This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Express Yourself

I have bitten the soccer mom stereotype. A long time ago. And boy, is this a 180 from what I used to think, believe, and stated.

Let's see...we begin with the fact that I stated I was not ever having children. I sounded EXACTLY THE SAME as other couples who claim they will never have children. What's the point? I don't like kids. Tim and I are fine the way we are. Tim doesn't want children either. My children are my dogs.

And as 30 loomed over my head, that biological clock ticked. And before it ticked, I met older couples who were childless and I found it...sad. And they were not sad. They were quite happy with their choice but from my perspective, it seemed lonely. So put those together and I started bugging Tim about having kids. And eventually, with the help of Steve Martin, he too wanted children and we ended up with our two beautiful girls.

Next? I swore I would never have a minivan. PUHLEEZE with the minivans! But I knew, as I have been inside many, not to ever even look in one while looking for a car. They are SOOO COOL inside. But the outside? Forget about it! A minivan reeks of domesticated people. Conservatives. PARENTS. Uncool people. Cary-ites. I even remember telling my minivan-owning BFF Tracy that no women would even LOOK at a man in a minivan.

And lo and behold, in 2003, what did I buy myself because I wanted it? A minivan! And it is by far, my favoritist vehicle ever. I will only trade it in for a hybrid version. It has to be the Odyssey (or perhaps, a Toyota).

It had to be black. And I was lucky that year that black actually became a color offered in the minivan. I dumped the Chevy Suburban for it and became the person I mocked before this 180 degree change.

I also hang things in my rear view mirror. Things my kids made and even a thing that a complete stranger gave me while in the Harris Teeter parking lot (many people are surprised I accepted this and claim there is a GPS unit in this thing to find me and take me or my kids away...this is not something you tell someone who already has an unhealthy paranoid personality).

It didn't take long for me to start adding bumper stickers to my car. I remember seeing old station wagons, driven by young folks (which made me appreciate station wagons), COVERED in bumper stickers. And I thought: now that is cool. And I can tell that the person is pretty cool (or not, depending on the stickers) because they have really expressed themselves with their stickers.

So over the years, I have attempted to express myself via bumper stickers. And I love that some of these expressions do not fit what stereotype I have for a minivan driver.

My first one was "Come to the Darkside, We Have Cookies". That is my all-time favorite. But bumper stickers don't last long and I try to change them out when they become ragged.

I notice people who approach my bumper at stop lights. They strain their necks and eyes to read them. They move their cars a little closer. I try to see their reactions. Most times? They laugh or smile. I have been almost in fender benders where people have tried to give me thumbs up, or yell out of the cars at 65 mph how much they like my stickers. I love that, especially when we don't crash.

So here are my current stickers. I have the overall picture of my rear (the minivan) and each individually, for close-ups.

This is the rear. The Obama image is actually a magnet. I'm surprised it hasn't been taken but one day, someone did turn it upside down:

The Bush one is my favorite by far. It'll be hard to see that one go. If it lasts through the end of the year, I'll change it for 2010.

QRB = Quail Ridge Books & Music - my favorite bookstore and the only LOCAL one in Raleigh. Sad but true.

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