I was talking to a friend last week and during the conversation he mentioned “all of us are so pressurized to stay within the box” and that is how the idea to write about it struck me.
Whenever we fill those bank forms, employment forms and those loan forms, there is this box we need to tick against and we click the right box almost all the time. For ex, if you are married, you check the box against married. Simple, right? But the question here, which box are we ticking in our mind. I’m going to look at life scenarios for these boxes, again these are my views because im as opinionated as any of you are.
This girl is legally single if you know what I mean and she is in a relationship with this guy for few years now. They both live together. She is not ready to tie the knot yet but they are doing everything a married couple would ideally do. She cooks for him. They go grocery shopping together. They fight often. He pays the rent. They have a pet. Both are working professionals. They divide the expenses. They have sex. They fill a form at a bank to open an account, which box they tick? SINGLE. But which Box have they ticked in the mind? MARRIED… They are married in their minds.
So he is married for three years now. Works with one of the Biggies in the IT industry… Wife takes care of the house. Cooks food and at times chews his brain. He works 12 hours a day. Works late nights and earns a handful to keep the EMI’s going. They talk over the weekends about the week that passed by. They have a physical life; I would not call it healthy or otherwise. He goes out drinking with his friends. Meets women at the bar and has occasional flings, so basically he has his own single life outside home. He is at the hotel with this other woman and fills out the feedback form and checks the MARRIED box. Which box is he ticked in his mind? SINGLE…
She works for a consulting company. Earns well enough to sustain her living and pay her bills and her taxes. Pretty, confident and sensible… Has a rented apartment. Has her set of girl friends. She is in her thirties…She is creative, funny, aggressive and loves her life. Men hit on her and she hits on few of them too… So, while all this is happening, did I also tell you that she was married once..? So what do you call her now..? Divorced right? NO, she ticked the SINGLE box in her mind.
He runs his own business. He is in his late thirties. Loves music and travel… A nice house beside a farm, away from the city madness and leads a happy life. Takes some time off for himself by playing golf during weekends and meets his friends on Saturday nights leaving his daughter with his parents those times. He is father to a lovely five year old daughter. Wife passed away two years back in a car accident. Ever since then, he is been taking care of his daughter with little support from family. He wanted to put his daughter into school and checked in some forms and did not find a box that said “single parent”. There were only Married, Divorced, Widowed and single. He was forced to tick Widowed, but his mind did not fit into any of those boxes. He is a happy single parent. But the society does not give him that option to tick.
I have some thought on this. Why would you call a guy or a girl a divorcee or a widow, because she/he had legal sex with her/his partner once upon a time…? How different is a woman/man who was once married from a single woman/man who was physically involved with their partner and broke up and moved on? I don’t see any difference unless the former has children from the marriage, but still they should be called a single parent. I speak strongly against the “Divorced” and “Widowed” boxes in the relationship status. If you do not have a partner, then you are SINGLE.
So, my point here is that the boxes we tick in our minds is the one we live in and the boxes we tick on the paper is the one we live with. These are my views and as I said you are entitled to yours.
SO, which BOX have you ticked……. in your mind?