The Census letdown

I’m not gonna lie — ever since those commercials about “taking a snapshot of America” started, I’ve been pretty excited about filling out the Census. Yeah, I’m cool like that.

Since I was approximately 14 when the last Census made the rounds, this year’s marks a milestone of sorts, as it’s my first as a real (well, sort of) grown-up. I also get unnaturally excited to fill out forms about myself (shocking, I’m sure). When we received the letter telling us to be sure to fill out the Census when it arrived in a week, I tore it open, anticipating the real thing, only to realize I’d been tragically deceived. But it also built up my expectations even more — we’re taking a snapshot of America here, people!

The guy on the left also owned 28 pairs of shoes.

So you can imagine my disappointment when the actual Census arrived — complete with a message on the envelope warning of the legal repercussions of disregarding it — and it never really moved beyond the basics — name, gender, and those of the other people living with me. I kept turning the pages, expecting the good questions to start at any point, but nope. They were just extras, in case I needed to list the 33 people I may or may not live with.

Um, excuse me? What was all this “snapshot of America” talk? Exactly how does the government plan to piece together an actual portrait of me if they don’t get more details, like how many pairs of shoes I own (28), how many seasons of Seinfeld I have on DVD (all of them), how many miles I ran last week (21), how many hours I spend on the Internet (I don’t even want to know), how many times I’ll use the word ‘poppycock’ in this post (3), etc., etc.?? Poppycock, I say! Poppycock!

But, yeah, just because I had a bad Census experience doesn’t mean you should avoid one all together. It’s your duty as an American, or something, so fill it out. Especially if you live in Montana. We’re bound to hit that million-person mark one of these days!

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