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?
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.