Mike and Mildred visit their accountant

I was perusing my accountant Don’s blog the other day. In addition to being a whip-smart numbers guy who always manages to get me money back on my taxes, he also acts as a pseudo marriage counselor to my husband John and me.

Like many other couples, money is a highly emotional topic for me and my husband. I am wildly security oriented living in constant fear of having to eat cat food in our retirement, whereas John believes we are on pretty solid financial ground and should loosen the purse strings to enjoy life.

Our long suffering accountant Don DeWolfe

Our long suffering accountant Don DeWolfe

One of Don’s blog posts was sounding eerily familiar. It told the story of “Mike” and “Mildred” coming to visit him.

As the story goes, Mildred (the name says it all) had dragged Mike to see Don. She wanted Don to straighten Mike out on how to manage their finances – in other words, managing the way Mildred wanted him to.

Don was dreading the meeting with Mike and Mildred. He described Mike as a brilliant lawyer, used to adversarial situations, who was unlikely to be receptive to anything he had to say.

To prepare for the meeting Don painfully reviewed the detailed background material Mildred had sent in advance including their tax returns and household expenses.

He also made a large sign, which he hung behind his desk.
1. Stop World Hunger
2. Peace in the Middle East
3. Solve Mike and Mildred’s financial issues

Mike and Mildred arrived and sat as far away as possible from each other, both staring stone faced at Don waiting for the meeting to start. Finally, Mike’s curiosity got the better of him: “Don, what’s the deal with the sign?”

Don spun around and pointed to 1. and 2. “I thought we’d solve a couple easy problems first,” he said, “then tackle your finances.”

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