‘Happy family’ bumper stickers are mocking me
By Paula Sirois
Someone in my building has one of those family bumper stickers on their rear window. Have you seen these? It’s stick-like figures of dad, mom, daughter, son and maybe a dog. I’ve seen some with lots of kids and a couple of pets too.
I hate them. They make me feel paranoid and incomplete.
I feel like people know by my lack of bumper sticker stick figures that I am ‘A Divorcee”... I can almost feel the scarlet letter D on my chest.
The stick figures are all overly happy, with crazy big smiles and hands up in the air rejoicing. When I see them on the road I immediately dislike the entire family inside that car. I know that’s wrong.
It feels like they are advertising to the world: “Look at us, we are the happiest in-tact family in the world; even our dog is happy. Are you?”
I know I’m just jealous, right?
I just stepped outside to perform a secret agent, undercover spy mission on this person’s car. Looked both ways, nobody was around, and casually walked up to the rear window and took a good hard look at those happy, mocking stick figures.
They make me feel like I’m doing it all wrong; and I don’t just mean the divorced/single mom stuff. I mean the money. Yes. The money. I can’t help but feel that those stickers are not just screaming happy family, but they are also screaming “and, we are financially stable, contributing the maximum to our 401(k)’s, IRA’s, kids’ college funds and future lake house funds, as well as having an almost paid-off mortgage on our beautifully landscaped McMansion that houses our A-plus students, who are athletic and social champions and give their allowance to charity too.”
Am I reading too much into it? What if we all got stick figures that told the truth about our lives and money? Picture a stick figure of a guy holding up a credit card and his wife’s stick figure aiming at it with a scissors? Or picture stick figures of two sad people looking at the foreclosure sign on their house?
My sticker would be a stick figure of a mom and two kids and a pug followed by a huge ball of constant stress and fear and worry. What about yours?
Now that Zombies are in, I recently saw something on Facebook of Zombie stick figure family members and a note underneath that said something like my zombie stick figures ate your happy family stick figures. Naturally, I laughed. So, I’m not alone. There are others who feel the same way. Maybe you’re one of us?