May 20, 2024
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May 20, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Most of us go through life doing many things by rote. How many times do we actually look carefully at the many forms that we need to fill out? Whether it be at the doctor’s office, the motor vehicles bureau, the passport application form, there are always a million questions which most of us have probably answered many times and now due to the fact that everything is computerized all of the information which we are busy reentering is sitting right there on a database somewhere.

Recently, I was in a doctors office once again filling out another form with all of my info already entered into their system from a prior visit and there I was suddenly facing a question which I probably had never noticed before. Yes it did bring me to tears. The question was a simple one—Marital Status? S M D W.

I looked at it over and over again as my eyes welled up with tears and I could not get myself to check off my obvious answer. As far as I am concerned, I am married forever. I sat in the chair frozen in thoughts until the doctor appeared in the room, saw my distress and suggested that I just leave it blank.

Blatant reminders each day: noticing the emptiness of the house, the silence within the walls, driving in the car with no real destination, the useless purchase of grocery items which will be sitting in our home for a long time. We were unusual in that the two of us drank milk often. Every time I served a dairy meal we would accompany it with several glasses of milk. I would buy a gallon of milk at least every two weeks and it was always finished. After I realized how foolish it is to buy a gallon of milk for myself I began buying half gallons. Now I realize that even that is pushing the limits. Frequently I am throwing sour milk down the drain.

Finally my children rescued all of the herring varieties that sat in my refrigerator. Nothing would have pleased my Mordechai more than having a white fish salad on a bagel.

In a different context, when I think of boxes I will always remember the box that sat on a small table in our hotel room at the Fairmont in Mont Tremblant. We relished our little one or two night holidays and never missed an anniversary where when we were able we took off on a mini honeymoon. That day in the Fairmont I came into the room to find a tiny box sitting on a table. In it was my first engagement ring which I received on the occasion of our 47th anniversary. Our kids were excited that we had finally gotten engaged. A very different kind of box and truly even that box was difficult for me to open. I kept saying that I did not need it but he insisted that it was time for me to be engaged. That box also involved tears but of a very different nature.

I was thinking that the next time that any of us have forms to fill out which most of us assume are a pain in the neck, don’t take for granted the information which you are entering. It cannot be easy for the 45 year old single woman to check single, the newly divorced or anyone who is suddenly adjusting to their new status. It cannot just be me who finds these little innuendoes so painful.


Nina Glick can be reached at [email protected].

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