Okay, this has been rattling around in my head for quite sometime but it’s come to a point where I just have to get it out there – part vent, part genuine enquiry … what is the go with those My Family Stickers that appear to be breeding upon urban 4WDs in my general vicinity?
It started innocently enough. I was at a barbecue getting on my soapbox about frangipani flower stickers on cars, when a friend piped up with ‘what about those My Family stickers?’. ‘What my family stickers?’ I responded. He proceeded to tell me about white stick people that were appearing on cars denoting each member of the family that rides in that car. When I looked baffled, he prophetically warned “Now I’ve told you about them, you’ll see them everywhere.”
That was some time ago, and I now smile ruefully at my innocence back then, my PMFO days (Pre My Family Onslaught). I have, I must admit, become peversely fascinated with them, checking out the car in front’s stick figures when I’m stopped at the lights.
“Oh they’ve got 3 children, a dog and a cat,” I think to myself.
“She likes to run, and he likes to barbecue,” I think as I pull up next to another.
“What’s that small thing at the end? A duck perhaps,” I think as I try and make out the myriad of family members adorning a Honda Odyssey.
But today, a new thought. I caught myself wondering if I was to purchase a My Family for our car, how would I choose a sticker that defines me? The ‘mother’ ones I see most are undoubtedly ‘Running Mum’, complete with short running shorts, crop top and pony tail, and ‘Shopping Mum’, laden with designer shopping bags, short LBD and a side pony. Both would be the antithesis of me.
As a side note, in those first four months of Jarvis’s life when every car trip had a screaming sound track I loathed ‘Running Mum’ and ‘Shopping Mum’ – I took their carefree, stick figures as a personal affront to my car driving hell.
So, anyway stick figure me. Google helps me find My Family Shop Online. I click on Mothers and there are 18 options to choose from, I think about my hobbies and interests as I browse the options on offer. ‘Corporate Mum’? Well, she does have a laptop, but she also is holding a mobile and wearing a business suit – not very me. Next …
‘Ball of wool mum?’ Too Crafty. ‘Soccer Ball or Footy Mum?’ Too sporty! ‘Surf board mum?’ ditto. Following are a whole heap of action mums – ‘Army Mum’, ‘Bicycle Mum’ and ‘Tennis Mum’… I suddenly feel even more of a couch potato.
The closest to me I can get is ‘Book Mum’ or ‘Jeans and tee mum’ – at least Jeans and Tee Mum has curly hair.
Feeling even more sure that ‘My Family’ is not for me and that I am boring and devoid of a popular hobby I think about what my sticker would look like. Unruly wavy hair? Check. A laptop with baby on knee? Check. Leg Hair? Check. Piles of washing as a backdrop? Check. Yep, that pretty much would sum me up. Just call me feral, blogging, cleaning allergy Mum. Probably not much of a market for that one. And if there was, it’s probably not something you’d go around advertising on the back of your car.
Maybe they’re meant to be purely aspirational, a symbol of your most perfect self? If that’s the case I’d settle for straightened hair, a leg wax and a ironing lady to take care of the endless piles of washing.
But the thing I most want to know is what started this and why is it spreading like wildfire around the suburbs? Judging by the number of My Families I see on a daily basis, about 1 in 5 families have these stickers (source: my own conjured calculation) , so someone out there reading this must have them adorned on their vehicle.
Please explain … Is it a short hand way of discerning if you have common interests with other families on the drop off run? A bit of fun? And how did you decide what mum best suited you? Or are you as befuddled as I am?