I would like to feel like I am fulfilling some greater purpose, while waiting behind you at this red light. Other than just sitting in traffic. Thank you for your attention to your bumper. This is a multi-step process that you have completed. Kudos to your ability to stay on task and finish a project. I already admire you. You researched what bumper sticker you would like to purchase. You bought it. You cleaned off your bumper. You proudly smoothed that sweet sticker all the way across your car’s rear end. No air bubbles and it’s totally straight. You nailed it. Well done. I have a difficult enough time putting my license tag renewal sticker on every year. Like I said, there are a lot of steps. A lot of distracting things can happen when walking from the kitchen counter out to the bumper of my van. I may notice that dirty dish. Put that in the sink. Ouch. I just stepped on a Nerf gun. Oh, I should start that load of laundry. Whoops. There is a kid crying somewhere. Wait a second, what was I even doing?
I hate to psychoanalyze the mindset of bumper sticker loving people. However, I do want to jump inside your head for a bit. I get it. You like a certain sports team. Rock Chalk. Go Mizzou. Or hey, your child made the honor roll. Congrats! Isn’t there free ice cream for that too? When you’re trying to go all deep with your beliefs, on the back of your car, what’s that about? If I try to make eye contact with you, will you roll down your window, meet me for coffee or something to talk about your bumper sticker beliefs? Or will you just think I’m a creepy staring mom and pretend you don’t see me? I really want to know. So, you believe in evolution. Or people with the worst posture ever. Their backs must kill. Cool. You like stick kids. Zombies. Obama. Hey, wait, don’t drive off so fast. I was just getting to know you. I want to be friends.
Maybe it’s just me, but if I want to read something on someone’s bumper, while waiting f-o-r-e-v-e-r for the left turn signal, I would like it to be in the fortune cookie genre. “You should say you’re sorry. And mean it.” Or “Take the highway not the side streets.” Or “Don’t keep ignoring your check engine light.” Maybe even, “Be careful. You will get a flat tire soon.” Can’t leave out, “You will inherit millions. Go buy a lottery ticket.” Maybe we don’t order Chinese food enough.
I can be all sorts of indecisive. Is it too much to ask that your bumper sticker help me make some simple or really difficult choices? A magic eight ball approach to bumper stickers. Just simply, “Yes.” Or “No.” I haven’t done my research and perhaps I haven’t driven in enough cities to truly know the diversity that may exist in the bumper sticker world. Or the psychological research done on the powerful impact of a bumper sticker. What do I know? I’ve only unintentionally driven around with an eighties rockstar on my car. My husband put a picture of Rick Springfield on my right bumper last summer. I drove around for weeks not knowing he was even there. Big surprise. Perhaps people behind me at red lights thought that my husband wished that he had Jesse’s girl. I think they probably just associated Rick Springfield with a distracted mom that didn’t GO right as the light turned green. Honk! Honk! Sorry, I was trying to grab a fallen Batman action figure. It was really important. And hard to reach without unbuckling. See you at the next red light. I will make sure and smile and wave at you like we’re old friends. Why are you ignoring me, like we didn’t just have a meaningful moment at that last red light? Or if I get stuck behind you, I will just read your bumper stickers. Hey, there it is, “Coexist.” How ironic.