Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Line Forms Here

I have always suffered from some great fear of filling out forms.  I can’t seem to track the information or understand exactly where to put my name or address, above the first line, below the first line?  I fill out forms as though my entire life will be altered if I am not 100% in agreement with whatever is being asked of me.  I am convinced that there is always another option that some rigid group of form creators deliberately left off just to make my life temporarily miserable as I fill out any given form.  I am a nonconformist and forms just don’t jive with this aspect of my very being.  I want there to be a box that says “it depends” after just about every question.  Or “maybe” or “not today” “who wants to know” and “really, who gives a _ _ _ _”.  The truth is, I have never filled out a form that leaves me confident and absolutely certain or even nearly certain, frequently, often, or at times.  I am pleased to note that the terms “form fear” and “formaphobia”  were recently added to the well-respected and highly acclaimed Urban Dictionary.

My formaphobia is especially problematic because I have a great deal of forms to fill out. Around this time of year I become rather inundated with forms.  Income taxes.  College application forms, FAFSA, Financial Aid for the slew of students in the home and at school, (self included).  Work related diagnostic testing forms, behavior assessment forms, conference and professional development forms.  In fact, the reason I am blogging is because I am avoiding several open and incomplete forms at this very moment.  I have handed in a couple of forms at work after long bouts of avoiding and hiding said forms. I have a less than appreciated tendency to circle in-between 2 choices because I just can’t agree to the choices provided.

I just reviewed a profile I created on an on-line dating site about 6 months ago that was a bit misinforming due to my form fear.  I also realized that my daughter’s Financial Aid form wasn’t processed because I missed the last box of the 4th page of the section needing my driver’s license number, that wasn't handy at the time I was filling it in.  These were both filled out via on-line forms.  I probably should have reviewed them a little closer. On the dating site, I kind of feel like I was misrepresenting myself and I could have missed out on all sorts of amazing and religiously diverse dreamboats due to my dysformia.  In one section I thought I was sharing information about myself,  but I had been inadvertently checking off boxes about what I wanted from my potential matches. 

The on-line dating sites typically ask questions like; religious affiliation, salary range, do you own a car? do you want kids?  Help me out here, let’s start with the kids, I have 3.  I want them.  I am 48, I am not Kelly Preston, although she is also 48. I have the choice of selecting: I want kids, Undecided, or I don’t want kids.  I don’t want more kids is not a choice. I would like the choice of “been there, done that”  but I want it to be sweeter and more loving “I wanted them, I have them” or  “I have kids, they are great”, or “I’m 48, let’s get real here, shall we?”  I want the profile of any potential dreamboat to reveal if he has kids, he is taking care of them, loving them, paying for them to the best of his ability and then some, and being there for them but these questions don't get answered on this form, and that's for another forum.

I messed up big time on the religious affiliation section of my profile form.  I believed I checked off Christian/Catholic, Christian/Protestant, Christian/Other and Spiritual for myself.  I am not as ambivalent about my faith as it may appear on a form, it’s more that I am not as committed to one particular section of the Christian Faith.  Allow me to explain, I am baptized, penanced, communioned and confirmed, Catholic.  I currently or occasionally worship in a Protestant church, I am more openly spiritual with a bent on: the Universe is an amazing place full of wonder and joy that just can’t be easily explained.  Oh well, I guess I am not exactly “openly” spiritual, I am rather independently  spiritual? maybe not, but there isn’t a box for Religiously Curious.  Not enough boxes for me to jam and slam myself into. If you're interested,  I like religion, it’s so fascinating to me, sometimes like the ocean, sometimes like magic beans, mostly an anthropological wonder full of hope.  The snafu?  I checked these off on the side of what I want for my would-be dating partner and left my side blank.  As though I were some atheist or an agnostic with a fetish for Christians, any which and all varieties of Christian.  

See, this form thing gets way too complicated and I don’t want anyone misinformed.  I can be rigid in my need to be clear, or clearly understood.  Forms rarely, if ever are one size fits all, but neither are tube tops or uni-tards and I rarely, to never, pay any mind to them.  I really need to stop over-thinking everything.  I might also need to unsubscribe to the SAT Question of the Day, that I have subscribed to in order to help my son prepare for the SAT so that he may have a strong chance to get into a school that he desires to go, with forms that I will need to assist him with.   He needs to declare racial identity which keeps getting more complex.  I want to check off a box for Atlantic Islander, which could mean Irish, but they only offer Pacific Islander, which could still mean a diverse and varied ethnicity.  Gender identity will be offering additional boxes.  The parent and guardian section has several layers and permanent residence is influx for many.   Adding days of the week may help a few sections, we are a rather fluid species, hard to pin down.

I am longing for the form that is handwritten on a scrap of composition notebook paper.  Will you work hard in school?  Check y for yes/most of the time.  Are you interested in learning and growing? Check y for yes.  Will you be coming to school so that you can drink heavily and game far away from your diligent mother that is paying for this experience? Check n for no.  Are you full of hope and potential but maybe have not mastered every aspect of your being by the junior year of high school? Check y for yes.  

As for me and the dating scene "need to know" scrap paper form:  Do you think I’m cute? Check y for yes.  Do you like quirky, dorks with snarky wit?  Check y for yes.  Do you need me to be with you every waking moment?  Check n for no.  OK perfect- we must be compatible enough to grab a cup of joe.  OK.  Check ✓  That was easy.  I wonder how many religiously diverse and indifferent were turned off by my falsely checked Christian fetish?   The line forms here, retakes and do-overs accepted.

1 comment:

Kerry said...

You may just be the over thinker and a formaphobic, but you definately are interesting, funny, and worth a hell of a lot more than a cup of joe to some lucky guy!