Jen filled out our little census card today. I have kind of an intimate relationship with the census. We’ve had times.
Back before the babies, and Jen, I had roommates. I lived with this one girl who was a privacy freak. She refused to use the internet or own a credit card. And she refused to answer the census.
One day, we had a census worker come to our house. This kid took his job seriously. I gave him my information, including my phone number. Then she came to the door. She looked him up and down, and then just shook her head. He told her that she HAD to answer the census. She didn’t care. She just walked away. This caused a showdown. He then started to threaten me. I guess it’s against the law or something. I told him I wasn’t going to rat out my roommate if she didn’t want to answer. But this guy was determined, and he had my phone number! He called and called with vague threats about what would happen if she didn’t live up to her civic duty.
She won. He finally went away. But a few months later she went nuts and cut off all the sleeves of all her shirts and sweaters.
A few years after that, I had fallen in love with Jen. We had a different kind of a showdown. We were trying to choose sperm donors. We were working off those information sheets they give you in the sperm banks. I chose a donor who was reportedly really good looking. She chose one with high SAT scores. Our friends got involved. I protested that I was carrying the baby, and the father shouldn’t be by democratic vote. I was ignored. They debated the pros and cons of our choices, and then….sided with Jen.
The deciding factor was that her guy had been a Census worker! He was probably the same kid who came to my door. Why that was so impressive, I really don’t know. I think they inferred some sort of civic responsibility with that choice of job. The way I saw it, he was working for the census and donating sperm. What he needed was a real job. But I was outvoted.
At any rate, Jen’s nameless census worker became the father of our children. And I’m glad.