The Census

I filled out my census survey today. As I said recently (when I filed for unemployment), is there anything like a government form to make a person feel stupid? But I finished it, though with a healthy dose of test taking anxiety.

I was reminded I have clue of what I pay for things. I had to look up my mortgage payment, my electric bill, my water bill, My insurance, and my property taxes. I’m not really sure when I moved in my house. I guess that is something I should know, but time passes quickly.

Oh, most of the questions are relatively easy on the surface. I tried not to think too hard on them. Like my ethnic origin? Hmmm….I haven’t done Ancestry.com or any of those services to tell me exactly what I am. I picked British. I figured with a Welsh mom, that was a good guess. But her mom was a Breen, which should be Irish….so is that the truth? And on my dad’s side….are the McKinneys Scottish or should I have gone with the German for my grandmother, who was a Huffman? I wanted to just say “European”….but they seemed to want more specific. At least my background, as far as I know, hails from the same continent. What of my friends who are a beautiful result of lots of international relations? And the race question….how about those for whom that is not an easy question? I don’t know about you, but I believe we’ve gotten beyond a place where this stuff is important or relevant.

Then there was this question. Hmmm….what is the truthful answer? I decided that while I do have serious difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions, it probably isn’t due to a defined physical, mental. or emotional condition. It’s more a pre-occupation with overthinking and never knowing just what I feel like eating at what restaurant.

But as for now it is done. Did I answer all questions correctly? I don’t know. I did my best in the moment. But I do worry about the quality of the answers they receive. If it is difficult for me, a longtime reader who is college educated and can Usually easily decipher insurance contract language, how is it for others who aren’t readers and who are even more easily frustrated by this sort of minutiae? And how about those people who can’t prove they are not a robot because they can’t make it through the CAPTCHA at the start? I worry about them, these brothers and sisters of my heart. (I was quite excited when I passed on the first one. It doesn’t happen often.) When all is said and done, I think the census is a plot to remind us we’re just not all that smart. But the info will be touted in coming years anyway and thought to be our reality. And maybe we do all ace the test and it is. Maybe.

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