Check boxes, can’t live with them, can’t fill them out (easily)

Last night I was filling out some forms for our kids daycare. And last week I made a bunch of doctor’s appointments, not because there is anything wrong, but it’s always a good idea to double-check, especially the lady business, if you know what I mean. But you know what all this really means?

Check boxes. Yes. Those can be a problem. So, since no one asked, I have a few recommendations.

1. Use spouse. Not husband, not wife. Do you really want to know if I’m married to a man? Does that make a difference whether the breast that you are just about to mash between two pieces of Plexiglas is having an intimate relationship with a man or a woman? I’m guessing cancer would not care.

2. Use parent. Because you can be a father (technically) without being a parent. And you can be a mother (technically) without being a parent. And lots of us are being raised by someone other than those people. And isn’t that what we’re really interested in if you’re under 18? Who is taking care of you? Your parent. Or if you’re lucky, you have a whole bunch of people looking out for you, including your parents.

And there are some check boxes that we might still need, but I struggle to check the right one.

Example? Married. Why do you want to know? Seriously. Because I’m not legally married. I (still) can’t be. But I have a spouse. Or someone I consider to be in that role. So are we talking about filing taxes? Or billing the medical insurance? Or emergency contacts? Or just general health and well-being? Or maybe you’re just nosy. So, I don’t have a good answer for this one, yet. How about just significant other? Which always sounds to me like you have an important alien life form in your life. But oh well.

And then there is the whole issue of male and female. Just for the record, I don’t like that check box, either. I totally understand why they might need to know at the breast health clinic but otherwise, who cares? And maybe we should reconsider this check box, too, for these kids.

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