Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Those Bleepin' Stickers
This week as George and I drove back home from the dog park, we sat at a traffic light behind an SUV that had stickers on the back window which proudly boasted that they have a husband, a wife, three tall children, one short one, and two dogs. Even as I write this, my upper lip is curling up in disgust at the memory.
So, why do I have such a strong reaction to these family window stickers that are so common nowadays? Yes, part of it is because my husband and I do not yet have a family of our own, and that issue contains a lot of emotion. But I know that these stickers would annoy me anyway.
Let’s also put aside the fact that it’s not safe to put your kids’ names on the back of your car for just anyone to see, inviting weirdos and rapists to call your three-year-old by name and take off with him.
My issue is this: Why do they think I care about the makeup of that car’s happy little family? These stickers remind me of the reality TV phenomenon that has given the population the idea that the little details of their life mean something to strangers. Watching hours of TV where grungy people sit around and complain that their roommate used all the toothpaste or that they can’t stand so-and-so’s attitude has made people think that their details are important, creating a mini-celebrity status in their minds.
Or you could compare these stickers to the guns-for-hire in the Old West, in that parents put a sticker up for each kid like old gunslingers put notches on their gun barrels for each kill. Or like crews of WWII planes who painted an airplane silhouette on their plane for each enemy they shot down. Or like Pat Benatar’s notches on her lipstick case. These stickers are emblazoned on the back windows of cars like there’s a worldwide competition to see who can have the most kids.
So, what can I do to counteract these smiling stickers that mock me from their lofty position on their gas-guzzling SUVs? I wish there were something in response, like those bumper stickers that say “My kid beat up your honor student,” or the Darwin fish that eats the symbol for Christianity. But even if there were such a sticker, I wouldn’t post it. I don’t like to put things on my car that outwardly provoke people – I prefer a simple “Obama” sticker over one that rudely attacks Bush or the Republicans. There’s enough negative energy out there already.
So I guess I’ll just have to ignore them. Or if they’re parked nearby, George can conveniently pee on their tires. That’ll show ‘em.