a decree went out from Caesar Augustus...

that all the world should be taxed. And so I went to a local tax place that was giving free tax service to teachers (gotta love those perks). It took two nights because I had to wait the first night for another customer. As I waited an older man who is a retired accountant and who's son owns the business began to organize my papers. He was friendly and we talked for at least an hour. Of course, he knew a lot about me because my life was displayed in numbers before him, but he also told me about his ex-wife who left him six months ago and all the improvements he had personally done on his house that he is now trying to sell. While he was very kind and a great listener, this was all too much information, but I listened and nodded because he was helping me with finances. When I left the first night after getting some of my information entered, I owed a boatload of taxes. I was not happy and immediately began thinking of second jobs. Barnes and Noble has been on my list for a while, but do I really want to work for a corporate monster at the lowest level? OK, I'm a teacher, I really don't have much of a choice.

The next night was more promising, well financially at least. When I walked in, the older man welcomed me and asked some more questions about my paperwork and then said he found a mistake the previous person had made that would save my taxes and actually grant me a return, a small one, but at least it was on the positive side. I was ecstatic. The clouds lifted and I would not have to sell my soul to pay my taxes. He was quite pleased with himself as well and mentioned that he liked to see me smile more than three times. I obliged him the smiles because he was, of course, saving my taxpaying self.

This was a small outfit so all paperwork would be sent to a processing center to be checked and then I would have to come back to pick it up. When I was ready to leave I went to shake his hand. He held my hand well after the thank-you-for-your-help handshake and said "The good news is that I get to see you one more time." I gave a quiet-I-don't-know-what-that-means giggle and turned and walked out. As I left the store a scary thought went through my head, "Did that old man just hit on me?" He is not grandfather, really sweet older. He's the just retired, wife just left me older. Um, no. I then began to think back to the conversations we had had over the past two nights. Did he think there was more than accountant/ taxpayer information being passed?

I have come to realize that I am clueless to men's flirting techniques, even when they are obvious. This usually happens when there is no interest on my part and therefore why would I be looking for signs? There was once the college friend who all of sudden told me he loved me. I stopped being friends with him, pronto (I know, I'm not nice, but he ended up gay so um, there's that). There was a guy at a bar once who told me he had been staring at me and trying to pick me up for 1/2 hour. I had no idea and I'm glad actually, he ended being quite cute and oh-so strange. Then there was a guy at weekend long party who followed me around the whole first night until I realized after he told me that I was the kind of girl he wanted to marry that I really needed to just be around my girlfriends. I hate those clueless girls, the ones who have guys swarming around them while they are supposedly oblivious. I guess, sometimes we all are That Girl. Regardless if the old tax-man was getting flirty or not, I can't help but feel that my tax refund is now just dirty money.

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