February 22, 2011


My drive in to work each morning is a pretty easy one.  Not even 3 minutes out of my suburban driveway and I’m on the interstate, rolling straight into downtown. No turns, no lights just a sling shot eastbound in the left lane and I’m there in 15 minutes, 10 if I push it.

Today though it was different. The last 5 of my 15 was spent behind a pearl white Camry. We exited together at MLK and I followed him all the way down the boulevard, past the turn off for the hospital and right on down past the cemetery. Was this guy on his way to drop off a kid on his way in to work? It was kind of early but not entirely impossible.  Maybe he was on his way to the airport for the United flight out to Denver.  Or Detroit.  It wasn't until we slowed in unison for the yellow aglow at bottom of the hill that I noticed it.

In Loving Memory of Chris

Stuck to the back of his rear window in slanted cursive letters.  An attempt at classy with its italicized font yet painfully innocuous.  Pardon my ignorance but just who was the brainiac who decided to mass market this phenomenon?  The epitaph in a car decal.   And just how does one go about purchasing one of these?  It's been a while since my last funeral but maybe it's like an add-on to the package; a gift-with-purchase perhaps?

...And when you upgrade from the oak veneer to the solid mahogany we include not one but two widow decals to commemorate your dearly departed...   

What would Chris have to say about this?  His brother, his partner, his cousin, his little league co-captain, his whatever was driving around Des Moines with him stuck to the back windshield; the 9 of 2009 starting to roll downward after two years baking in the glow of a Midwestern sun. 

The whole thing just creeped me out.  I mean seriously, what happens when it's time to trade in the Camry?  Do you get out there with an X-acto blade and scrape Chris off the back window?  Do you even remember that Chris is there riding four inches above the ice scraper stored on the back dash? 

I do understand that people handle grief in many different ways.  I get it, I respect it.  And if centering your your loved one's name and stats on your back window somehow helps you move through your grief then all the more power to you.  As for me, I really have no desire to be remembered in this fashion but if you must, then consider this post fair warning: 
I'm riding shotgun across the front windshield. 
In a classy arc.
And scrap the italics.  I'll take the Gothic letters, 60 font.
Stretched all the way across. 
well, that's just how I roll.


  1. How odd I saw something similar here in England only a few days ago, it was a young woman driving and it was the full name of the deceased with dates. The letters were gold coloured and in italic.

    Must be a craze sweeping the world, I'd never seen it before either and found it strange.


  2. That is creepy. I don't think I care for that new fashion, sticking them on a car windshield doesn't seem like a very dignified way to remember someone.

  3. Ohh! I'm so self-centered I want to be remembered on your crapped out cadillac or whatever it is your driving. In fact I was at a funeral about a week ago and instead of crying during the preacher's sermon, I was whispering to my neighbor, "hey, if I'm cremated, do I still get this whole thing? You know, the whole funeral, people singing and people crying thing?" She said, "no, I don't think so. I think you just get sent home in a jar." I was like, hmmm... I might have to rethink the cremation thing because I really want the funeral. I want all the histronics too. I want some really sad music playing, people throwing themselves in my casket saying, 'take me with you....' Bring it on and sop it up with a bizkit. :)

  4. @ Gemma: well, I'm somewhat relieved to know that it's an international phenomenon. Even if it is morbidly tacky.

    @ Mama T: I'm right there with ya. It seems like the lazy man's extreme to me. But then again, I'm not sure how long I could be clad 'de luto' either.

    @ Jamie: I'll cry for you. And if you're back in Spain by then I'll hold vigil at the tanatorio. If you're still in Alabama, well then, hopefully Javi can Skype me in. But no, I'm not puting you on the Twingo. I don't think the windshield would be long enough to fit it all in anyway.

  5. SO true!! That is totally creepy! I have wondered the same thing myself. What would the dead think of your back window memorialization? lol! At least it was a Camry, no too bad, being close to Camden like we are, I've seen worse.....way worse.

  6. You are such a funny one! Thanks for the good laugh:):) ha ha I am now following you thanks to Blog Hop Skip & Jump and it would be so nice if you could share the love back on my blog:)
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    Happy Wednesday!

  7. Wouldn't it be seriously hilarious if Chris was his old car or something? And he rolled it and smashed it up and had to go and buy a new one.
    And the new car wants to please him but is always being reminded of how much his driver mourns his old car, Chris, and that Chris will never truly be replaced.
    Anyways..yes, very freakin tacky.

  8. Hello I am stopping in from the blog hop. I am your newest follower. Interesting post, you actually made me think about this one. Maybe there's a story behind it...maybe he died in the car etc? I don't know. I guess they would retire the car...hmm.