Sunday, March 7, 2010

Taking The Census Was Very Easy

I guess I forgot in the last 10 years how easy it was.

The big census form came in the mail and I thought it'd be like doing taxes, so I set aside a good chunk of time to get it done. Got my pen, a hard surface to put it on, and sat on the couch -- grinning and bearing it -- dedicated to getting it done whatever it took.

Then I started and I finished. It was just that easy. Five minutes tops!

Basically, they don't want any information, just your name, address, date of birth, race, and it seems like that was it. Person number 1, that's me. Person number 2, that's Grandma. And that's it. Nothing about your occupation, how big your house is, how many rooms you have, what you collect, your income, your opinions, your politics, clubs you belong to, religion, how often you go out to eat, whether you like Windows or Macs, and no essay questions on your hopes for the future or your regrets about yesterday.

So this is the big information that genealogists are longing for, clamoring for all the time? This is the big information that we have to keep confidential for 72 years? My name and address are in the phone book. What if they said they couldn't print the phone book for 72 years? Nobody would be clamoring for that.

Anyway, I got Person number 1 and Person number 2 done. And I was thinking, some of the questions following are going to have to pertain to other Persons, since of course some households still have their Grandpa. Ours died. So I started leafing through those pages, taking us from Person number 3 all the way through Person number 12! And that was the end of the book!

I leafed through it again. I felt like the other questions had to be in there somewhere, but that was all they wanted to know! Our government isn't very nosy, it seems.

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