Check This Box

We only have a home phone because the alarm company says so. The additional expense is worth it to keep the telemarketers at bay. Sometimes, like this week, we get punked.  The caller id said LSU.  It had the correct area code and prefix, so I thought it might be an old colleague and pressed the answer button. Mistake. It was a surveyor, which is barely better than the Alumni Office trying to put a new Capital One Purple and Gold Rewards card with a Tiger logo in my wallet. Pffft.

Because I am a kind and generous person, the sort of gal who volunteers at my kids’ school, cooks dinner for college students, donates blood, and picks up other people’s trash on the highway, I agreed to answer the questions.

Okay, the real truth is that I didn’t have anything else to do at that moment, which got me to thinking about all of the other surveys and political polls that are conducted. They can only ask the people who are home to answer and have the time to respond. Who are those people? Evidentally, I am not the sort of people they expected to get because one of the questions was, “Has your phone been disconnected or turned off in the last two weeks?” Oh, the irony.

Vienne (sic) Diagram

Marketers keep trying to put me in a box and I refuse to go neatly. It took a team of canon lawyers to determine my marital status when I joined the Catholic Church. If someone asks if I am married, divorced, widowed or single, I just tell them “Yes.”

A member of neither major national political party, I get mail from both. They can’t decide if I’m a conservative liberal or a liberal conservative. That’s okay with me.  My opinion is issue-specific, not a party line. One of the greatest things about this country is my freedom to choose.

So, the internet can track my cookies, Amazon can make it’s recommendations, and charities can sell their donor lists. I will keep on being an outlier. Whether this is because I was born on the astrological cusp between Aries and Taurus during a leap year, because neither half of my brain is dominant, or because I’m just plain ornery, I do not know.  Thankfully, I live in a country where conformity is not an issue once you leave high school. America, the beautiful, home of the free… because of the brave.

About Laura Alford, PhD

I'm a recent graduate of LSU (PhD in Accounting). In addition to academic research, I also write fiction on Tuesday nights with the Asilomar Writers.
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4 Responses to Check This Box

  1. Mark says:

    You are one of the few truly unique individuals. I wish the statement that conformity was less of an issue after high school were more true, but I’m not sure high school ever ends for some people.

  2. Susan Sands says:

    No, we do not fit in a box. Our ideas, thoughts and personalities are too unique. It’s a shame so many of us work as hard as we have our whole live to find a pretty box just the right size, shape and color, when there is no box in the world weird enough to hold it all in. Doesn’t matter if we have 2 1/2 kids, how many times we marry, or how we declare along political lines. The areas aren’t gray, they are pink polka-dotted, chartreuse and zebra striped. No conformity in sight. I stand uniquely beside you, my friend.

  3. KT says:

    I once had a job at LSU as a tele-surveyer – it was on Hurricane preparedness…wonder what they did with the results of that survey?

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