Last week on my way home to Maine, I saw a lot of vanity license plates. I don’t see as many here on the New Hampshire Seacoast, but according to Wikipedia, New Hampshire has the second largest vanity plate penetration rate in the United States. Maine was sixth on the list.
Vanity plates can be an interesting distraction; I wonder “what does that mean?” or “what kind of person puts THAT on a license plate?” A few that stood out last week were SEBAGO (I’d never give that one up), BLESSU, CATZZ (how about DOGZZ?), and DINO. When I lived in Portland, I remember seeing a Saab in the University of Southern Maine area that said SNAAB.
I had a vanity plate once.
The year I was co-chairwoman for the Junior League of Boston’s Decorator Show House, I stepped outside of my Jeep Grand Cherokee comfort zone and bought a used Mazda Millenia 4 door sedan. It was a good-looking car, with heated seats and a sunroof. It seemed like the right car to put some miles on and it had a big trunk for hauling Show House paraphernalia.
My license plate said SHOWHSE.
The Mazda had a nice, tight turning radius and I would zip around the Public Gardens and pick up the League President at the corner of Arlington and Boylston Streets and then we’d speed over to either headquarters on Newbury Street or the Show House in Cambridge. We started calling the car “The Beep Beep Taxi.”
No one ever really figured out my vanity plate, though. One night, I was driving through Somerville on my way home and a car full of college boys pulled up next to me and started shouting “Show Horse, Show Horse” and snorting like horses. I think I heard a few “yee haw’s.” It must have been a premonition.
The 2006 Decorator Show House eventually ended and was a financial success; it was the last Decorator Show House the Junior League produced. The Beep Beep Taxi developed some major mechanical problems and I decided to buy another Jeep Grand Cherokee. I became a sustaining or “retired” member of the Junior League of Boston and a farm girl wannabe. My Jeep Grand Cherokee is perfect for hauling compost, plants, shovels, hand rototillers, sea weed, rocks, and anything else needed for making my gardens grow. It’s been a steady set of wheels and no one ever shouts at it because I don’t have a vanity plate.
Today, I heard some news that the Junior League of Boston is going to have a Decorator Show House in Newton in 2013. The President I used to taxi around is going to be the chairwoman. It’s a tough job, but she’ll be a success because that’s what she does. Even though my life plans have changed since the last Junior League Show House, I’m still excited about the project. My vanity plate might be a little different this time around, though; something like this:
What do you have on your real or imagined vanity plate?