Tuesday, February 28, 2006

$ missing, $ taxed

I had that sinking feeling today. A panic that started slowly, but steadily grew.

My wallet was missing.

At least a dozen times I rifled through my shoulder bag, as if somehow I would find in it's pockets something I had not seen on the 11 other searches. I did the same thing with my jacket pockets. The floor of the closet. The floor of my car. The floor underneath the heap of clothes in the bedroom. I even opened kitchen cupboards (I tend to throw my wallet into my grocery bag, so it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect that it might turn up in the crisper).

But I was not so lucky. The panic grew.

Retracing my steps, I remembered that I went out on Sunday night for dinner with V and a friend he had just driven back from Toronto with. Although our friend generously picked up the tab, I know I had taken my wallet with me. With shaking hands, I looked up the restaurant in the phonebook and left them a hopeful message.

In order to take my mind of things, while waiting for his call back I did my tax return. I had money on the brain anyway, so it seemed appropriate. I've also realized in recent years that there is really no need to strain myself doing taxes. No matter how precise I think I may be, no matter how carefully I enter each amount on each slip, add and subract the various lines - my work is always corrected by some unknown employee of Revenue Canada. Why even bother? Each year I am tempted to simply scrawl a few random numbers on the form, toss it and all my receipts into the envelope and mail it in. Knowing they will redo it anyway takes away any incentive to get it right.

So with half my mind still running over where else my wallet might be, the other half placed a few numbers here and there on various forms and schedules. (Why schedules? It's not a time sheet.) The phone call from the restaurant came just as I was filling in the last lines.

"Unfortunately," he said, "... we do have your wallet."

"I was just teasing you." I twittered a nervous laugh.

So the story ends happily after all. I got my wallet back. And I got my taxes done.

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