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Fairfax County Requires Marriage October 9, 2010

Posted by Onely in As If!.
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The selected field is required and must contain data.

I received this error message while filling out a jury duty questionnaire. The field I left blank?

Spouse’s occupation.

Yes. Apparently according to Fairfax County, Virginia, all prospective jurors over 18 have spouses.  A potential juror can’t enter “not married” other than by writing it into the box labelled “spouse’s occupation”, or by putting some bland placeholder like “see below” and then using the Comments section to explain that–shock of all shocks!–you don’t actually have a spouse.

Copious Readers, don’t you think this kind of awkward labelling rhetoric relegates singles to a position of inferiority to marrieds?  (And let’s not even get *started* on the form’s implications for homosexuals.)

The Comments section, unfortunately, has a character limit so I was unable to fully communicate my disappointment to Fairfax County with many big words like “heteronormative“,  “fallacy of assumption“, and “&*&@^^$@)!”  Also unfortunately, our government has pesky perjury laws, so I was unable to fill out my Spouse’s Occupation blank with any of these fun options:


B.A.S.E. Jumper

Millionaire Caribbean Kitten Rescue and Chocolate Mogul

So staying within the constraints of truth and law (bother!), here’s how I was able to get the the form to accept my single status. I put a scowly face in the Spouse’s Occupation box and commented:

Um, and singles? Basically I’m required to account for a spouse I don’t have.  (If I say “none,” that’s indicating my (non-existent) spouse has no occupation.)  Does FFX County expect everyone to be married by default? I want my taxes back.

Copious Readers, how would you have responded? Remember, you can’t use any more characters than I did above.



1. Alan - October 9, 2010

You might want to explain that they should include the “not married” option, rather than the more cumbersome option of “see below” followed by a comment, given that so many people today aren’t married.

2. Onely - October 9, 2010

kick-ass response, CC!!!!!!

— L

3. Tessa - October 10, 2010

I would have just put N/A in the box for spouse’s occupation, as in “your boring, conventional categories do not apply to me.” Also, then they would have had to wonder why I was not applicable–has she never married? is she divorced? did she kill her husband?? There is something cool and mysterious about answering (and being) N/A, thus enabling us onelies to mess with the heads of those who must divide the world into narrow and arbitrarily defined categories.

But I love Christina’s response too!

Onely - October 17, 2010

HAHA I thought about N/A but then the vagueness was driving me crazy!


4. Q - October 13, 2010

I would have totally put my own name in the spouse category and my occupation (Writer of Sassiness). It has the virtue of being true–married to my OWN D**M SELF, thanks very much–to my OWN SELF BE TRUE, forsaking all others, in sickness and in health, till death, yada yada.

5. April - October 14, 2010

I might’ve just said “happily single, thanks.”

6. I HAVE CAT - October 16, 2010

I am shocked. Speachless…in this day and age?!

Onely - October 17, 2010

I know. . . wierd.

7. Lauri - October 25, 2010

spouse’s occupation: irrelevant

Onely - October 25, 2010

oooooo nice!!!!

8. Kenneth - June 14, 2011

I live in Fairfax County and I’ve been called for jury duty, too, but I wasn’t aware any sort of on-line response or interaction was required. Silly me! However, I’ve always wanted to respond to those questions about occupation with something like “swineherd” or “lamplighter.”

Never had the nerve, though.

Onely - June 17, 2011

HAHA I hope you’re called again soon so that you can go with “lamplighter.” I love it!

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