Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Checks and Boxes

Can I tell you how excited I was to get my census form in the mail today?
SO excited.
I was then slightly miffed to open it and not see a single empty line for me to write upon. No matter! I went inside, careened Abby out back with her ball, slide, and distracted father (the Tampa Bay game was on, he said), and got to work.
I love forms.
I love answering questions correctly, even if the census doesn't get returned to me with a circled Red '100%' at the top.
I have mentioned before how severely Type A I am in previous posts, and this is epitomized in the Census Form. It was almost as exciting as filling out my maternity leave paperwork.
I followed the directions and checked the appropriate boxes, slightly disappointed to categorize my family in the comparatively bland "white" race type (South American us would probably be way more into spicy foods and up-tempo piano music than North American us). Don't worry: I used the ethnicity spaces to list our equally un-glamorous heritage as German, American, Scottish and British.
I loved telling the anonymous census receivers at the other end of the computer connection (overpaid summer intern students?) all about how much we make, how many rooms are in our house, and how many cars we drive.
I love the whole experience of answering questions about our life because, in categorizing ourselves today, I can remember where we were before, and smile about where we are now.
Five years ago, I was single, preparing to graduate, car-less, renting, and with no resources to my name, save for the $20 a week I set aside to go to the bar with my equally poor, single girlfriends.
Now, look at us: checking off the 'married', and 'homeowner' boxes. We even got to add another box to our boxes: Abby!
It took me about 20 minutes to fill out the survey (as was our legal obligation and civic duty to do!), and now I've the rest of the night to celebrate our categorized accomplishments: our comfortable tax bracket, our home, our work hours, our education levels, our monthly average oil heating costs. Because we are doing it, all by ourselves, like real adults do! And that is a gratifying declaration, in my (organized and meticulously labelled) books.

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