Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Bumper Stickers

I was driving home from work tonight and the Jeep in front of me had a license plate frame that said San Antonio. Well, not literally, I had to read it. I didn't think too much of it though because somewhere around here there is a San Antonio, California. But then I noticed at the bottom it said Ingram Park. Ingram Park! By golly, that is from San Antonio, Texas. And, it dawned on me next month I'll be there for two glorious weeks. At least most of it will be glorious, part of it will be spent with my mom, and there's no telling how that will go.

But, then the panic of all that I need to accomplish before I get to bask in the Texas sun caved in on me. About 40 textbook chapters of reading and god knows how many quizzes, tests, papers, proposals, and presentations to give. And that's only for school! It doesn't include all that I have to do at work, or the fact that I am planning on moving the weekend before I take off for my vacation. And, I haven't even started looking for an apartment yet. I've got to accomplish this all by NEXT MONTH!

Right after that overwhelming feeling, a car passed by plastered with bumper stickers. Yeah, bumper stickers! I'm easily distracted. What can I say? I love to read them. I'll schooch right up on someone's bumper at a stop light to read them. They say so much about a person. But, do they really? I don't have one bumper sticker on my car. I've never been able to bring myself to do it. And, no I'm not a man. As such, my car is not my lover, although some have proved quite reliable compared to some of my past lovers. Anyhow it got my mind to wandering and here is where it went:

I don't really like bumper stickers. They are pithy little labels. They say so much but nothing really at all. You sum up the driver based on the bumper stickers they have. "My kid's an A student" - Oh they must be great parents. "Baby on Board" - Well then slow your ass down! "KROQ" - Oooo yeah they listen to my kinda music. "Save the Rainforest" - Damn tree huggers! "NRA all the way" - Damn rednecks! "Harley Davidson" - Hey baby, going my way? Yadda, yadda, yadda.

But, what does it say? Nothing! Just like you can't judge a book by its cover, you can't judge a driver by their stickers. I refuse to put a label on my car that will allow some random driver to sum me up in two or three words. It might be a component of me but I could plaster my whole car, house, and any other publicly displayed item and it still wouldn't be enough to adequately sum me up.

My rejection of labels then leads me to remember this po-dunk place that I lived for a while in Pennsylvania. My brother still lives there. Actually, after the divorce he moved to another po-dunk town down the road. But, it's still Po-dunkville, U.S.A. He's always asking and cajoling me to move back there. But, I can't. I like the anonymity of living in a city. I hated living there. In a small town, everyone knows your business. It's like you're walking around with a bumper sticker smack dab in the middle of your forehead and no one can see past it.

We didn't have the greatest life growing up. And, actually, by the time we got to po-dunk, it had actually settled down some compared to how it was in Florida for us, but it still sucked ass. Big time! And, the rule amongst us kids was we didn't talk about it, to each other, to our friends, to nobody. By not acknowledging it, maybe somehow it wasn't true. But, it was and everyone knew it because there it was on that damn bumper sticker pasted to my head.

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