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I first began snow skiing when I was in college. Nothing crazy mind you, just a few weekend trips up to the local mountains with my new friends in the ski club. Unfortunately it  was not an activity that transitioned into my married life. I think we may have taken the kids skiing once or twice in the 14 years of our union, so suffice it to say it was not a family activity. After my divorce I was determined to re-introduce into my “list of things to do”, a few of the fun activities that brought me joy in my younger years and skiing was one of them. I headed up the mountain with a few of my “married” friends and positioned myself in the “single” line. I was poignantly  aware of my “single” status despite the fact that being single on the ski slopes allows you to move to the front of the line.  Big Whoop! I didn’t want to be “single”, I never wanted to be “divorced”, I would have gladly waited my turn in the “couples” line, partnered to someone, than stand in what felt like the spotlight of singleland. Sheesh. This was already not going well.

Over the past 6 1/2 years I have had many opportunities to fully experience my “singleness”  and I will admit there are pros and cons to this status. What I take particular issue with is the “labeling” of this  status in every application process.  I took my friend to an appointment the other day and while he was filling out the application he turned to me and said, “Why do I have to check the divorced box? I was hardly married. I don’t consider myself divorced. When do I get to be SINGLE.” ?

The lastest census questionnaire asks ;

What is the person’s marital status?

Now Married

Widowed

Divorced

Seperated

Never Married

I pose the question, WHERE THE HECK IS SINGLE?  How long do we have to be labeled DIVORCED? Is there a statute of limitations on this? It appears in every application as an insidious reminder of your very public fail. Long after many emotions have been processed and resolved and friendships have been re-established where possible, you still get to carry around with you this constant reminder of your epic failure.

To further complicate matters,  my divorce decree clearly states that I am not in fact a “divorced” woman, I am an “unmarried woman”. What the heck? 

I would like to suggest to the census bureau that there are a few other categories of status that need to be added to their questionnaire.

What is your status?

Liberated

Enlightened

Evolved

Single…                 …you get to move to the front of the line.

 

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