what do you say?

Isn’t it strange the way that our vehicles and homes have become extensions of ourselves? I suppose whether we like it or not our possessions say something about us. Every choice we make gives us the opportunity to further distinguish ourselves from everyone else. So, buying a home, a car, or even a shirt, isn’t simply about what I can afford or what best suits my needs, rather what does this ____ say about me? Am I simple and practical? Environmentally concerned? Tough? Big and loud? Parent? Bad-ass teenager? This idea only further extends with bumper stickers. Driving a hybrid simply doesn’t say enough, so I need to throw “Tree Hugger” onto the bumper so that people will really get the idea. Or maybe people might want to know that this mini-van carries two Christians (with a baby Christian, of course) or a Darwinist, or two cheerleaders and a baseball player. But, then sometimes it’s not enough to simply identify yourself using your bumper, you want to passive-aggressively accuse/lecture another person (whom you’ll probably never speak to otherwise). So, you stick something like “SUV:Super Unpatriotic Vehicle” or “my hummer can crush your prius” or “my shit-zhu is smarter than your honor student” or my recent favorite, “nuke the whales.”  Seriously? I remember when I was a kid riding with my mom down the highway. This other car had “honk if you love Jesus” on the bumper, so of course, my mom honked and waved at the lady, and she stared at us like we were crazy (and maybe we were). Which makes me wonder, how often do people forget about these little bumper identities? Other times I just wonder — well, I wonder a lot of things —  what are they thinking? Mark and I recently read a bumper that said, “if you’re gonna ride my ass, you better be pulling my hair.” (Just so you know, we were stopped at a light, not her ass.) Disturbing, right? What thoughts went through this sweet little girl’s head that said, this is the way I want all of these strangers to identify or know me. Wow. When did this evolution of identity occur, so that now driving in shared space is no longer simply about reaching a destination, rather an opportunity to emote, criticize, brag, and predominantly, have other drivers take note of your individuality?

Am I being ridiculous? Maybe. Maybe I’ve thought too much about this. Maybe I should just put it on a bumper sticker.

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