I don’t think I’m really breaking new ground here, but I loathe the 3-letter bumper sticker/decals like the one above. I don’t remember the first one I saw. I guess it depends on where you live. Which is the trendiest beach destination near you? Nantucket? One I see all the time is LBI. Now, Snoop taught me about the LBC, but LBI, I couldn’t care less about. I’m sure it’s a dream, but if you are driving in front of me, I don’t need to know. Back when these stickers were almost solely on the back of giant SUVs I guess they weren’t that bad, but now they’re everywhere.
You know how things go, when the public figures out what the fancy people like, it eventually trickles down. I think that was a Freakonomics theory. So, while these stickers may not even be popular anymore in their places of origin, they’ve become inescapable and have come to stand for any number of things. My personal favorite that I see on occasion is MMA. My first thought was obviously mixed martial arts, but no, it stands for Merion Mercy Acadamy. An all girls private school. So, don’t be fooled, that lady ahead of you in the mommed-out Navigator is no Anderson Silva fan.
I think, in general, you shouldn’t seek accolades for yourself through the public sticker. It shouldn’t be, look at where I vacation! The same goes for the “26.2” stickers that marathoners have on their cars, or anything of that ilk. You know, if you want to keep some artifact from your marathon in the privacy of your own home, that’s great. You need positive reinforcement. I, for example, put the stickers from my apples on the door to my fridge. There’s probably over 100 apple stickers on there right now. It’s something I can look at on occasion and say, look at yourself eating fruit. You are the apple’s greatest natural predator. Way to not eat an entire block of cheese when you were hungry that time. But, this is on my fridge, in my own kitchen. I don’t have a bumper sticker with the fruit of the loom logo on it or something advertising my occasionally healthy snacking habits.
But, so many people can’t resist making their sticker issue public. I mean, this is why Facebook exists. People love to talk about themselves and then receive positive reinforcement. That like button is a powerful thing. I’ve never clicked the “like” button, because really, I don’t want to perpetuate the habit. The only exception I would make for the stickers is if you are touting someone else. If your kid got into an Ivy League school, or they got into some school that was really impressive (for them), you know go ahead and throw up the sticker. It’s probably impossible for a parent not to do that, but the personal stickers have to go. I mean, what’s next? Your salary on a bumper sticker? Your IQ?
I was on some blog or website the other day and I saw someone had commented and their name was “Michael G.” I immediately felt violated. Whoa, that’s my name. I understand that I do not have an uncommon name, or an uncommon last initial, but this was the first time this has happened to me. I guess when you are registering for an email address and it suggests, “mgross576397,” it should sink in a little bit, but it didn’t for me. I immediately wanted to know who this other Michael G. person was. I imagined other people thinking of me when they saw this person’s stupid comment, and that drove me crazy for a while too. What a nightmare.
Think it would be funny to give someone a gift card for $1? One of those cards that don’t have the value on them? It would also be funny to ask the person at the store to load a 50 dollar card with 10 dollars, but I’m not sure they would do that. I think it would be funny on two levels. First, the person who sells it to you has to keep a professional appearance while you ask for a $1 gift card. But, the real fun starts when the person cashes it in. I guess it would have to be for a store that was pretty affordable. Maybe Wawa. You go too fancy on the store and the recipient of the gift will get greedy and look up the value before hand. No, I’m thinking Wawa, or something like that the person is automatically going to assume it’s in the 10-25 dollar range. That feels like Wawa standard to me. So, they go in, snag a hoagie or whatever, it comes to $6.58. Well, the card has to be worth at least that much. Wrong! They still owe $5.58. Then they have the internal debate about whether to get into an argument about it, or come to the realization that you gave them a $1 gift card. Pretty amazing sequence if you ask me. Everyone watch out next Christmas.