It was “Tax Day”. Traditionally on the 15th of April, but this year, we got a reprieve until the 18th.
We had ridden a financial and emotional roller-coaster to get to this point and frankly, had to file an extension so our adventure was far from over. But a half an hour earlier, we’d gotten the word from our accountant that, even though we had the extension, we still had to cough up $1200 and get it postmarked by midnight.
We went on line and couldn’t believe it. There were only five U.S. Post Offices open ’til midnight in Western Washington, but on the IRS site, it did say you could use one of the automated machines. Off to the 145th Street Post Office we went.
There we found a small line of rag tag tax payers, all patiently waiting to buy stamps from the automated machine that would prove they had been compliant. One woman didn’t have cash or a credit card, just stamps. She was faced with driving to Marysville to get postmarked in time. That’s when a woman in line said, “Oh, no you don’t. That would be silly. I’ll buy you a stamp.”
It turns out that you couldn’t buy just one stamp and so when she bought the mandatory three, she used one herself, gave one to the Marysville-bound woman and another one to the guy next in line. They were so appreciative. So, I decided to follow suit and after buying my three stamps, I used one, then gave one to the guy behind me and another to a fellow with two kids in his arm. Again, so appreciative.
We all went outside to the designated mailbox and eventually, our respective cars as “Thanks again!” flew through the air like hits off of the Mariners bullpen. Dog gone it, I was so close to getting out of this thing without being bitter.
It was mission accomplished and a bonding experience with a group of folks I’ll probably never see again. But outside of the having to pay-in part and the Mariners flashback, it felt good.