I'm going to admit to a pet peeve of mine - Stick Figure Family Car Window Stickers.
Do you know the stickers I mean? The ones people plaster on their car rear windows for all the world to see? (International bloggers, is this a solely American phenomenon?)
Since I live in Manhattan and fewer people drive cars here, I have been somewhat more insulated from this annoying fad than I would be if I lived in the suburbs, but it's something that bothers me all the same.
What is the purpose of these decals? They strike me as slightly self-aggrandizing, not to mention potentially unsafe. (Broadcasting your children's names on your car - brilliant idea!)
And perhaps needless to say, but there seem to be no family stickers for those without children. Oh wait, since we're childless, maybe we don't even qualify as a family...er...sorry, I forgot...no family here - just Mo and Will. Nothing to see here, folks, just keep on moving.
So maybe these stickers are a somewhat dim-witted idea that amounts to shameless bragging, but so what? Usually I don't get riled up about other people's business. I'm generally a live-and-let-live sort of gal.
So I had to ask myself, Why do these stickers irk me so?
Honestly, it's because they seem to be yet another unintended sucker punch from the fertile world. Another proclamation of fertile people's normality, their damn irritating fecundity. And another reminder of my defectiveness, my barreness, my pronounced child-killing abilities.
I realize my skin is thin on this. I know it is not the world's fault that it seems most everyone else can have sex and get (and stay) knocked up, whereas we've spent an obscene amount of money and endured a ridiculous number of procedures to get pregnant, and be pregnant, and then to get unpregnant again with nothing to show for it but a depleted bank account, a larger dress size, two laparoscopy scars, and an increasingly caustic sense of humor.
I know it's not the fertile world's fault. Hey, maybe if I could successfully reproduce I'd want to brag about it on the back end of my newly purchased minivan too (bought to shuttle my large family around in, to our many happy family events).
What bothers me probably most is that it is socially acceptable to put up self-congratulatory stickers of your family on your rear window, but it is not acceptable for us infertiles to discuss our reproductive struggles - and it is downright taboo to even mention pregnancy loss.
I'm tired of it all, I tell you. So today, I decided to make my own stick family sticker. Unfortunately, I don't have a car to put it on, and probably (but I'm not promising anything), I wouldn't be outrageous enough to stick it on my car even if I did have one. Because that would just make people uncomfortable and that's not really my aim.
But a little part of me thinks it would be awesome to get the conversation started, to not have so much of all our suffering be silent, not to mention how cool it would be to pull up behind someone else's car and see that she too struggles with infertility and loss - for a moment to cut through the isolation of it all.
So herewith I present Mo and Will's New Stick Figure Family Car Window Sticker, coming to you courtesy of this website:
Me, my husband, five miscarried babies, and our dog. What do you think? Isn't my family cute?
If I did stick this decal on my car, here's what I would secretly want to say:
Fertile world, here's my family. It's not the way I hoped it would be but this is how it is, so far, at least. Deal with it, OK? I have to deal with you - and the reminders of our heartbreak - every day.
Grumble grumble, grouse, grumble.