I hate car stickers. But we don't say "hate" in our house (welcome to like with kiddos). I strongly dislike car stickers. Bumper stickers, car magnets, they all kinda make me cringe. I can be ok with a simple college sticker, but that's my limit. I don't really know why this is the case, I just am not in love with the idea of plastering my likes, dislikes, family history, vacation spots, and social security number across the rear of my car for everyone to see. However, nowadays, I know I am definitely in the minority. It seems I can't pull into a parking space or take a quick trip to the grocery store without being bombarded with car stickers everywhere I turn.
For example, yesterday I was waiting at a stoplight behind a minivan (the minivans are the main culprits , my own kind!) and by the time the light turned green I was fairly confident that I could approach this person in the grocery store and convince them that I was one of their long lost friends. How, you ask? Well, let's start with the bottom left corner of her rear window. She had one of those family stick figure pictures on there with a mom, dad, and three kids. I know from the stickers that she picked that she plays tennis, her oldest was a son who likes to play baseball, and she had two younger daughters who like dancing. From the top left corner I could deduce that she regularly vacations in Hilton Head Island due to her her SWO (stupid white oval) that proudly proclaimed HHI in black letters. The spattering of round magnets on her bumper let me know what middle and elementary schools her kids attended and I was able to figure out where she went to college by virtue of her vanity license plate, complete with matching license plate frame.
C'mon people! Do we really have to put all that out there for the world to see? I was thinking about how I would approach her in the store in my attempt to convince her that I really was someone she knew ...
Me: "Heeeeeeey! How ARE you? Wow, it's been a while!"
Lady Who Over Shares On Her Car: (nervous laughter while looking around) "Oh, hi. Ummm, how are you?"
Me: "Oh, we're great! How 'bout them Tarheels (reference: vanity license plate)? Really gave it a good run in the tournament this year, huh? Did you guys get to any games?"
LWOSOHC: "No, we weren't able to make it this year. David had so many games on Saturdays ... "
Me: "Riiiiiight. How is baseball going for him (reference: baseball stick figure boy)? And are the girls still dancing (other stick figure reference)?"
LWOSOHC: (As her hesitant smile brightens) "Well, yes they are! Kathryn is going to be the lead in her recital this weekend! She's also taking classes at her school ... "
Me: (interrupting) "Sherwood Forrest, right (reference: school magnet)? And is David liking Jefferson (more school magnet reference)? We're hoping our kids attend there as well. And you're looking so in shape these days! Been playing some tennis in anticipation of the vacation to Hilton Head Island this year (Too many references at once ... my head is going to explode!)?"
LWOSOHC: "Well, yes. In fact, we're leaving next week (looking confused). I'm sorry but I can't seem to remember your name ..."
Me: "Oh, look at the time, gotta run. My stick figure baby boy is screaming in the cart and I have to hurry if I want to pick up my other stick figure kids (who like basketball, princesses, and cheer leading) from the colorful school displayed on the oval magnetized to the back of my car. Maybe I'll see you in HHI someday soon!"
Although this would be fun, I think it would get tiresome after a while and I would still be perplexed with the life histories I take in during my drives each day. But it did get me thinking ... If I was a car sticker/magnet person, what would the back of my car look like? It would actually be somewhat comical if you thought about it. Just picture it ...
My gray minivan sitting in front of you at a stoplight.
In the left bottom corner you notice a very long line of stick figure people. Six, to be exact. And a dog. The line of stick figures and their accompanying "activities" is so long that it stretches across the entire bottom of the rear window and even curves around the car a bit. Classy. The first figure is a dad whose tie is disheveled with the contents of his briefcase spilled about him in a heap. He is standing next to the mom who has on a wrinkled dress and is precariously balancing several glasses of milk and six plates in one hand while cleaning up a spill with the other. The four children are all in separate stages of undress, hair pulling, or screaming. The youngest is at the end of the line sitting next to the dog while subsequently eating out of the dog's bowl. The dog looks like he is trying to escape around the side of the car. Smart doggie.
In the top left corner is one of those white oval stickers that reads, FCNV. You try to deduce what place this signifies. Somewhere in Nevada? You're not sure. Straining to see and inching your car closer, you finally make out the words: Four Chidren, No Vacations.
In the top right corner are a couple of flip flop stickers in different sizes. What does this mean? We like the beach? We own flip flops? Does anyone really care about these things?
Finally, you move to the magnets strewn across the back and sides of the car. Good thing you now know that Sam is #6 on his soccer team in case you ever make it to a game to cheer him on on. And I'm sure you could not have lived without knowing that my kids play Upward Basketball at First Baptist. And did you know that my honor student...
Alright, enough already. I'm sorry if you are someone who loves your car stickers and magnets. I really don't blame you for wanting to display your life's details to complete strangers. But if some stranger comes up to you in the grocery store one day who seems to know everything about your life ... well, you might want to take a second look at the back of your car.