So I'm registering for college and it's been going swimmingly until today when I accessed my online account stuff only to find a long list of forms waiting for me to fill out and return. The forms are simple enough; nearly all of it is a verification of the information I've already offered them. You know--standard stuff--name, address, birth date, sex, income, assets, etc . . .
On the list was a worksheet indicating that the Selective Service hadn't heard from me and that I needed verify my status before completing registration. To do this I had to call the Selective Service and explain why I didn't register after I turned eighteen (especially as I am over 26--which would require my sending them proof that I was in a mental hospital, incarcerated, or on the lam). After trying three times to get through and being told they were too busy to talk to me (and imagining myself the "strange question of the day"), I finally called the university and spoke with a very nice woman in the financial aid department.
"Frankly, I never thought I'd have to prove that I was a middle aged woman, but if it will help you out, I'll be happy to bring my birth certificate and four boys into the office as evidence," I said.
She giggled (bless her). "It's a computer error. The government included a new question in their online form this year and everyone who fills one out is automatically being checked by the Selective Service. When you (rightly) skip the section that doesn't apply to you--because you're not a male--it's flagging your form. We've been getting a lot of phone calls."
Which means that the Selective Service Department has too. I can imagine the very tired representative, rubbing his eyes and answering the phone again and again. "No ma'am, you don't have to register." "No ma'am, you don't need any special forms." "No ma'am, you don't have to send a copy of your most recent ultrasound . . ."
Leave it to the federal government.