In search of the perfect vanity plate

Patrick and I bought a new car to replace the 2004 Subaru I’ve been tooling around in for the past twelve years. Well, it isn’t a new new car. Rather it is a new-er car.


Courtesy depositphotos_Copyright-dima_sidelniko

I have to confess a contradiction in my otherwise shallow personality. I don’t care what kind of car I drive, as long as I get where I’m going and don’t waste money on repairs. Oh, and it has to have heated seats.

To show how oblivious I have been through the years to the importance of a car’s requisite ‘cool’ factor, I was shocked when my newly licensed 16-year-old son refused a perfectly acceptable hand-me-down Plymouth Sundance we nicknamed the ‘crust mobile.’ Talk about shallow.

At any rate, I now have this new-er car and besides heated seats, it has a sleek black exterior, making it the sharpest looking car I’ve ever owned.

I thought this milestone warranted spending an extra $25 per year for a vanity plate that would also support a worthy cause. Which option should I choose?

University of Maine: This makes a killer statement about backing higher education. But since I paid years of tuition to claim my status as an alumna, I decided I’ve done my part. I took a ‘pass’ on this and vowed to continue paying taxes to keep this land grant institution afloat.

Agriculture: I grew up on a farm and have utmost respect for hard-working farmers and their families. But when I examined the image on the plate, I noticed it portrayed a man and a child. I know a lot of women farmers, plus my mother worked as hard as Dad running our farm. Outraged at the sexism displayed, I discounted this plate and determined I would fortify agriculture by continuing to buy food.

Conservation: I believe in conservation but since I didn’t buy a Prius, I felt hypocritical sporting this statement on my full-sized sedan. I resolved to minimize my carbon footprint by canceling my next airline reservation. And since I don’t have an upcoming reservation, this was an easy win.

Lobster: It’s no coincidence that I am allergic to lobster considering I resent the worldview that Mainers live on lobster. How can my conscience allow me to promote all things coastal, excluding the mountains, forests, and potatoes that sustained me during my formative years living in northern Maine? I opted to ban lobsters from my dinner and license plate.

Animal welfare: I love animals, but this reminds me of the loss of our beloved dogs, Deion and Zoe. I’ve heard owning a late-model car is supposed to make you happy, so who am I to crack the stereotype by crying every time I look at my new-er car? I pledged to send a donation to the humane society to keep the place solvent until we are once again ready to adopt.

Breast cancer: Saying I don’t support my sisters who have suffered from breast cancer is worse than saying I don’t want a puppy. I have dodged this bullet thus far and don’t want to tempt fate by squishing myself between two bumpers touting a breast cancer symbol. I promised to keep my mammogram up to date and start a training program so I can crawl across the finish line in the next ‘Champion the Cure’ 5K.

The generic Maine chickadee plate began to look appealing, but I still felt it was lacking.

I thought about choosing a word puzzle, causing the driver behind me to exclaim, “What the H-E-double hockey sticks is that supposed to mean?”

I considered penning Patrick’s and my initials on the plate, but that would spell “PMS” and I thought I might become the victim of road rage.

Finally, the obvious answer hit me.

I was panic-stricken at the thought that my perfect word might already be taken, but alas it was available. After all, we live in Maine, not Massachusetts.

Introducing my new vanity plate:

Shallow license plage. jpg

In 4-6 weeks this will be mine!

Do you have a vanity plate or do you want one? What would you put on your vanity plate if you had one? If you already have one, what does it say?




Featured image courtesy: depostitphotos__Copyright-BigAlBaloo
©2016, Stevens. All rights reserved.

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29 thoughts on “In search of the perfect vanity plate

  1. I feel the same way about cars—mine is a 1997 (yes, you read that correctly) Honda Del Sol with the plates that read HAHHAH (I tried for ha ha ha, but it wasn’t available)!!
    I figure the extra money helps out a poor soul working at the DMV, right?

    • I love your vanity plate, Jodie, and am so impressed that you are driving a 1997 car! I was reluctant to give up my perfectly good Subaru but I must say I’m enjoying the luxury of the Camry. One day I pulled up to a stop light with my ‘Shallow’ plate behind someone with a plate that read ‘Mundane.’ I knew at that moment that all was right with the world. LOL

  2. I live in RI. So I know all about vanity plates. It was just on the news that Rhode Islanders by far have the highest percentage of vanity plates in the US. (An equation based on the number of people living within each state with and without vanity plates).

    I have a NE Patriots plate myself. Paying a little extra for the plates goes to charity so why not, I say!

  3. We have personalized plates in Australia – I got mine a few years ago – “Eternity” – my 74 yr old mother has “Entice” for hers (she’s a bit of a go-er) and my brother has “Elude” on his gas guzzler. I like the whole concept of eternity and the bigger picture (and it was chosen before I had a blog!) Love yours btw x

    • I like your plate Leanne, so timeless and ethereal, and your mother’s is a bit tempting. I would think Elude would be the best one, however, especially if you had a driving violation or police needed to catch up with you for a ticket. Glad you like mine! Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  4. Love this, Molly! I’m too cheap to shell out for a vanity plate but now I’m intrigued and am wondering what I WOULD choose. Hmm. Yours is perfect and hilarious!

  5. That is perfect I love it! I don’t have a vanity plate as you call it in the US I’m just plain old 955VCO! I do love looking at them though as I drive around and see what people have come up with. I love a new car! Enjoy driving.

  6. Brilliant column Molly! Your logic is so…logical! (Sorry about your allergy…I will doubly enjoy my next crustation dinner out of respect for your sacrifice.)
    I love taking photos of vanity plates when I spy them and have found it really is impossible to snap a pic of an oncoming vanity plate, however clever.
    My own plate is easy to connect to my store on coastal route one: PNKDINO. I also share your excitement that “it was available”!!
    Living in the PNK!

    • Thank you Kim! I love your pink dino and it has been way too long since I have seen the real thing, or your license plate. I hope I see you this summer when we swing on down to Belfast. 🙂 We will be sure to stop by.

  7. That is so perfect!!! Maybe I can get BNCEBAK on my next car, which won’t be for two more years–at which time mine will be 11 years old.But then I’d have to give up the animal welfare plate and I can’t because the dog on the plate is a mirror image of Harper and I love to watch people’s faces when he’s in the back looking out the window–they look at the plate, they look at him and look back again. Sometimes they ask me if he’s the dog who was the model for the plate and I lie and say yes. It makes their day! I hope they don’t Google it!

    Another superb post, Ms. Molly! XOXOXOX

    • Thank you Lee. I think you should keep your animal welfare plate and have BNCEBAK put on it. Then you will have your trademark and Harper all in one. Harper must love the attention, he’s a celebrity!

  8. My grandparents chose to combine their initials (JEH and ERH) for their vanity plate, which is sweet in theory. However, if you are more than five feet away from their car, the “JERH” looks a lot like “JERK.”

  9. Great choice, Molly! Hope you enjoy your new ride. Our vanity plate on REW’s 1972 TR-6 is “Denial”. Our fifth wheel plate reads “WareRwe”. Hope you have a great summer!!!!

    • So you are the one who took the word ‘Denial!’ Since that was a runner up I wondered who had that coveted plate. LOL. I had to really think about what you have for your fifth wheel plate and after I said it out loud, I got it. Very clever indeed. But I would expect nothing less from the likes of you two. 🙂

  10. Wow – that’s a smart plate – you must be thrilled to pieces! We don’t have plates like that (to my knowledge but then I live 70 miles outside London and ANYTHING could be happening there!) We can get personalised numberplates like Millionaire 1, for example, so I guess it’s the same thing in a way? Mine would say Let’s Dance. Life would be so good if it was all set to music and everyone danced their way round the grocery store. 🙂

    • I love the idea of setting life to dance music, Gilly. And since they have music incessently piped into the grocery store that is a great place to start. I can’t wait to go grocery shopping this weekend! Thanks for the idea. 🙂

    • Like you, Gilly, I live in the UK but out in the sticks …. never heard of vanity plates! Closest we’ve got is the personalised number plate … I stick to my bog standard number plate ?

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