Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bumper Stickers and DB's

The other day as we were driving down the street, we passed a group of children. One child stood out.

He was holding a basketball and had a vapid "I've-played-too-many-video-games" look on his face. He was slack jawed and I do believe I saw a drop of drool hit the pavement. He stared at us as we drove by.

It drives me BANANAS when kids do this.

"Wait, stop the car," I wanted to say to Chris.

I thought about hopping out of the SUV, yanking the basketball out of his hands and bouncing it off his forehead, just to see if anyone was home.

Instead, I turned around to Wesley.

"Wesley. Don't ever do that," I ordered.

"Do what?"

"Stare at cars like an idiot," I said, pointing to the kid.

He nodded, knowingly.

He has heard me rant about kids looking stupid like this he knows the drill. He probably does it all the time anyway.

I think a lot about appearances.

No matter how much my husband preaches on Sundays that "it is what is inside that counts," I can't help it. I still worry about the outside.

For example, I don't do bumper stickers with messages. It causes me to judge and make assumptions.

I drove home from the gym this morning behind a Honda CRX with a bumper sticker that said "Illest."

Really? Are you the "illest?" As in cool? Usually, if someone has to tell you that they are the "illest," they aren't.

The other day on the way home from the beach we pulled up at a red light next to a black Bentley. Wes "ooooh'd" and "awwww'd" because in our area one does not see that many Bentleys.

At that moment, we heard hip hop music begin to boom from the car, and the righteous dude driving the "Bentley" rolled down the tinted windows. He was approximately 22, was wearing a pink shirt, a plaid fedora and had "douche-bag" written all over him.

In our busted up "Mercedes-Benz" with no AC and various service lights flickering, the discussion ensued that by the time one is at the place in life to own a Bentley, one should act like one has "been there." One should not act like a douche.

We came to the conclusion it MUST have been a kit car.

My very favorite bumper sticker, however, is "Animals Don't Leave."


I find it fascinating because a.) it is a naked statement baring your bleeding wounds to everyone you come into contact with as you tootle around town. There is no need to open your mouth or speak a word. Those who see you and "read your car" already know you are an emotional wreck and are, at least at this very moment in your life, are broken enough to plaster this statement on your car.

And, b.) I honestly believe that the majority of animals dream of escaping in their wildest of wild dreams. I don't care if you are the Mother Teresa of pet owners; your animal still wants to escape you. That's why you have to keep them in the house, on a leash and train them not to run away.

All of our animals have felt this way, I'm sure: the cats, the bird, the dogs...even the goldfish, if we would have remembered to feed them and they lived long enough.

The only reason that Ragnar the Viking dog hasn't tried to run away yet is that he is a puppy, and hasn't gotten over his phobias of the world. He's afraid of the sound of crickets at the moment. It doesn't bode well for an adventureous tromp into the nearest freshwater canal for him.

We had a Cairn Terrier who tried to get away every chance he could, and out of obligation and "good pet owner responsibility" we took him back in after every angst filled escapade. We fed him, bathed him and gave him treats and rawhides bones. Yet every time he saw an open door, he would be gone...and I imagine that if he had fingers, there would be a little middle one sticking up on his way out the door. A little doggy f-you, if you will.

It is interesting about our feelings about bumper stickers at this stage in our lives because on our first date, Chris picked me up in his Ford Escort with personalized license plates that said "Viking7."

He had a "Sigma Pi Epsilon" sticker in one corner of his rear window, a "Bucky Badger" sticker in another corner, a Denver Bronco sticker in yet another corner.

His car only has several magnets/stickers on it at the moment but nothing that can be overtly mocked or can be considered overkill.

As in, nothing that looks douchey or needy.

We are, indeed, from the Midwest and are extremely uncomfortable with drawing undue attention to ourselves or our children. Although we have moved to a new area, our children must be guided and directed in the ways of the Scandinavians: always be slightly aloof, quiet, reserved.

"Act like you have been there" if you ever become successful enough to own a Bentley. For God's sake, never ever buy a bumper sticker that says "Animals Never Leave."

And certainly never stare at a car as it drives by and for goodness sake, shut your mouth and don't look like a slob by drooling all over the street.

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