An Occasional Column by
“Dr.” Amy Fusselman
Amy Fusselman is not a doctor. She will occasionally write about issues relevant to those trying to live harmoniously in a nuclear family system. For more info, visit amyfusselman.com.
“Dr.” Fusselman’s Handy Guide to Minivan Stick-Figure Decals.
You’ve probably seen them: the families of stick figures adorning the bottom left (usually the bottom left, but sometimes the upper left) corner of the rear window on our nation’s nine gazillion SUVs and minivans. What the heck are these things and why are they there? Here’s a brief primer.
1. We Are Raising a Nation of Sticker Putter-On-ers
Do you know what my kids’ pediatrician offers my kid after she gets a shot? A sticker. Do you know what the primary components of a modern-day, children’s “activity book” are? Stickers. Do you know what some people hand out for Halloween nowadays? Stickers.
Affixing stickers is a common, modern-day children’s activity—kind of like what, oh, coal mining, used to be.
For adults to affix stickers representing themselves and their children, rendered in a childlike fashion, on the back of the car, is a way for said adults to ape children in their communication about children. Kinda like what most adults do in writing children’s books. But I already wrote about a column that.
2. The Narcissism of Small Differences
Remember what Freud said about fussing over small differences as a way for humans to acceptably channel their aggression? Well, I see from your rear-window stickers, Honda Odyssey, that you have three stick-figure children. Do you know how many I have? None. I have a myself-sticker And I have a cat-sticker. Now I am going to accelerate to 100 miles an hour so I can pass you, you stupid fuck.
3. The Line
Do you know what I did, when I had my children? I added to my lineage. I made my line longer. Because you know what I am, right now? I am an adult. That’s right. I’m a LINE LEADER.
What do you mean, where’s my line going? It’s not going anywhere. It’s frozen, can’t you see that? The sticker-adults never age; the sticker-children never age. It’s not a procession, because if it were a procession, that is, if it were moving, it would be, um… like life. And I would be the line leader going towards, um… death. And that’s not happening. My children are going to stay smaller than me, and I am going to stay larger than them, and in charge, and I am going to be the line leader, forever. Now, shut up.
Until next time, my friends.
Much love, “Dr.” Fusselman
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