Thursday, March 5, 2009


Hey There,

Paperwork, it is unending. It seems the more we move towards a paperless society the more paperwork there is.

I took Henry and Arthur to the dentist this morning and I had to fill out a bunch of paperwork. Some of it was legitimate since we changed providers since our last visit and they always want to know about any health changes, but some of it seemed plain silly to me.

What is the name of his/her favorite pet? or What is his/her favorite toy?

I am assuming they want this information in case they have a child who is freaking out in the dentist chair and the staff can casually bring up his/her hamster or his/her tonka truck and attempt to divert the child from the sound of the drill.

Father's name?

This one always stumps me. Every piece of paperwork I do for my boys, whether it is for school or the doctor or an acitivity, the form always asks for the father's name.

It seems like an easy question, they simply want a name. I could write any name down, they wouldn't know. But I could sit and ponder this simple question for hours given the chance.

Should I write Bob's name? If you asked the boys what their father's name was I bet they would say Bob.

Should I write deceased? Even if I wrote deceased the man still had a name.

Should I write down Mike's name? After all, it is HIS insurance we are under, he deserves some credit. I could write "step" in front of the word father just to make it clear for everyone. Who am I trying to make it clear for?

I have the same problem when I do my own paperwork. What do I check for marital status? I am married, yes, but I was widowed. I am no longer a widow but I was widowed, it is still part of my indentity. Should I check both boxes?

Does any of this even matter? What important statistic is this information being gathered for?

These are just a few of the random thoughts that flow through my mind as I sit quietly with the clipboard on my lap. I look around at other people busy with their own paperwork and I wonder what boxes they sit and ponder before they check?

Ethnicity? Age? Marital status? Sex?

Does an X in a box really explain who we are? I am reminded of a skit from the album Free to Be You and Me (for anyone not familiar it came out in the 70s and was the brain child of Marlo Thomas--just ask my brother Mike about my obsession with this album, he probably still has nightmares)

Anyway, one baby says to the other baby as they lay in their bassinet and try to figure out what sex they are; "You can't judge a book by it's cover."

So true, and you definitely can't know a person by an X in a box.

Thanks for checking in-


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