Monday, November 4, 2013

What's REALLY Killing Marriage!

Here’s a segue from last week’s post. Orson Scott Card would have you believe marriage must be only between one man and one woman. A whole host of organizations are trying to “save” marriage, in the “traditional” sense. They believe, and will try to make us believe, that letting a couple of dudes walk down the aisle together will bring the whole marriage thing to a shattering end. I haven’t read Revelations in a good while, but I’m sure there’s something in there about one of the End of Days signals being two women sharing a “just married” kiss. I’m sure of it. I mean, why else would they all be in such a tizzy over the idea of same-sex marriage?

There is a force working in modern society that seeks to erode marriage, but it isn’t homosexuality (Homersexuality, for you Simpsons fans). It’s privacy.

Yes, that’s right. Privacy. The weird obsession we have in society with the idea that our information belongs to no one but us. No one else should have my Social Insurance Number, banking information, credit card numbers, library card, or hat size. All of this data should be guarded the way people hoarded their fingernail clippings in a world where voodoo really works.

And there is some truth to that fear. A villainous soul, equipped with the gritty details of my life, would be able to access the remaining $11.47 left on my Visa card, or strip my bank account of tens of dollars. They could gain control of my vehicle (and have to make the payments, too, haha!). A single phone call to a local pharmacy would tell them that I have... dun dun DUUUUN!!... medical prescriptions that have been filled! And theoretically used! That I’ve frequently asked if Viagra comes in Extra-Strength capsules, cause the normal ones just aren’t cutting it anymore. They could find out what sort of cellphone plan I have, and maybe even change it! Oh ye gods!

Alright, sarcasm aside, identity theft is not only a huge pain in the ass, it’s also criminal, potentially dangerous, and frustrating beyond belief. But because of privacy concerns, my wife and I are not in any way “one person.”

I want to change banking information? Sorry, sir, we need to speak to your wife. Or the phone plan needs to be changed because we’re going to the States--sorry, I can’t discuss those details without your wife’s approval. Can’t deal with life insurance unless we’re both present, have to get forms filled out in triplicate to access doctor’s appointment, and Autopac will just laugh at me if I bother trying to switch a car in my wife’s name from All-purpose to Pleasure.

Over the years of my house-husbanding, I’ve slowly, piecemeal, acquired authorization with one organization after another. For each one, my wife has to be present, verbally authorizing the next step. Then the rules will change, and I’ll lose access to something that, last year, I could change with  no problem. What I should be doing is just assuming a pleasing falsetto voice when it comes time to do “her” authorizations, because the bureaucrats can’t see through the phone, and I know our financial information better than my wife does anyway. She trusts me to deal with this crap. She works all day. I’m at home. I deal with the kids and the groceries and the meals and the errands and the, yes, bureaucracy of the world (shudder).

But because some married people clearly do NOT live in a state of trust with each other, the whole system has broken down. How is it “until death do us part” when we’ve created an organizational system that doesn’t really let us be together? When we split, we each get half of the assets, but when we’re together, apparently it’s “what’s mine is mine, what’s hers is hers.”

It’s particularly ironic in the classic 50s archetype, with one parent home and the other working. Because the cheques are in HER name, not mine, I can’t get credit cards or a whole host of other financial services without essentially being the ragamuffin tag-along on my wife’s coat-tails. (If she ever leaves me, I’ll have no real credit to my name. On the plus side, I’ll have no digital footprint! I’ll be ghost! Woohoo!) That creates the difficulty. We’re still getting hardcopy paper phone bills because the only way to change that is to talk to someone in person, and they’ll only deal with the ol’ ball-and-chain.

This stonewalling crap didn’t spring up from nowhere. It’s probably the result of a few bad apples screwing around with people, emptying accounts just before they split or fake their own deaths or something. Yet the government is obsessed--literally OBSESSED--with my marital status. So if I have to check a little box with the CRA every year declaring I’m married, and file joint income taxes, why the hell don’t we get a little leeway with sharing? If you don’t trust someone enough to give them full access to your finances, my advice is this:


So bureaucrats, quit eroding marriage! I’m begging you.

My wife’s right here, she can authorize my request. I swear.

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