Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fear of Bumper Stickers

I know this is going to sound weird, but I have a strange new fear of anything that sticks to a car such as a bumper sticker, magnet, or decal.  I can remember, back when I was a kid, it became popular to slam that "My kid is an honor roll student at such and such Elementary School!" sticker on one's bumper.  The "un-honor roll" parents' aversion to those stickers was palpable as the un-bumper sticker moms and dads would poke fun at them like no one's business.
Needless to say, you don't see those honor roll stickers out there anymore.  I think people realized it was like saying, "My kid is awesome, and I'm an awesome parent, and you suck."
But my new fear began a few years ago when Alex started kindergarten, and I thumped the magnet for her school on my minivan.  I would roll up into my school's parking lot, where I teach, and feel awkward every day because here I am teaching at a public school (which I love, by the way), and my daughter is going to a private school.  I felt like it was an invitation for fight club at any given moment:  How could I do that?  Are you stuck up?  Is public school not good enough for you?
As a side note, Alex doesn't go to public school for any of those questioning accusations.  We take it year by year and evaluate what our pocket books can stretch to and most importantly, what's best for Alex.  She loves where she goes to school, so we haven't moved her yet.
I digress...
Putting that magnet made me feel vulnerable.  I had to answer for that to anyone who saw it.  The other conflict was that there were some days where I wasn't a 100% fan of her school, which every parent goes through from day to day no matter where their kid goes to school.  I felt guilty being the rolling billboard on days that were challenging for me.
OK, example #2:  Alex's swim club car magnet.  Alex joined the local swim club a few years ago too.  I slapped that magnet on as well.  Again, I had my own parental challenges with that on particular days and felt like it wasn't permanent that she was going to do it forever.
So, I'm car magnet/bumper sticker free now.  I don't know, maybe it takes a certain confidence and comfort level with your life to be able to carry them off well.  Obviously I don't have that, so I'm not hating on anyone who rolls with various medallions.  Our life changes a lot and often.  We're still figuring things out and maybe that's why I fear the bumper sticker:  it's so freaking permanent.  It feels like writing with a Sharpie that will never come off.
Sometimes as I'm cruising I see really good one: there was one that said, "Normal isn't working for you?" and the "t" was a cross.  I LOVED that.  I also love the Africa/Ethiopia decals with the heart in them, but those make me feel that I'm leaving my biological daughter out.  I know this sounds crazy.  I have issues; I know this.
So for now, I will admire some of your "stickers," and I may smirk from time to time at some of them, but I guess that's what makes life interesting and fun.  They certainly make me think about stuff.  Oh well!

1 comment:

  1. I wholeheartedly agree and have a major aversion to putting something so PERMANENT on my vehicle. Matt put the little caricatures of a mommy, daddy, and the two girls on the car. I'm getting used to that. And he put an AIR FORCE WIFE sticker on there...I admit I'm proud of that one, but not for me because of HIS service. Why are we so worried about what others may think about us?????