May 01, 2014

Kiss My Bumper

Growing up, my conservative father had a hard and fast rule - no bumper stickers allowed. True to my roots my cars have always remained naked.  Although, I have recently softened briefly and let my girls slap on a field hockey magnet on the bumper of our van.  We'll see how long I can stand to let that last.  

The era of the cluttered rear end of the Pinto has been refined to tailgates and rear windows that become mobile statements about the every hobby, interest and affiliation under the sun.  People are telling me how smart their children are, or how athletic, or what college they go to.  Bumper stickers are telling me who you are voting for - or apparently did vote for an election or two ago.  Vinyl clings are telling me the exact size, age and favorite hobby of your entire family - all in stick figure form.  The rear of our car is apparently the way we need to advertise about ourselves to the motoring world.

I couldn't hold out any longer, I had to say something with my car too. My new statement wasn't resigned to a little corner of my bumper, however.  No, this message was was granted a spot right in the center:

Am I making a statement or what?  I hope that what I am saying with it is loud and clear, because I have been ready to pull my hair at at times.  Alan and I gave much thought to whether we should do a lift out of the side or rear of our van.  After hearing of the nightmare experiences of several friends that are never able to find handicap parking available with the extra lift space on the side, we decided we would go for the foolproof design of a rear lift.  We didn't anticipate that there would be so many times that people couldn't resist the opportunity to park nice and cozy, right up next to the back of the van, practically kissing my bumper.

Recently I was taking Bridger home from school early so I pulled up to the curb (a big, long, vacant expanse of curb.) When I returned, there was a car within a foot of the back of my van.  I couldn't let go of Bridger in the middle of the parking lot to move my car forward.  So I politely asked if they could move their car back several feet so I could open my lift to put Bridger in.  I was taken aback at her incredibly put-out reaction as she performed the apparently exhaustive task of backing her car up a few feet.  As much as I didn't like having to ask her to do that, at least she was there for the asking.  Other times there has been no driver in sight for the car that is blocking our rear access, which has put me in a pickle on more than one occasion.

I was so excited when my 4x6 magnetic solution to my ongoing problem arrived.  And, just to be trendy like that, I made sure it was in stick figure form.