“Can someone please explain to me why I find minivan/SUV window family decals so irritating?” That is the status update of a friend of mine on Facebook. As always is the case on Facebook: there were many replies to this question from people I know and care for, and people I do not know, and there are answers I agree with and not so much. I found it interesting enough to write this.
Though I must admit that I am not a big fan of the stick figure representation of families, I do have something on the back of my Minivan. Yes I do drive a Minivan… does that make me a soccer dad? In that way we are almost the opposite of the stereotypical traditional family (at least of the past). Though we both work, I drive the Minivan, while Andrea drives the corporate car (though the corporate car is also a Minivan, that is about to change with a hybrid due to GE “going green”). So I sold my Hyundai Elantra to taxi kids around town in the family minivan.
A few years ago Andrea’s parents gave us family decals to put on the Minivan. Andrea told me on the phone, and at first I wasn’t too happy about it. When I got home, I was relieved to discover that they were not stick figures, nor did they have any stereotypical symbolism beyond their innate symbolism. They were purple sandals, I didn’t really mind. Shortly after we put them on I saw Switchfoot (my favorite band since U2) and bought one of their stickers… also a sandal.
Another reason I like these more than any of the multitude of these stickers is that the “children” sandals do not differentiate between boys and girls. I like this a lot, and not because I buy into the idea that there are no intrinsic differences between girls and boys (I think the notion that ALL gender identity exists in social constructs to be incredibly foolish). Rather, I have never understood why in this day and age one would advertise “little girl here”, “little boy here”. Why would one advertise that? Which I guess is really the question. Would I have these on my car if my in-laws had not given them to us… I think maybe not.
There is one thing I really do not like about my own Family Bumper stickers. We now have a fourth child, Isaac Wilberforce Merrin. I have no idea where to get a fourth sandal! Plus, even if I found one, I would have to peel off my Switchfoot sticker!
So what do you think of the habit of putting these minivan/SUV window family decals on the back of the vehicle? Does it annoy you? Also while you are at it, check out my other sticker: if you do not know what Invisible Children is… Google it!