My Dysfunctional Stick Family

I am afraid I may be responsible for the term Dysfunctional Family. Sorry about that!

I am just a little bit sad that the stick family window decal trend is quickly fading away even though I never participated.  Maybe folks think they have taken this trend as far as possible.

My wacky family was dysfunctional to the point that I found I had to laugh.  Like they say, “Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and your make-up makes you look psycho”

 In theory the stick family decal evolved from the Baby On Board signs that preceeded them.  Moms and dads wanted to have a little recognition too so someone decided to make a stick family with a Mom, Dad and baby.  Awe, how cute said everyone when they saw one of these for the first ten times.

 Families change, its what they do, so more kids were added along with everything from pets, to golf clubs and hula hoops. Changing families equaled new decals.  I bet there are some smart folks with dye-cut machines that made a fortune on custom stick family decals alone. Kind-of like the stock I never purchased back when Apple or Amazon were just starting. Hindsight…

Stick Family of the “Crazy Cat Lady”

 Animal lovers, wanting to prove that their pets are part of the family, added little stick dogs or cats or in some cases both.  On rare occasion I saw stick guinea pigs or hamsters. I never saw a stick family for a “crazy cat lady” but I bet there were a few out there.

 Americans can never just settle into a trend. Instead, we keep morphing the darn thing until it ridiculous. It wasn’t long until the stick families had accessories, most often sports related.  The characters boasted pom-poms, soccer balls, football helmets and various other items that helped to set them apart from the not as talented stick families on other cars.

 My favorites were the ones that got silly and creative.  I remember laughing out loud while driving down the road by myself when I noticed the SUV ahead of my had a stick family with a Mom, Dad, three kids and of descending height followed by a triceratops.  I wonder if one of the adults or perhaps one of the clever kids came up with that? A+ for originality. Other creative folks wanting to make their stick family stand out from the crowd turned their stick family into robot figures, Star Wars characters and even a family of monkeys.

 My only child was grown before this trend got going but had it been around when he was a kid I could have started with the generic mom, dad, kid and dog decal.  The only thing consistent among families is that they change and mine was no exception. I divorced the dad and insisted he take the dog with him when he left. Oops. I suppose if I had the decal I could have x’ed out the man and the dog.  I could have left people guessing about what happened to them. Perhaps a divorce or maybe the “X” was buried out in the back yard next to Fido. Something to think about, especially for those prone to tailgating.

 Later I remarried and had a “blended family”.  He and I, along with my son and his son all lived under one roof but he also had two adult daughters. The younger of his two girls came into my family complete with a husband and two daughters (my step-granddaughters) and the other daughter was a cloistered Catholic Nun.  Hmmm, how would we draw that family? Perhaps the Nun could have been set over over to the side and encapsulated by an outline map of Texas, since that is where she lived. The other step daughter along with her hubby and two kids in their own outline map of Florida.  I pictured the back window getting rather crowded and wondered if I really had such a decal if it would have been breaking any stick family rules to scrape off the X and his dog.

 My son was one of those kids that wanted to make a pet out of everything.  At different times he had a rabbit, a parakeet, a hamster, various insects and a lizard named speedy. One day he even came in with a slug. That was where I drew the line and made him take slimy back outside followed by a really long scrub session in the bathtub. He never tried to bring a snake inside, probably because I had him convinced that if he ever so much as touched one that I would be forced to put him up for adoption. Even if the rear window could have accommodated all these vinyl figures I would have likely been pulled over and ticketed because of the obstructed view.

 My blended family didn’t survive, primarily because I didn’t share the same affection that my husband did for his girlfriend.  How would that be depicted in the decal? Perhaps I could have added her wearing a witch hat and riding a lightening bolt that divided the family leaving me and my kid separated from all the others.  I think I am starting to understand why the stick family decals are losing popularity. Still, wouldn’t it be a little on the funny side to see some of these extended/blended dysfunctional families as stick characters?

 I admit I am a slow learner when it comes to matters off the heart and I tried a third time with marraige.  Both my son and #3’s daughter were grown so maybe that decal would have just had the two of us. I don’t know how you make a stick figure look middle aged; that decal sounds either boring or disturbing.  Alas, that marriage didn’t stick either. Now I could have a decal with me followed by three men with X’s over their stick figures. Some would laugh, others could get busy judging me and my lack of talent at being a wife.

 Another idea would be keep the three X’ed out male figures followed by a little frame that reads, “Your Picture Here”.  I think it would be freaking hilarious except the real possibility that every creep and scum-bag that saw it would take it seriously.  That would not be good or funny.

 No wonder the stick family is going away.  Scraped off with a razor blade like so many stickers of politicians that didn’t win.

 Currently folks seem to enjoy the decals with three letters that stand for the town of their favorite vacation spot.  I’m not entirely sure what that is all about but I admit that my SUV is not free from decoration either. I have a 26.2 decal on the window and my license plate frame reads, “My Labradoodle is Smarter than Your Honor Student”.  

 I would love to hear a description of your crazy stick family decal or others you enjoyed seeing while driving down the road.  What about other decals or frames, do like them?, hate them? Do you read them or can you pass by without a second glance?

 Have a great week my peeps and when out on the road watch out for the texters and road rage nuts


  1. My window wouldn’t be big enough to hold all the X’s and steps and steps’ X’s and grandkids and pets and parents who either died or who we quit dealing with… and the new spouses who caused us to quit dealing with the parents… Oh my. When I think about our family and our extended family, yes, that would be quite a jumbled mess. It’s a wonder any of us turn out normal. (Or do we?)


  2. I had my seven grandkids on the car I just traded away, couldn’t salvage the decals. They were colorful stick figures, can’t find any like them. And, despite all those added figures in the new packages, I had to combine two sets just to get seven children once again. But they’re up, and I do not include any adults on my car, which solves the problem of all those ex-relationships you had. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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