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singled out

We filled in our census last night, like the good citizens we are. So the fact that Patsington and I are shacked up together will go down in history. Huzzah! Of course, what also goes down in history is the fact that both of us are officially "single". Which, quite obviously, we're not.

I have a huge problem with "marital status" being the only way in which relationships are officially defined and recognised. It's not just in the census - I've filled out plenty of forms which suddenly break up me and Patsington. No ring on your finger? Then you're single, you trollop! And possibly gay, in which case your relationship doesn't exist either.

I've been with my boyfriend for five years, and lived with him for three. I'm not single. I have friends who have been together for eleven years now, and aren't married. Officially, they're both "single" too.

Also, while the census did allow me to list Patsington as my "partner" (he was "person number one" in the census, as he was the one who answered the door to the census woman ), it doesn't allow for any non-family or non-sexual relationships. Meaning that you could share a house with your best friend or a random stranger whom you never talk to and they are officially considered to be the same thing. Stupid narrow-minded census.

Also stupid is the weather, which has apparently turned summer off again. And yesterday was so gorgeous! Patsington and I mowed the lawn and then sat out in the garden for hours reading. I don't think I could live without a back garden in the summer...

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
glitzfrau
Apr. 24th, 2006 08:46 am (UTC)
I know! Stupid damn census! I had exactly the same rage. Moreover, it counts "deserted" as a marital status, but not "co-habiting." In what crazy universe is a person you were married to perhaps twenty years ago, and who ran off on you after six months, more important than someone you love, live with and possibly have children with? It is truly ridiculous.
stellanova
Apr. 24th, 2006 08:52 am (UTC)
Yes! I know, it's ridiculous. Oh, you've been living with this person for thirty years? Sorry, you're single! The use of words "marital status" as the automatic way of defining someone's domestic relationship is limiting and patronising.
nineveh_uk
Apr. 24th, 2006 11:12 am (UTC)
"deserted" as a marital status, but not "co-habiting."
::Boggles at deserted:: Have they actually changed the questions at all in the last 80 years?
nwhyte
Apr. 24th, 2006 09:17 am (UTC)
Here there are several boxes you can tick - "cohabiting", "married", "separated" (and I suppose "widowed"). Which you would have thought makes more sense. Cohabiting has an extra legal status here because you have to sign in with the town hall whenever you change address.
blue_monday
Apr. 24th, 2006 09:38 am (UTC)
There is similar stupid bureaucracy here. When Steve was filling in some benefits claim forms, they'd said they had to have them filled in as the computer system doesn't yet support same sex couples. Ok, we thought. No, the form had options for "civil partnership", "married", "divorced", "widowed" or "single". Again with the not being a couple if you're not married. Stupid system. Pah.
queencallipygos
Apr. 24th, 2006 11:59 am (UTC)
I think the U.S. census has a designation called "POSSLQ" -- which stands for "person of opposite sex sharing living quarters." That's a fairly recent thing.

On the other hand, the stumbling block that exists here would seem to be that persons of the opposite sex who share living quarters might JUST be roommates, and people assume otherwise. (I ran into that a lot when I had a male roommate who really WAS just a roommate. We got a lot of looks and suspicious "Oh, sure you're just roommates" comments from everyone.)
cangetmad
Apr. 24th, 2006 01:11 pm (UTC)
Argh, the fuckers. I mean, why can't they just put "unmarried", which is the case, rather than "single". I'd be quite happy to tick a "fornicating harlot" box rather than "single", frankly.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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