I love my state, but really, Virginians enjoy a freedom of idiocy unlike any other population. Not only do we have over 180 special license plates for any interest group, state idiosyncrasy, college, or type of wild game you can think of, we also have lenient policies on what you can have written on your special plates. There are limitless possibilities for irony, obscenity, and over sharing of personal interests.
I guess I can admit that I, too, have personalized special interest plates (the Commonwealth Difecta). I self-consciously feel like others think I’m a bad person because I didn’t choose socially aware plates like Kids First or I'm Animal Friendly. But, it's not like I let toddlers play with plastic bags while I shoot puppies in a bucket...often.
I’d like to say that we’re just a friendly population who wants to connect with others on the road. For example, if Billy-Bob didn’t get NRA or Sons of Confederate Veterans plates to put his cheeky saying on, how else would Cletus know who to follow to the swap meet? Unfortunately, I think we just put the "vanity" in "vanity plates."
Sadly, 99% of the stupid, redneck, or morally questionable personalized plates immortalized on sites like College Humor are Virginia state plates. God bless Texas? Wrong. God bless Virginia where you can have plates like:
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Monday, August 07, 2006
I can’t say that I’ve even been in a more utterly vile mood than I am today. I even yelled at my mildly retarded goldfish this morning when he ran into his plant.
It all started four days ago when I fell in the post office parking lot. I’m not talking a trip. I mean, a sprawled-out, whimpering-on-concrete fall. Sure that’s embarrassing, but my very way of being made it so much worse because I always insist on wearing short skirts and walking around with my purse open, laughing in the faces of both decency and personal put-togetherness. So, like it isn’t bad enough that I’m face-down on the sidewalk and people are everywhere, but I’m there showing my hot pink thong and tan lines with my package about 5 feet in front of me and the contents of my purse littered all around. Tears in my eyes, a bleeding leg, and a big toe whose fresh polish was violently married to the concrete, I got up and started gathering the contents of my purse, which for a normal person would be easy, but for me it meant finding a wallet, keys, 5 different shades of pink lip gloss, gum, bobby pins, brush, cell, oyster crackers, another lip gloss, and a tampon.
That afternoon I flew to Atlanta with my boyfriend Eric for a photo shoot. Our flight got cancelled, and around the time I noticed my full bottle of hair goo had exploded in my bag, we learned that we were rescheduled on different flights that evening. Luckily, our meal at the Waffle House and 45 minutes of gorging ourselves on as many Coke products as possible at The World of Coke made up for the hotel room in the ghetto with soggy carpets, a cracked toilet, and a colony of silverfish; the make-up artist who called me “thick;” and a few near-death experiences on the highway navigating between speeding cars with bad rims.
But, before being completely in the depths of despair, I considered the most insightful joke of my childhood:
Orange you glad I didn’t say banana?
The lesson to take away from this is gladness. I’ll bet you didn’t even know to be irritated by bananas until you read that; nor did you know how glad you’d be not to hear banana as an answer.
As a 4-year-old, Eric used to ask a question, wait for the answer, and respond with, “Are you glad?” How often do you think about whether or not you are glad about the simplest or even the most annoying things in the world? Though, I’m sure the “are you glad” refrain got old after a while, I think that question is an effective reality check. When else would his parents have realized that they’re glad that zebras have striped skin and giraffes have long necks so they can eat leaves?
Not only does the glad question make a person consider how much worse things could be, but it proves that being glad is a good replacement for ambivalence. I’m glad that zebras have stripes on their skin because there’s probably some evolutionary reason for it, and who am I to judge? Other than when he was sticking chopsticks up his nose, Eric was a pretty astute kid.
You know, sure my weekend sucked, but I’m glad because things look comparatively better now. And sure, my goldfish is mildly retarded, but I’m glad because he’s completely satisfied with ramming into plants and walls and is low maintenance. Are you glad for what’s going on in your life? Why not be?