Fifteen Minute Friday: Taxes

Fifteen Minute Friday: Taxes

If you would like to play along, get your pen an paper ready. This week’s prompt… Taxes. You have 15 minutes–go!

Age and Taxes

There was a time in my life that I could calculate the taxes on a meal and the tip without fingers, toes or even, gasp, a handheld device. That time has passed.

It is not that I don’t still have the skill to math in my head. I don’t have the will. Much like spell check, asking people for directions, waiting to pick up a developed roll of 35mm, or just picking up the damn phone to see who’s there, I rely on the technology to guide my day.

Where would we be without our virtual assistants, access to Google, and our library books on our phones? We’d be back to using our tax refund for, I don’t know, getting a subscription to the newspaper or a book to keep.

What we miss with the technology and what we gain is a conversation at many dinner parties. We are connected but are we really? More than one night out I have noticed people sharing a table and not sharing a conversation. They might even have their bites synched but their lives were separated by more than the wood veneer. “We are more productive with our calendars and resources at our fingertips,” is a common response. We end up filling our day with more than we need to not allow for room to have coffee or a chat. If we don’t have it in the calendar, it doesn’t fit in our lives anymore.

My grandfather at 101 had seen many changes in his lifetime. The one that baffled him the most was our hand-held world. I would take a selfie with him and he would wave to the camera with his hand right in front of my face. He would go to consult the newspaper to find out the weather for our next day’s stroll and before he could find the page, my phone was telling him the answer. He loved it but could not comprehend it even though he lived through the development of the technology. He could still calculate the tax and tip in his head. Sure it was 2%, but he didn’t have to use his fingers or even carry the one that way and he could still be in conversation at dinner without the blue glow of light making him look older in age and in the times. Smart man. Maybe he got that insight from the newspaper, I’ll have to Google that.

Fifteen Minute Fridays are stories based on writing prompts that I penned in the 15 minutes afforded to me at my weekly writer’s group. They are unedited (except spelling) and are based on one word. The fifteen minutes includes thinking about your idea, writing it down, and a quick edit if you have time.

When we are done our 15-minute writing exercise, we share our stories with everyone in the room. If you played along, please share. If you read my words, please be kind.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash


  1. Good points in this one. I find myself bitching about “kids these days and their phones” and then realize I often do the same thing. It’s hard to find a middle line between the usefulness of technology and the loss of things we had before it. When the kids are over, we do have a “no phones at the dinner table” rule. The Taxes prompt reminded me of a week in high school when they taught us how to do taxes on the paper forms to prepare us for “life”. I wonder if they still teach that in school with all the computer assisted filing now?
    Arionis recently posted…642 Things To Write About – 5/642My Profile

  2. Once again I’m reminded of how much I would have liked your grandfather. I get an actual paper newspaper, although just on the weekends because that’s as much as I can handle, and I still end up recycling most of it unread. I do save the arts section, though. And one of the reasons I like my weekly writers’ group is that it’s a chance to talk to real people face-to-face without screens in the way.
    Having a device that calculates tips is an advantage, though. I can’t even do the simplest math in my head.
    Christopher recently posted…Feeling Cross.My Profile

  3. Sadly, we have no smart devices (long story). My burning question is, how do people with long nails text? The very few times I tried to use someone’s device, I had to use a stylus as my nails clicked on the characters one row up from where I was, or they prevented my skin from making contact with the keys entirely. I’ve seen kids with ‘claws’ texting extremely fast and wonder if it’s just me…..

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