I have a friend who thinks that those popular car window family stickers are cheat sheets for home invaders. She insists that they tell bad guys exactly who’s in your house: Mom, Dad, Soccer Player Kid, Ballerina Kid, Baby Kid, Cat 1, Cat 2, and Bone-Loving Dog. Perhaps she watches too much, “Dexter.” (Warning: upsetting video, not the least of which because it depicts “3rd Rock From the Sun’s” John Lithgow as a serial killer).
What I do know is that I never cared for those stickers, and today, one of them prompted me to shout, “Oh, bite me!” They were affixed to the back window of a mini-van (of course), and listed: Mom, Dad, too many kids to count while driving, plus some assorted pets.
But this particular home invasion inventory sheet also included the words, “We are one big happy family!”
Good for you. Now keep it to yourself. Also, bite me.
I had just dropped off a child who’d lost his father in a tragic accident this past winter. I had also dropped off my son, the child of very recently divorced parents. I wondered, How would our stickers look? What would we add in white lettering, next to Nap-Loving Cat: “One recently downsized and still-grieving family?”
Now, I don’t believe that not every public declaration needs to be scrubbed of possible offense. (Case in point: Spotted the day before my hysterectomy, a bumper sticker that read: “Save the Uterus.” Funny, God. Ha. Ha.)
But the stick figure family stickers reek of bragging, as if to say: “We were able to beat the odds of divorce, death, and infertility, and subsequently maintain an intact family with a multitude of offspring and pets. Look at us!”
Not, “Look at us! We love the New York Giants!”
Not, “Check us out! We have a child at Boston College, so please don’t hit our car because we just sent in the tuition check and our cash flow isn’t great right now.”
Not, “I have paid to park in this particular parking lot,” or “We prefer to vacation at Lake George.”
These say, ” We are one big happy family! Here is our inventory! And our exclamation point to prove how excited we are about our size and our happiness level!”
Well, good for you. Now, leave it at home.