During my morning commute I followed a car with a multitude of stickers on the rear bumper, rear window and hatchback. This triggered a muse of what kind of statements the driver and owner of the vehicle was trying to make. Who and what were they wanting to influence? This thought stayed with me for the day and the thoughts about venues for making a statement expanded beyond the bumper sticker.
Tattoos are probably an increasingly common way of making a statement in our current environment. Obviously people want to make a visible sign on their bodies about something that they think is entertaining as art or maybe as a message about who and what they are. I was somewhat amused as I walked back to my office from lunch when I followed a young student in shorts who had an image of a bear tattooed on the back of each calf of his leg. Both bears facing out to the side in profile. Bear legs and bare legs! I would like to think he was making the statement he has a wry sense of humor.
Upon further thought it seems that we all are making a statement of who and what we are through many subtle and not so subtle ways. The statement may come from the type of car we drive, the fashion of our clothes, our hair style, the home we live in, the people we associate with and the way we worship. The outward often has something to say about the inward person. Typically we think of teenagers making statements about themselves by unusual clothing styles and bizarre social encounters. Likely this is testing out the acceptable norms for relating to the adult world. Optimistically this is a learning process that moderates as they become satisfied within themselves that things are okay with them.
As I relate this muse to the geezer skier community it occurs to me that those of us who wear a geezer skier badge or a 70+ , 80+, or 90+ sticker on our helmet are making a statement that we are cool with being in our senior years. We are probably saying look at us. We are happy old guys, pleased to still be on skis! In conclusion maybe we all have the need to be noticed in some unique way even if we are content with who we have become.