So, I open the mailbox, take out a massive pile of stuff, and head in the house. As I'm walking, I'm sorting it all into piles. "Mine, mine, hers, mine, hers, junk, junk, junk, ads, junk..." I hustle inside, eager to get out of the balmy 3F windchill, and as soon as the warm air hits me I realize I have to hit the head. So, thinking quickly, I grab the pile I mentally labeled 'Junk', as it's usually good for one of three things: 1) reading in the can; 2) fanning the smell away, since the exhaust fan is broken in our bathroom, and maintanence hasn't gotten around to fixing it yet; and 3) wiping your ass, should you find out too late you're out of toilet paper. I make one quick detour through the kitchen for coffee and my smokes, as I plan to be there for a while, and I run for the can. I'm happily doing my business, and come across an envelope conataining one of those shopper surveys. Since it's the last thing in the pile, other than an ad for Babys 'R' Us (ugh!), I open the little bastard and start reading. The first three pages are the usual stuff, like "What is your most commonly purchased size of suppository?", "Which brand of Hepatitis C medication do you prefer?", and "How often do you purchase medication for your yeast infections?"- you know, questions about shit everyone uses. Then, on the last page, they want you to fill out the personal information of your household. I'm skimming this, barely paying attention (because I'm about done and I'm checking to see which ad is softest- damn, no TP again!!) when I read a line that makes my brain skip, sort of like my mental CD player hit a bump. So I read it again. And again. And yet a fourth time, and it still doesn't make sense, so I read it out loud, because sometimes that helps. Marital Status........__..Single.......__..Married or Equivalent I'm going, "Damn, what the hell does that 'or equivalent part mean?" So I skim the other questions in the section a bit more closely. Shit! There it is again! "Relationship.... Parent or Equivalent... Child or Equivalent... Friend or Equivalent", what the...!?! This was last Thursday, and I'm still trying to figure out what the 'or Equivalent' part means. Out of thiry questions (per household member, no less) eleven included the phrase 'or Equivalent' tacked on to at least one answer. This thing reads like Pete Hines and Todd Howard wrote it! All soft, pseudo-talk, non-commital bullshit. What the hell is up with this stupidity, anyway? Who is so cravenly P-C that they have to add the phrase 'or Equivalent' to the end of a question asking about marital status? And what the bloody hell IS equivalent to marriage? Death? A tax audit? A prostate exam given by a man with extraordinarily large fingers? The name of a punk band? WTF? Has anyone else encountered this? Am I the first, or do I just not pay enough attention to this crap and never noticed? I'd scan the add and post the pick, but, well, umm... the flier happened to have softer paper than the other junkmail, so... You do the math. Anyway, I just wondered if anyone else had seen any of this shite, and if anyone knew what mariage equates to. Also, what is the equivalent of a student driver, house hold pet, term of military service, and political service, as they were on there, too. Any thoughts?