Our Sign Goes Up

“I want to put up a sign,” I told my husband.  “An Obama sign in our front yard.  Is that OK with you?”

That was fair enough, I figured.  After all, nothing says “community property” like a front yard.

“I’m not a sign person,” my husband said.

I’d heard this (many times) before.  He’s also not a bumper-sticker person (even though he once slapped an “Okra! All right!” bumper sticker on the rear fender of his last car to indicate his wholehearted support of a certain slimy Southern vegetable).  Not a T-shirt-with-a-message person, either, although he occasionally wears tacky Hawaiian shirts and if those aren’t messages, what are they?  A Rorschach test for bad taste?

“I don’t have to proclaim my identity,” my husband said.

Well, those are pretty serious and sanctimonious words coming from somebody who drives a Prius, for God’s sake.  What is a Prius, if it isn’t a message that’s a little bigger than a bumper sticker and a whole lot more expensive?  Is there anybody out there who drives a Prius who isn’t trying to deliver a message?

I pointed out this inconsistency.  I think this is very helpful for a spouse — you know, honest feedback.

“Remember when I suggested you get a hybrid Camry?” I reminded him.  “You said no.  You wanted to make a statement with a Prius.”

“I wish you didn’t remember so many things,” he said.

“I want a yard sign,” I said.  “Otherwise, people might think we’re Republicans.”

“OK, OK,” he said.  “Get a yard sign.”

The next day, a friend delivered our new blue-and-white Obama sign for the front yard.  I rammed its legs into the hard ground, which is surrounded by dead grass and unraked leaves.

That’s when I realized something.  Even if people didn’t see the yard sign or my husband’s Prius, they’d still realize we weren’t Republicans.

No dead grass, unraked leaves or rock-hard ground on Republican lawns.  They’ve always managed to keep up appearances better than we have.

 The truth is, even — or especially — when you do nothing, you’re always sending out messages of some kind or another.  I called our cat, Lefty, inside and closed the door behind us.

Copyright 2008 by Ruth Pennebaker

3 comments… add one
  • Jesse Link

    pretty funny.
    well written.

  • Good one!
    I think the Obama logo looks like a bloodshot eyeball.

  • I love Hawaiian shirts.

    Go slow.

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