Lately I find myself continually perplexed, maybe even a little haunted, by this stick family decal trend. At first I thought, weird and quickly forgot. Then, as if by the mere act of noticing, I couldn’t stop. They appeared everywhere. In the drive-thru line at Starbucks, the mall parking lot, the car in front of me on the freeway…and after a sighting, I could only spend the next half hour wondering…why?
Bumper stickers are bad enough, but for every fifty you see, you can bank on getting at least one laugh. For instance, the time I was picked up for a date when I was home one college weekend. There was a metal head guy I had a crush on in high school who heard I was in town and asked me out. Imagine my surprise when he opened the car door (aww…he had manners!) only to find a bumper sticker proudly displayed on the glove box that said “To all the Virgins in the World, Thanks for Nothing.” Okay, offensive…but seriously funny…at least with my skewed sense of humor.
What I want to know though is who these people are proudly displaying stick family window decals and what is their thought process in doing so?
I find myself trying to pass them on the road; slowing down to get a glimpse of this happy clan. Certainly they brand themselves as the perfect family unit and apparently do so for the viewing pleasure of everyone else. What emotion do they hope to evoke – one of pure joy at their familial success? Am I to think…how great that you procreated and bought this cross-over vehicle to haul your spawn and pets as you shuttle across the city. Should I beep the horn, give them a thumbs up? As if to say, “Hey man, you did good!”
Personally I do not know anyone sporting one of these. Clearly they are not my demographic and I’m fairly certain we will never be friends. So who is the target audience here? Okay…I’ll just say it…the Wal-Mart shopper? Where else would one go for this type of purchase? Now, before you judge me for that comment, I ask you to sit for a half hour in the parking lot and tell me if you see where I am going with this.
Now as luck would have it, there is a new vehicle parking in the assigned space next to me at the office. Each morning, before my first cup of caffeine, I am greeted by another doozy of a decal which depicts a Father, Mother, Son, three cats, two dogs, and what looks to be lizard, all grinning from ear to ear.
Call me crazy, but when I get a glimpse at that, I think…Wowza…that looks like a hot mess! That’s a lot of crap to contend with: a spouse, a kid, and SIX animals?! Is that supposed to be the American Dream?
The worst part is that the stick figure drawings are now evolving with enhanced features which come in a variety of forms. How do ten smiling dolphins dancing across the rear window, tagged with cutesy nicknames grab you?
Clearly the traditional family unit is back and displaying their empowerment; a constant reminder to this single girl to be happy she has never been a trendsetter. So as I cruise along, I’ll have to learn to accept these decals, rather than racking my brain with questions. Is the decal split in case of divorce? Are step children indicated by a (-)? What is the redneck millionaire who invented these things doing right now? I think I know the answer to that one…certainly working on Phase 2: vehicle wraps.