Significant Stickers

I know, I know.  You’re sick of the election and all postings related to it.  Trust me, I’m with you: I’m so thankful that no one needs to bother exhorting me to vote after today.  I just saw a youTube ad for some movie coming out next week and all but wept with relief.

The results are coming in as I write; perhaps I should be interested in them, but my fancy’s been caught by something else, namely, how important stickers seem to be to the voting process.  As all my friends filled my Facebook feed with notifications that they had voted, or were going to vote, or had been in line for an hour already, or were thankful for the lack of bloodshed in our electoral practices, one of the most common themes was whether or not civic duty had been attended by an adhesive label.  At least five friends lamented that the polling place had run out of stickers, or simply didn’t bother having them.  Those who voted by absentee ballot bemoaned the impossibility of receiving a sticker.  Six or seven other friends proclaimed their having voted by sharing a picture of the sticker they received.  Some friends admitted that getting the sticker was really their top priority.

It set me thinking.

Most of my compatriots on Facebook enjoy pondering and discussing politics more than I do, but it’s still probably fair to say that going to vote isn’t, in itself, anyone’s idea of a good time.  Somehow this sticky little sign (not necessarily sticky enough to stay on one’s clothing, though several of my co-workers sported them all day) becomes reason enough to go take care of business, either because it is an incentive per se or because it signifies action and thus removes the ignominy of political apathy.

They’re not unlike the “Be nice to me – I gave blood today!” stickers donors sport.  Some action has been undertaken, and those interacting with the donor ought to treat him nicely on account of undertaking it.

Perhaps there’s greater scope for these things.  Maybe it’s been decades since anyone’s tried to bribe encourage us with some fanciful adhesive image, but it seems worth re-instituting if it can encourage us to plow through the Slough of Inaction and bring us to Getting (Rather Unpleasant) Stuff Done.

Just imagine receiving a badge of honor on submitting your tax return that informs the world “I did my taxes!”  Or, at the corner garage, “I got my oil changed!”

“I disposed of that spoiled food in the fridge!”

“I successfully changed cable/internet/cell phone providers!”

“I renewed my license and registration!”

“I cleaned ALL THE THINGS!”

Perhaps you will protest that you’re an adult and not part of my system, man.  Maybe you don’t need silly relics of childhood.  Perhaps when you are filled with the certainty that a job must and shall be done, the satisfaction that comes with accomplishing it carries you through.

But I really think we could stand to have a few more stickers.

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11 thoughts on “Significant Stickers

  1. For some reason I want the “I got my oil changed!” sticker more than any of the others.

    I’d also take a “I cleaned ALL OF THE THINGS!”

    I was going to say that I need a sticker that says, “I didn’t vote!” But then I realized I have a whole Tshirt that says that, so I’ll be sporting that one sometime soon.

    Also, great post! It’s really amazing how simple little stickers can be so motivating. For work once, I had to abstract a study that some researchers did about getting kids to eat better and try more vegetables. I don’t remember all of the results, but they did learn that getting a sticker is definitely motivation enough for some kids to try new veggies.

    • Seriously. Car maintenance makes me feel more like an adult than anything else; it’s that mix of necessity and slight unpleasantness, I think.

      Re: vegetable study: I respect those researchers far more than the folks hoping somehow to make vegetable-eating compulsory in schools.

  2. I am SO in for the “I cleaned ALL THE THINGS” sticker.

    Here in Washington, ballots are mail-in. Which means that I voted last week and did not even get offered a sticker for it. What I did get was unbelievably annoyed at people waving “Please Vote” signs all over the internet when lo and behold it was done and anyway I know for a fact they would prefer me not to vote if I don’t agree with them.

    (Election day brings out the italics in me.)

    Adulthood: not all it’s cracked up to be. No one even thinks of giving us stickers for eating our vegetables. I would definitely find steamed spinach more appealing if I got to wear a glittery little star around afterward. ;P

    • Oddly, I want to go out and find vegetable-shaped stickers. It seems appropriate, somehow.

      Odder still, it occurs to me that the “Jolee’s By You Sticker Boutique” probably makes such a thing. Sadly, they would cost $4 per sheet. Adulthood not being all it’s cracked up to be, indeed!

    • Man. I wonder if Ally Whatsit has looked into marketing opportunities beyond the book she’s working on?

      Anyway, I’ll look into getting a sticker machine or something for y’all. Clearly we could exhort each other to be awesomer!!

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