Today I was driving through Connecticut when I passed a car with seven or eight stickers on various rear and side windows. The one that caught my attention was a profile of a backpacker with a dog on a leash. Another one that interested me was an Ithaca College sticker. I didn’t know the driver of this car, but I’m confident that I’d have an interesting conversation with them if the opportunity ever presented itself. Stickers say a lot about the driver.
The vast majority of drivers – myself included – have no bumper stickers or their magnetic cousins on their cars. Maybe a parking sticker for work or school, but nothing that announces who they are or what they believe in. Contrast that with the in-your-face nature of the overtly political advocate’s car. Pro-Trump and anti-Hilary. Anti-Trump and pro-Hilary. Either way I see the stickers on their car and I definitely don’t want to have a beer with them.
Stickers announce affiliation with a school, a sports team, a community, military branch, or a favorite vacation spot. I have no problem with this. Embrace your tribe and be proud. You want to show how many kids and pets you have with stickers? Have at it.
I do have a problem with antagonists and posers. You want to put an extra-large bumper sticker on your car telling the world what you believe? You’ll be noticed, but you’ll be thought poorly of by the majority of people you’re sharing the road with. You’re probably blocked or muted by your Facebook friends too. The world is seemingly full of antagonists lately. Sorry, I have no time for your agenda.
Posers are another troubling lot. Your kids got into four of the best colleges in the northeast? Good for you. I’m not having a beer with you, but good for you. Stickers are innocent enough on their own. It’s the driver’s approach to this rolling art that makes me shake my head. Such are the roadways of 2019 America.