“Have you ever been married?” the receptionist at the counter asked as he was looking quizzically into my eyes.
“Yes,” I said, “Once upon a time I was married.”
“Well, did your husband die or did you get divorced?”
“Divorced,” I answered.
By now I am feeling expressive, fired up expressive, but trying to keep it muffled because of the other patients who were also checking in at other sataions.
I whispered with emphasis, “Please!” “Could I just be single?”
“Oh, yes m’am, you can be single.”
“S I N G L E,” he said slowly as he wrote the word.
Must I live forever with the Big D?
It was so long ago I barely recall the phantom nightmare. No one provides for me, no one checks on me, and I haven’t seen him in years! I feel single. Could I just be single?
This is a true experience of last week. It is not an unusual occurrence in our culture and I don’t know why.
My reason for writing about it is that I think we have some questions in our questionnaires for everything we apply for that do not match what our laws state on the paper.
Our laws say that there is no discrimination permitted on the basis of age, sex, race, religion, or sexual orientation. Well, guess marital status isn’t mentioned.
I just don’t get the point to be made whether a person is widowed, divorced, or single. You are on your own no matter which way it goes.
I understand about the married status because that legally involves another person.
Maybe the correct answer to the question, “Are you divorced, married, widowed, or single?” should be, “I am not married, I am totally responsible for my bill and no there is no one else from whom you can collect it.”
Then, there is the place on the questionnaire that asks about your Race. There are generally four to five possible combinations from which you must choose. In a Country which claims to be blind on all points of categorizing, I don’t get it.
After all, won’t the Dr. identify me as a female by the time the necessity arises? Won’t the employer see that I am Caucasian with one glance?
What is it all about? Is it only for purposes of statistical data collections? Is it really discrimination for some non-stated categorical purpose?
I don’t know the answers to those questions. What I do know is that it is all a pain in the neck, or maybe in a lower physiological location.
I invite comments. Everything except: please don’t tell me this is not worth mentioning. It really ticks me.
It interferes with my resolve to leave past failures behind. Is there anyone else out there who feels it to be unnecessary to wear the Scarlet D forever?
It all seems so useless, so if anyone can tell me why it is intelligent to answer such questions, I could make use an answer of that sort.
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I have never thought of the 'D' word in that way before. I totally understand where you're 'coming from'; it makes sense in many ways. Thank you for sharing what has been truly sensitive in the past. :-)