Thursday, October 04, 2007

Proud Alumni

Until I had kids, I always kept my car scrupulously neat. My parents' cars are so full of junk (stacks of papers, books, gallons of water, cases of Diet Coke) that it's hard to find a place to sit. In reaction, the only non-standard thing visible in my car was usually dog hair.

Since kids, it's been much harder to keep a neat car. I don't have the free hands to carry clutter inside with me, nor the inclination to go back outside (leaving child unattended inside) to clean up right after returning home from every errand. So the car has become a bit more cluttered.

I don't put much on the outside of my car, either, and that's easier to keep tidy. In 2004 I had a Kerry sticker, but that came down on election night. I used to have a double helix-shaped Down Syndrome Awareness magnetic ribbon, but that stayed on the Passat and didn't transition with me to the Odyssey. The only other form of decoration I had on the Passat was my Washington University in St. Louis: College of Arts & Sciences window decal.

Now that Paul's driving the Passat, the alumni sticker has been bugging him. He's a Wash U grad too, but from the School of Engineering, and he doesn't want to be associated with the School of "Arts & Crafts." I don't blame him; I wouldn't want an Enginerd sticker on my car.

Paul gave a couple of talks at Wash U this week, and he picked up a new window decal for each of us (the ones we had weren't transferable, though they are removable). He's already affixed the "School of Engineering" sticker to his back window, but I find myself oddly reluctant to put my new sticker on the van.

It's not because I'm ashamed that I've grown up to be a minivan mom. (Well, I am, perhaps, a little, but that's not why I haven't put the sticker on the back window.) It's that I associate college stickers on the backs of minivans with where the children of the driver have gone, rather than the driver herself.

Which is a very interesting thing, actually.


Camera Obscura said...

I won't put a UMR sticker on my van (or a MST sticker, when it officially changes next Jan.) but I'm hoping to put a Cal Tech or MIT or some such one up two years from now...

Sarahlynn said...

When Ellie's 18, I bet I'll be feeling a lot more ready to do this than I do now!

PPB said...

Hey! I have alumni stickers on my car!

Sarahlynn said...

Do you drive a minivan?

I don't know why I feel weird about putting university stickers on my minivan, but was fine with them on my sedan. Maybe if I find one that actually says "Alumni."