Monthly Archives: July 2015

Single? Married? Divorced?Widowed?

I’m staring at the first page of an online survey I`m about to start. Martial Status. I know this one, I think. I`m inclined to check married and single at the same time. I ¬†want to check all the options. I want to check none. I want an option that says “None of your damn business” or “No response”. I check “other”. Sometimes there is no “other”. What would “other” be, anyway? Maybe other is me.I am married but I don’t live with my partner. There is not so secretly a young woman who lives inside of me that considers herself single. That young woman looks down at her wedding ring clad finger and wonders where her lover is, where he has been. That young woman is committed yet guilty of being human for wanting attention, love, to feel attractive. What do I check? Other. Other. Skip to the next page without checking anything. It won’t let me move forward. In the days of online surveys, you are forced to make a choice before moving onto the next page. “Okay, married”. Yes, married.

I’m torn. I’m always torn. My husband makes me feel as loved as possible. This man hands over his care and understanding on platter, sometimes at the cost of his own feelings. There is nothing he can do. He cannot check the married box for me. He cannot make sure I check “married” every time and he understands why sometimes I close the survey altogether, out of not wanting to answer. He knows there is internal struggle and if there was none, he would be worried. This man, my man, cannot even unlock the door to his cell, choose when he wants to make a phone call, or even see me when he wants to see me. My love, my “married box” is an inmate at a correctional center. We waver between those tiny boxes. We are everything surrounding them, but nothing quite fitting into them.
Can they create a new box for all the years I’ve been with him without really being with him? Can there really be any truth in that little square? I vote a box be created that says “married to an inmate”. That would lift a little bit of the expectation off my shoulders to act one way or another. There would be no expectation, just understanding and relief.
I`ll stick to paper surveys from now on, if they still exist, because at least then I can draw my own box and next to it I could write “married to an inmate” and there would be no questions after that.

Marital status form with checkbox and human hand with pencil.