Thursday, April 15, 2010
"The Ides of April are upon us..."
From 1918-on, our "Tax Day" was also on March 15th...giving the yearly "Ides of March" a doubly-ominous meaning. The day that our U.S. Income Taxes are due was officially changed to April 15th in 1955 - - before I was even born. Everybody knows what happens on April 15th now...both old and young alike. Most of the people that I know dread this day of "necessary evil".
But nobody actually calls today "The Ides of April" (except me, maybe). In addition, unlike "most Americans", I do not dread April 15th. Not in the least. I actually look forward to it. Around here, and at our house, today has a much more profound meaning. Here I like to call it: "The Day I Get My Wife Back"!!
Counting the year we were dating, this is the thirteenth "Busy Season" I've been through with Amy. The first year (1997)... I was actually shocked at the amount of time that was necessary for her to put in at the office to get her job done. I remember thinking that she must have some sort of super-human level of strength that mortal men do not possess. This is actually somewhat true. I still say that my wife - God bless her, just like the old Army commercial - can "Do more before 9:00 in the morning than most people do all day!" Seriously...I've witnessed it for over a decade...when she puts her mind to it, she can get more done in one average hour than I can complete in ten. Heck...it takes me an hour to even get organized enough to tackle some of the things she manages to do!!
For the first several years of our marriage, I used to think "Oh, come ON!! Nobody stays at the office until 3:00 A.M.!!" But anybody who actually knows a CPA with a tax-practice, has seen first-hand that there's not a whole lot of time for family or recreation after April Fools Day!
I'm not sure what it is with me...perhaps it's some sort of "male-pattern amnesia" - - but every year I forget how unbelievably BUSY "Busy Season" actually is. And, perhaps it's because I miss her so much while she's in the middle of it, but, every year I swear it gets worse!! Without fail, when "we" get to the end of it...every single year I say that "THIS was the worst one ever!!"
Honestly, A. Suzzanne does not say that. Ever. Maybe it's superstition, like not changing your socks when you're on a winning-streak in baseball - or like not stepping on the base-line when you're going out to pitch. Or, not mentioning a no-hitter in progress until after the seventh-inning stretch. She just shrugs her shoulders, smiles and shakes her head, knowing that next year (and the year after) will bring more of the same. Every Busy Season is brutal for people in her line of work. I will say that the usual "3:00 A.M." quitting-time became closer to "4:00 A.M." in 2010. And this year added a new twist....(don't tell her I posted this!)...she actually fell asleep under her desk last night...caught herself a quick cat-nap - she woke-up when I called her to check up on her...finished all she could - and got home a little after 5:00 A.M.
"Finishing all she could" also meant the "Annual Ritual of Polishing Her Desk". She probably hadn't seen the top of her desk since The Ides of March.
I'm letting her sleep-in right now. She looks sort of peaceful, lying there.
But, hey...I imagine Julius Caesar must have looked about the same when ol' Brutus was finished with him, too!
With apologies to my Jewish friends for borrowing the last line from their Passover Seder:
"Next year...in Hyderabad!!"