Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The 2010 Census

Last weekend a kindly looking older woman knocked on our front door. At the time, our living room and hallway to our guest rooms was a mess. But I heard my husband, who had answered the knock, usher the woman to the back guest room where I was working [we were in the process of moving my office from one guest room to another, and in so doing we were moving the guest room to the room where my office had been - that's a whole 'nother story!].

So, I was seated at my desk trying to organize the mess, when this woman walks in. She shows me her official US Census Bureau badge and ID. And explains that she is going to give me a packet to fill out for the 2010 Census. "Do you think you can handle filling it in alright?" she asked. [I was thinking I must have looked like a moron to her!]  I smoothed my hand over my mussed hair, and donning my snootiest facial expression, and my holier than thou voice, I answered, "I shall endeavor to attempt to fill in the form with the very utmost of care, and shall promptly place it in the proper United States Postal receptacle for mail intended to be in the outgoing priority of that United States establishment."

"Uh, well, okey dokey!" she answered timidly. I noticed she scurried quite quickly past the piles of file boxes and assorted office equipment that was in the hall making its way to the office.

My hubby, the Texican, put his nose in the air, and said, "My, haven't we taken on airs with the commoners!" in his best Bond, that's James Bond for those of you who aren't in the know, interpretation.

We nearly giggled ourselves silly!

I sat the packet aside for a couple of days, and opened it and began filling it out.

Ten little questions. That's it.

It asked for the names of each individual in the household, their dates of birth. But beyond that, I am afraid our descendants will find the 2010 Census a bit boring and lacking when it comes to finding out anything about us! No question on education, occupation, or where our parents were born.

And above all, it was presumed throughout the entire record that I was living in this country legally.

I'm afraid I've found it a bit boring, and for our children, and their children, of not much use other than locating where we lived for this 10-year period.

And so, I've decided to increase my efforts at leaving behind a trail of my life for my descendants. My diary [which I've kept since I was 7 - and I am now - uh uh uh! - I almost told you! let's just say there are "volumes" of diary for my descendants to pore over after I am gone!] is getting a revamping. Nice leather volumes are all I've used for the past 4 years. I reckon I'd better stock up for the future ones! And I'm making a more concentrated effort to get more research done on my own family.

Nah! Who needs the Census when old Texicanwife here will leave enough juicy details behind to keep the kiddies reading for a few hours at least!

I wonder why none of my ancestors were as insightful? I could sure use their diaries about now!

1 comment:

A rootdigger said...

Loved your post. It sparked a few ideas for comments.
It is unfortunate that the census does leave out that information, which we find so helpful in our research.
And well in the olden days snooty census takers might have gotten just the vitals. I had read one story that this crodgy old person never bothered to tell the census taker that his spouse was deceased. I can just imagine all the details he left out.

And I wonder what the thought is behind the left out nationality citizen ship? I would love to hear the explanation. especially in Texas.

I suppose if you were not a home owner and did not work at the same place too often, didn't pay taxes, you could manage to miss the census. It's funny how our pioneers as remote seemingly alone as they were, managed to be in the census.And others [sigh] managed to be in none in one area they lived.

I wonder what the laws are about census evasion.
ahh, see how you got me thinking.