Friday, December 14, 2007

And You Need To Know....Why???

Ever notice how on all forms (medical, dental, financial etc.) that collect personal information, there is always a "divorced or separated" check box? It's right below the "married" or "single" checkboxes.

Hmmmmm. Does this mean that if someone was once married, they can never be single again? Isn't someone who is divorced single? Unless they moved on to a relationship other than a married one, but that option isn't offered. Nor is "cohabitating" - which could easily be added as an alternative in the marriage checkbox ("married or partnered").

This suggests that what is important in the data collection is not information about someone's basic relationship status. Otherwise, there would be a better range of choices. If it's a space issue, well, it would seem like a yes/no, on/off type of question would be sufficient: either you are married or you are not.

But no, there is always enough room on all these forms to include "divorced or separated". Why is this particular factoid deemed necessary to winnow out? Are those who were once married, but failed to remain in that state, somehow different enough that they should be, well, singled out? That perhaps they aren't a) homosexual b) weird c) selfish d) irresponsible , e) an old maid or f) a playboy, because hey - once they were part of a legally and religiously sanctioned couple!

Can I never again aspire to singleton status because I once tied, and then untied, the knot?

Well, I do refuse that thesis, and I sure as hell refuse to check the divorced box. The days of the social stigmatization that clung to the heels of divorce like a streamer of toilet paper are long gone. It's also time to stop the subterranean ways homophobia creeps through our society. This vestigial limb of social discrimination should have been lopped off long ago. Most def!

1 comment:

CabinDweller said...


This reminds me of one time when last I went for an annual exam, you know, the whole feet in the stirrups gyno thing. And what's with doctors trying to make small talk during the exam?

Whoops. Digressing.

But questions as to one's relationshipness. They typically ask how many sexual partners you've had, by asking, "Have you had a lot of partners?" "Uh, define a lot," I asked. "More than 5?" "Uh, yes." "More than 10?" "Yes." "More than 15?" And thusly we progressed.

At some point we just quit and I assume the doc checked the box next to the word "Slut." But in all fairness, I did the math, and given my advanced years, the average per year of adulthood was, like, 1.5. And the early, wild days certainly bumped the average up (as opposed to my last six years as a domesticated person.)

But at a certain age and mileage, if you are even remotely getting any at all, the overall number gets kind of largeish, even if you only average one person a year.