The City

Maybe Families Shouldn’t Stick Together

All I did today was drive. All over the East Bay, up and down 680.

It doesn’t even bother me that I probably blew about $40 in gas today. How would I even have time to think about $3.89 per gallon when there are so many car stickers to get riled up over?

Since many cars have tinted windows nowadays, including about 98 percent of the SUV’s, the white window sticker has blown up in popularity.

turtle-sticker-familyOne of the early hits included the Hawaiian collection, designed for the driver looking to alert people to the fact that he or she is able to fully appreciate our fiftieth state. A nobel cause, to be sure.

First it was the white hibiscus flower sticker, then the sea turtle, maybe even a map of the islands themselves. But the sign things were getting out of control was when people started slapping stickers portraying a pair of white flip-flops on the back of their GMC Yukons and Honda Elements.

Why would anybody put flip-flop outlines on the back of their car? My sister Meg Marlin had the best hypothesis, when she guessed that the owner of a flip-flopped car is saying to the world, “I…am casual.”

car-sticker-familyOf course, some people can’t afford to make it to Hawaii, but they sure are able to have kids. For those owners of tinted-out minivans, we have the newest and most irritating white sticker, the stick family sticker.

Somebody’s making a killing on this idea, in which stick figure stickers can represent anyone’s entire family, complete with each person’s name underneath. Actually the family isn’t just confined to people in the world of stickers, there are stick dogs, too.

I’ve seen soccer families, cheerleader families, families with skateboarding sons, but the most obnoxious offender was a type of sticker family I saw today, one that combines the worst ideas of the white-sticker era: the flip-flop family.

flip-flop-sticker-familyThere weren’t any stick figures in this family. It was simply a family of five pairs of flip-flops, starting with the largest flip-flops (for daddy, presumably) and going all the way down to tiny little baby flip-flops.

It’s an interesting turn of events when a family’s declaration of their own casualness actually raises the blood pressure of the drivers around them. Maybe I should start looking at my gas gauge more often to distract myself from all these window stickers.

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