The rear end of a vehicle can tell a lot about the life of the driver. I have always found it interesting to read the window stickers or the personalized license plates. Some people expose their whole life on the back of their cars. They start with the white stick figures showing the five people of their family: dad, mom, soccer playing son, cheerleading daughter, and toddler. They even have stick figure dog and cat next to the line of family members. In a few years that same car is going to have several different stickers from the colleges their children are attending. Then maybe that mom will put a 26.2 when she has finished her first marathon. An OBX sticker will add to the mix after they vacation in the Outer Banks. That same mom may also decide to personalize her license plate the next time she renews her registration, making a witty combination of letters and numbers describing her busy life: “BZMOM04”or “MOMTAX1.”
I am not mocking this driver. I have been her. Not with the stick figure family and pets, that would take up the whole window with my large family. In Texas I sported a Southlake Dragon logo sticker when my kids were in elementary school. Every school had the same mascot. Dragon pride ran deep. So the shape of Texas with a green dragon head proudly adorned the rear window of my suburban. Then we moved to Connecticut and a Wilton Warrior “W” with an arrow was added in the adjacent corner. I guess you could say we were team players through and through. Dragons, Warriors, Tomahawks, Wildcats, Titans, Knights, Rams, Generals, Demon Deacons, we have showed our allegiance to each with a decal on the car. Though not all at the same time, or I wouldn’t be able to see out the rear window.
The idea of attaching a sticker revealing something about yourself, be it your family, your alma mater, an accomplishment of a distance event or even your political views, is a statement. If you are willing to peel off and attach it with sticky adhesive then it means something to you. The first of this kind of meaningful statement for me was way back in the 70’s. My family used to vacation in Aptos, California. One day during that relaxing week at the beach we would go over to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk for rollercoasters, corn dogs, and cotton candy. Right near the bumper cars, there was a store front that created custom bumper stickers. Notice that I did not say window decals. These were footlong rectangular shaped stickers that attached directly to your metal bumpers; For some reason, very popular in that decade. Simple phrases like “GO JUMP IN A LAKE” or “PUT ON A HAPPY FACE” or one that made me laugh as a kid “HONK IF YOU’RE HORNEY.”
I cannot even remember my parents’ car back then, but I do remember the bumper sticker we had custom made that summer at the Boardwalk. It was the coolest in my mind. We simply took our last name and added the work “Power” to it. The font used was groovy and loopy, think flower-power-peace font. “PAPINI POWER” I can see it now, and would proudly stick it to my metal bumper if I had one. A few years ago we had t-shirts made with those words in a similar groovy font. I love reaching into the closet for a t-shirt and coming across it. Definitely a statement that makes me smile remembering my family growing up. That was some team to be proud of!
So what is on the rear window of my car these days? Not a college or high school mascot decal even though I have two in school, not a stick figure playing tennis even though I play. My window proudly displays my newest endeavor. The day we drove to pick up Koda and Summer, I ordered it online. “AUSSIEDOODLE MOM” I never thought I would be one of those people who love their dogs so much they do this, but I am and I do. Aussiedoodle Mom and loving it!