Friday, March 20, 2009

Sticker Hate

When my sister moved out last month, she left us her bed. She’d bought a new one and offered her old one up as a temporary bed for our spare room. It’s actually a beautiful old bed; patterned, antique wood from maybe the 1920s, marred only by stickers and decals that my sister stuck to the headboard sometime back in her early teens.

There was one in particular that has bothered me for decades. It was one of those bumper sticker sized decals. It said, “God created man before Woman. But then again, you always do a rough draft before you create a masterpiece.” I know, ha-ha.

Today I took a hairdryer to it and scraped the bugger off with a putty knife. I got great satisfaction from picking away at the paper and glue, making the horrible, evil thing disappear forever. “Aren’t you overreacting a little?” you ask, “It’s just a sticker….”

Well, let me tell you. It was around 1989. Mom had taken off to Northern BC after losing custody in a messy court battle (very long story). We were left with Dad, who suddenly found himself the inexperienced and seriously overwhelmed single parent of five kids under the age of, well, 13, which is how old I was. I remember my sister got the sticker as part of one of Mom’s birthday or Christmas packages (these still arrive regularly from around the globe). My sister stuck the decal to the headboard of the bed. Looking back, maybe it made her feel closer to Mom?

But to me, it was a slap in the face. I thought the saying was mean spirited and worse, I thought it was blatant dig at Dad. From that day on I associated that kind of humor with a type, a hard-nosed, unjust, mean spirited, sexist Feminist type that I swore I’d never become. In fact, I became anti-Feminist* on the spot. I also became one of Dad’s biggest defenders. Thanks to a sticker.

Of course, my mom would probably read this in total confusion now. She does kind of have a weird sense of humor; she probably thought it was a funny sticker and unthinkingly stuck it in the package as an afterthought. To this day, I couldn't begin to guess what her real intention was.

Anyways, I’m just glad to see it gone.

* as overly simplified by a 13 year-old’s brain. I’ve grown to learn that like everything else, the term is loaded and there are many complexities. In many, many ways I am now one with my inner-feminist.

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Anonymous It's a sticker... ~ 4:57 PM

Um - I was 12. You are thinking about this toooo much! I was 12 and was probably asserting my girl power to the other 12 year old boys in my class. No mother issues intended in that one...  

Anonymous's just a sticker... ~ 5:01 PM

BTW - I bought the sticker at Agribition.  

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