What’s your opinion on vanity car plates?
I think they’re…well, vain. But an interesting insight into the person driving around in them because it shows the world how that person identifies themselves. One the one hand there’s the selection of the plate itself, which I don’t think is vain at all, but still intriguing. For example, Oregon has a handful of plates with which you can present your ideals: the basic tree, the covered wagon, Crater lake, the cyclist, the wine region, the salmon… and these are more general, though considered “special interest”.
I’m referring to the fascination of what people choose for the text on their vanity plates. In a way it’s like a tattoo: a lot of thought, a lot of money, potentially lasting a lifetime, requires explanation and probably embarrassing at some point in the future. Maybe comparing it to a first email address is more appropriate. Are you a #1MUM? FOOTY4LF? LDYBG? TOPCH3F? FITNE55?
I think about this a lot when I drop Samara at school because there are lots of fancy parents driving expensive cars with specialized plates, many of which relate to parenting. I don’t get this. I love Samara, but I believe that even if I had biological children I wouldn’t identify with being just “mum”, at least not to the extent that it’s what I would shout it to the world. It’s painting yourself into a tiny, stereotypical corner. Sure, Matt and I could get plates that say LUVTRAVL but there is more to us than just travel. What about our passions and diverse interests? To the people that advertise their parental position, favorite sports team or financial situation (2RICH – yes, I have seen something like this!) – why do you do this? I’m truly curious. Because when I see the “MUM” plates I have already created an outline of that person in my mind. That’s who they are in my mind: a mother. And this may mean I miss out on knowing them as a friend, a hard worker, an independent thinker or an amateur actor, all because of 8 characters on the back of their car.
Much love and many hugs,