"... or Equivalent"

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by Talisien, Feb 21, 2007.

  1. Talisien

    Talisien Still Mildly Glowing

    Sep 15, 2006
    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?
  2. Jebus

    Jebus Background Radiant

    Jan 29, 2004
    Equivalents to marriage are: living together, contracts, etc.

    Equivaltents to parents are legal guardians, equivalents to children could be adopted children or children you are legal guardian of, and an equivalent to military service is (at least in Belgium) civil service.
    At least that's how it is in Belgium. About the rest (friend etc.) I don't know.
  3. Angrim

    Angrim Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Aug 27, 2004
    Equivalent for a friend? Hmm, maybe a drinking-buddy, fuck-buddy or... Something.

    I don't understand what's the big deal with that and what is so confusing about it.
  4. Talisien

    Talisien Still Mildly Glowing

    Sep 15, 2006
    What's odd is that I've NEVER seen that before. Not on a government document like that. (It was from the state census bereau.) It's just kind of shocking that people are getting so P-C these days. Man, if the people who write those things are so afraid to offend people, they shouldn't get out of bed. Oh, wait, that might offend someone, too- their bedmate or Equivalent, LOL. I wish one of these people would show up on the boards here and spout off some pro-Bethesda crap; THEN they'd see what people who aren't P-C really talk like!
  5. VirtualAlex

    VirtualAlex Still Mildly Glowing

    Jul 17, 2005
    Living together isn't no equivalent too marriage, different taxing and insuarance. Maybe a civil union? But even that isn't really equivelant.

    Adapted children actually are equivilent to children though, so the distinction isn't importiant.

    It's a really stupid wishy-washy thing to put into a document. Because anything truly equivalent wouldn't need a distinction from the thing it's equivalent too.
  6. Jebus

    Jebus Background Radiant

    Jan 29, 2004
    Not in Belgium.

    You people and your third-world backwater reactionary evangelical shithole countries.
  7. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    Jebus (or equivalent pet parrot oTO), not every country is as remarkably advanced as the parrotland.
  8. VirtualAlex

    VirtualAlex Still Mildly Glowing

    Jul 17, 2005
    Thats a little harsh.

    You are telling me that in Belgium if you simply live with a person, then you can be on the same insuarance plan, be taxed as a single being, and collect each others life insuarance if one of your should die?

    Looks like my college set-up in belgium would be pretty sweet.
  9. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    Err...no. You'd need to register a civil contract for that.
  10. The Vault Dweller

    The Vault Dweller always looking for water.

    Aug 24, 2004
    I have to admit that though I understand what your saying it seems very vague.

    I mean if I sign a childishly scrawled piece of paper agreeing that someone "owns" me as property does that count?

    If I have a roomate (I dont) that I am not married too or have any romantic affairs with does that count?

    What about a guinea pig?

    Dust bunnies?

    Forum friends? :D

    :scratch: ,
    The Vault Dweller
  11. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    No, you need to go to a government office and register (both) as official partners. Whether or not you actually are partners is something the government does not care about at all.

    You can't just make up a contract and sign it and have the same rights as a married couple, though.
  12. Wooz

    Wooz Vault Sweeper Admin Orderite

    May 18, 2003
    Sad but true.
  13. Wild_qwerty

    Wild_qwerty Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Feb 2, 2004
    In New Zealand the govt just invented "Civil Unions" which for people who want to have the same legal priviledges as a married couple without being married, turns out they copy and pasted the marriage law and then removed any references to male/female.

    So it's an unofiffical way of letting prission cells mates legalise their relationships.

    As far as the or equilent goes for being a parent its when they make you pay child support but you're still waiting on the results of the DNA tests tp prove if they are yours or the postmans.
  14. SuAside

    SuAside Testament to the ghoul lifespan

    May 27, 2004
    i believe we even have 3 kinds, Jeebz: marriage, civil union and "living together" contract (samenlevingscontract).

    the latter is (or can be) limited in time (and doesnt offer as much rights/tax cuts as the other two, but it also doesn't state as much requirements (doesnt have to be a love relationship like is expected from a marriage etc.)) and the second is pretty much like the first.
  15. Jebus

    Jebus Background Radiant

    Jan 29, 2004
    Yeah, I know - but it was mostly meant in jest.

    You'll get to know me better when time passes, I guess ;)
  16. VirtualAlex

    VirtualAlex Still Mildly Glowing

    Jul 17, 2005
    Well America has it's problems. But I am no evangelist thats for sure.

    And I was born in Russian, so I am exempt from American non-sense :D
  17. DirtyDreamDesigner

    DirtyDreamDesigner Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Apr 15, 2005
    Yeah, and we also have a poster here who can speak some Germany.
  18. Lukus

    Lukus Testament to the ghoul lifespan

    May 11, 2003
    Entertaining post, but I actually like the equivalent term to 'or equivalent' in Swedish, and use it in speech from time to time ('eller motsvarande'). Or, "engage in equivalent activity" ('bedriva motsvarande verksamhet'). I can use such terms when I see it fit to sound silly when discussing something like 'having a beer, or engage in equivalent activity'. It sounds much more natural in Swedish, though, and I guess people outside my circle of friends could misunderstand it as if I were being pretentious. As for it being particulary PC, I dunno - it just means "or something like that" but said slightly fancier.

    My brother and his gf share an apartment given to persons willing to sign that they "live under marital-resembling circumstances". They could easily answer "married or equivalent" in a survey. And if you're engaged to someone, and "engaged" isn't an option, you could belong to the 'or equivalent' group. Jeebers pointed out some other examples. What's the big deal?
  19. Audiostave

    Audiostave First time out of the vault

    Sep 10, 2006
    Yea, we have 3, but one isn't really a legal institute. We have marriage, a "living together" contract (the samenlevingscontract or contrat de cohabitation) and just living together which isn't really a legal state (it has but a few legal consequences) but more a de facto state.

    The main differences are that marriage is more secure (read: for pussies that think they need a prison-like contract to bind them because they're insecure about their relationship so they have to build in mechanisms like divorce) and provides better regulations for property, because you don't have to sign contracts with your spouse to get communal property- at least under the normal marital rules and your spouse will legally be considered an heir, which isn't the case for a "contract of living together" (for lack of an English equivalent term, at least to my knowledge) where you have to create a testament if you want to leave your fortune behind to your partner.

    One spicy detail: under a contract of living together, the children your partner pops out, aren't legally presumed to be the children of the partner (as opposed to marriage) so you have to formally recognize that child to be yours.