This afternoon while driving I saw a Smart Car (which, if you ask me, is just about one of the dumbest cars out there) with the license plate FOR24ME. Now, this is obviously a personalized license plate – a present for her 24th birthday? A present for her 40th birthday but for the 24-year-old in her? Who knows. I didn’t ask and I don’t much care.
Well, not about her anyway. I did care about the license plate. I have a tendency to turn every license plate that starts with a 4 or a 2 into a personalized license plate. No matter what’s following it. 4XUVJ89? I can turn that into For Xavier Ulrich Jones who graduated in 1989.
Does anyone else do this? I can’t help it. It’s this compulsion. And the crazier they are the more compelled I am to give them meaning. I want poor Xavier Ulrich Jones to have gotten that Honda Accord for graduating almost twenty years ago.
The flip side of this is when I see plates that actually are personalized. I don’t care that MB <hearts> SE. I don’t care that the woman in the Smart Car got it FOR24ME. I think it’s ridiculous when the plates are real. I don’t care that your husband bought you a BMW X3. And I can’t imagine anyone else at the stop light does either.
In high school there were a set of twins who drove around in an older Nissan Sentra (I think) with the customized license plate WEBTWINS. Obviously this reads “We be twins” but it certainly looks “Web twins” and we never let them forget it. They hated it, of course, but their parents had paid for the car and the plates came with the car and what teenager is going to argue that?
I wonder if all personalized plates are like that: gifts from other people that drivers have to endure.
In any event, I’ll keep hoping that aging Xavier is enjoying his graduation present.