They say (you know--"they," the people who say stuff) that the only things certain in life are death and taxes.
Last evening I agreed to drop off my parents' taxes at the post office on my way home from my weekly date with my mom and her washer and dryer. Not wanting to mess with the traffic around the post office, I left my car in the parking garage and strolled over to the big stone building to find it, not surprisingly, a flurry of activity. I was a bit surprised by the crowd, however. Passing through the door I joined an almost surreal collection of people, brought together by the inevitability of taxes and a propensity for procrastination. For my suburban hometown, it was quite a melting pot: college kids and gray-haired grannies, men in suits and Indian women in saris, Hispanic restaurant workers just off the late shift, caffeinated soccer moms and a few middle-aged men who smelled strongly of beer, all waiting their turn to approach the counters festooned with tacky red, white, and blue decorations and manned by bored-l0oking postal workers. It was an intriguing crowd, all clutching their envelopes and the little number tag that dictated the length of their wait.
Part of me wanted to stay and people watch, but I snapped out of that pretty quickly and craned my neck for the bin where I could drop my envelopes and be on my way. You'd think they'd be right up front and clearly marked, but no. Not feeling particularly assertive (most peoples' body language landed them somewhere between haggard and angry) I put on my best "forlorn face" and a minute later a gentleman took pity on me and pointed to the back of the room where the bins sat, hidden by the crowd. I deposited my charges and continued home, musing on the things that bring us together.