I picked the brown Government of Canada envelope containing my tax return out of my mailbox a few weeks ago, then let it languish on my kitchen table. At one point before company came, I gathered it up with all the rest of the collection of flotsam that accumulates there and thought, "I should deposit this" and set it aside again. I was expecting a fine return, but it didn't blow my mind. I felt like I was saving it by keeping it in the kitchen. It would be gone as soon as it hit my bank account.
"Today is the day!" I decided this morning, thinking of a fabulous pair of orange shoes I had seen. I knew it would be a bit slow at work, affording me the excellent opportunity to conduct face-to-face banking, something I incidentally can't stand. Finally, mid-afternoon, I opened the envelope and what I found in there was a big surprise. CRA had made some adjustments and my return was significantly more than what I thought it was going to be.
When I saw the new number there was no question in my mind about what I was going to do with this money. Not even my laser eye surgery fund or those amazing orange wedge sandals were going to distract me from this purpose. In April 2007, my parents secured this apartment so I could move back to the City. Soon after that, my paycheques were being devoted to drafting that big waste of a separation agreement* – and when I was tapped out, they footed the final $500 that too. Basically, I would have been totally fucked if not for them.
I know my parents didn't care if I ever paid them back but the fact that I hadn't yet has been plaguing me for quite awhile. Every time I spent money, I'd think, "I should be giving this money to my parents." When I went to New York: I should be giving this money to my parents. When I bought new glasses: I should be giving this money to parents. (Responding internal dialogue: What? Hello? You need to SEE! Well, yeah, but the prescription's not that different …). New clothes: I should be giving this money to my parents. Ice cream: I should be giving this money to my parents. New nail polish: I should be giving this money to my parents.
I took that cheque to the bank and I told the teller to prepare a draft to my Dad.
Later, when I gave the draft to my folks, my Dad tried to make me take half of it back. I knew he would move to do something like that, which I why I'd had the draft drawn instead of just writing a cheque, so it would be a big pain in the ass to make a change to it. At this point there was a bit of a skirmish, which I think ended when I said something inappropriate such as, "Are you fuckin' crazy, it's YOUR money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
I have this weird feeling of elation, like I am somehow lighter. I really feel so much better about everything now.
* It was never signed by the other party.