Patrick and I bought a new car to replace the 2004 Subaru I’ve been tooling around in for the past twelve years. Well, it isn’t a new new car. Rather it is a new-er car.
I have to confess a contradiction in my otherwise shallow personality. I don’t care what kind of car I drive, as long as I get where I’m going and don’t waste money on repairs. Oh, and it has to have heated seats.
To show how oblivious I have been through the years to the importance of a car’s requisite ‘cool’ factor, I was shocked when my newly licensed 16-year-old son refused a perfectly acceptable hand-me-down Plymouth Sundance we nicknamed the ‘crust mobile.’ Talk about shallow.
At any rate, I now have this new-er car and besides heated seats, it has a sleek black exterior, making it the sharpest looking car I’ve ever owned.
I thought this milestone warranted spending an extra $25 per year for a vanity plate that would also support a worthy cause. Which option should I choose?
University of Maine: This makes a killer statement about backing higher education. But since I paid years of tuition to claim my status as an alumna, I decided I’ve done my part. I took a ‘pass’ on this and vowed to continue paying taxes to keep this land grant institution afloat.
Agriculture: I grew up on a farm and have utmost respect for hard-working farmers and their families. But when I examined the image on the plate, I noticed it portrayed a man and a child. I know a lot of women farmers, plus my mother worked as hard as Dad running our farm. Outraged at the sexism displayed, I discounted this plate and determined I would fortify agriculture by continuing to buy food.
Conservation: I believe in conservation but since I didn’t buy a Prius, I felt hypocritical sporting this statement on my full-sized sedan. I resolved to minimize my carbon footprint by canceling my next airline reservation. And since I don’t have an upcoming reservation, this was an easy win.
Lobster: It’s no coincidence that I am allergic to lobster considering I resent the worldview that Mainers live on lobster. How can my conscience allow me to promote all things coastal, excluding the mountains, forests, and potatoes that sustained me during my formative years living in northern Maine? I opted to ban lobsters from my dinner and license plate.
Animal welfare: I love animals, but this reminds me of the loss of our beloved dogs, Deion and Zoe. I’ve heard owning a late-model car is supposed to make you happy, so who am I to crack the stereotype by crying every time I look at my new-er car? I pledged to send a donation to the humane society to keep the place solvent until we are once again ready to adopt.
Breast cancer: Saying I don’t support my sisters who have suffered from breast cancer is worse than saying I don’t want a puppy. I have dodged this bullet thus far and don’t want to tempt fate by squishing myself between two bumpers touting a breast cancer symbol. I promised to keep my mammogram up to date and start a training program so I can crawl across the finish line in the next ‘Champion the Cure’ 5K.
The generic Maine chickadee plate began to look appealing, but I still felt it was lacking.
I thought about choosing a word puzzle, causing the driver behind me to exclaim, “What the H-E-double hockey sticks is that supposed to mean?”
I considered penning Patrick’s and my initials on the plate, but that would spell “PMS” and I thought I might become the victim of road rage.
Finally, the obvious answer hit me.
I was panic-stricken at the thought that my perfect word might already be taken, but alas it was available. After all, we live in Maine, not Massachusetts.
Introducing my new vanity plate:
Do you have a vanity plate or do you want one? What would you put on your vanity plate if you had one? If you already have one, what does it say?