Recently, I needed to fill out some paperwork related to my new job. On one of the forms was a large box labelled MARITAL STATUS. It wasn't that many years ago that I would have been thrilled to see that box. Heck, there was a time I would have considered drawing one in myself. I would have proudly printed MARRIED and considered adding a happy face for good measure. Oh yes, this would have been around the same time in my life when every conversation somehow managed to include the words "My husband..."
That time has passed.
I looked at the MARITAL STATUS box and thought Who the heck do you think you are?! How utterly invasive and inappropriate! In what way does my marital status have any impact my career?! A few choice words came into my head that would be inappropriate to include in this blog post. I mean really, who wants to boldly print SEPARATED in that little box? That's right: nobody. SEPARATED is hands-down the least desirable marital status; it even makes DIVORCED look sexy. SEPARATED implies a certain amount of ongoing emotional turmoil in a person's life. SEPARATED is messy, undesirable.
However, I have come up with a happy compromise that will even out the playing field. I propose the form be amended as follows:
1. MARITAL STATUS: __________________________
If you answered 'Separated,' please give yourself a big hug on our behalf and continue to question 3. For all other answers, continue to question 2.
2. Please clearly list one good reason why we would think you are emotionally unstable and/or why we should second guess our decision to hire you (you may use additional pages as necessary). _________________________