One good thing about being poor is that you don’t have to worry overmuch about your taxes. I spent the first half of last year working behind the makeup counter at Dillards—not a job designed to bring in big bucks—and right about the middle of the summer, I got my real estate license and started living off my savings instead. All of last fall, I had less than a half dozen real estate closings, so that doesn’t amount to much, either, neither in terms of paperwork nor in terms of money.
But that’s what happens when you divorce the man who was supposed to love and cherish and support you in the manner to which you’ve been accustomed. Your income drops. I could have arranged for Bradley to give me alimony, I suppose, and had a steady income for a while—my sister Catherine, who handled my divorce, wanted to nail his hide to the wall—but the truth is, by the time it was all said and done, I just wanted to be rid of him. So I agreed to a settlement instead—that and my Volvo—and that’s what I’ve been living on since I quit the makeup counter.
But at least it made the taxes easy to do. I did them myself, since I couldn’t in good conscience pay someone else to do it, both because it was money I couldn’t spare, and because I ought to be able to add up a few columns of numbers. We Southern Belles aren’t actually stupid; we’re just meant to appear that way. No man likes a woman who’s smarter than he.