the kids toys so they don't get bored, maybe I should hide and rotate my clothing, to revitalize old outfits and prevent shopping binges!

It was a bittersweet day, giving away the baby clothes. I fingered the newborn clothes, the tininess of those babies compared to the sturdy toddler and 7 month old they have become is now held only in memory. I hoarded several of the most precious outfits from both kids, the ones they came home from hospital in, the first gifts from grandparents, the dress geekygirl wore to my brother's wedding and quite a few others I was too sentimental about to give away. I can't believe that my babies have grown fast. I feel my baby snuggling days slipping away into a toddler herding and preschooler guiding future.

1 comment:

followthatdog said...

they still snuggle, even as preschoolers. In fact, in some ways I think it is even more necessary for Big Dog now. He goes out to tackle the world and needs a safe reassuring snuggle to make it all ok.

But the teen years looming in our future...I think those are a whole different story.

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