Not Fitting the Boxes:

When I reached the age at which I had to fill out forms for myself, I always wondered why I never seemed to fit the boxes.

Forms tend to ask questions that require a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. And all my contemporaries filled them out quickly and got on with the next exciting thing in their lives, while I was left trying to work out what to say. 

Q. What is your address?

A. The first house on the left, Great Northern Highway, Pithara.

There’s no way I could fit that into the lines on the form, even with abbreviations to some of the words, and then;

Q. Which school did you go to?

A. Correspondence.

I had no trouble fitting that one in, but it has now changed its name several times and the new generation of computers doesn’t recognise it.

Should I just lie? Make something up? Or go through the frustrating and time consuming task of looking for some real-live person to ask? The other alternative was to just scrawl something illegible and hand it in, knowing that they couldn’t track me down, but also that I was unlikely to get what I wanted from filling out the form in the first place. 

After a while I just gave up, and accepted the fact that I didn’t fit the boxers. It made me different but, for better or worse, it made me who I am.