Sunday, August 27, 2006

Turns out, I'm not crazy.

So on our road trip, a few weeks back, I became obsessed with license plates. This obsession has a long history, and dates back to when my family moved to Maine. I was in 7th grade, and was less than enthusiastic about being moved from New Hampshire to Maine in the middle of the school year. I didn't know much about Maine, so I focused my hatred of the state on the license plates (“What a stupid state with a stupid lobster on the license plate!”).

Eventually, after settling into Maine life and making some friends and (joy of joys!) getting my license, the lobster plates grew on me – so much so that when Maine switched their plates from lobsters to chickadees, I was as upset that we no longer had the lobsters as I had been to have to be in the state with lobster plates to begin with!

After college, I moved to Colorado, and then to California, where my interest in license plates continued to grow (oh, how I hated the idea of having plates with “California” scrawled across the top in tacky cursive! I even contemplated getting specialty plates just to avoid having such ugly plates on my car).

So on our trip across the country, I was on the lookout for interesting license plates. Kansas had interesting designs (please note blatant shout-out to Jme and JME), we caught a Hawaii plate somewhere on our journey, and Tennessee’s were the most beautiful (if you can call a license plate “beautiful”), but the license plate moment where I thought I had gone crazy occurred when we were in New England…

We were driving through Massachusetts (entirely boring plates), and I caught sight of what I thought was a moose on a license plate.

“EMILY!” I exclaimed excitedly, “Did Maine get new plates!? I think I just saw a moose!”

My sister (who hadn’t seen the plate, and who lives in Maine) humored me, telling me she wasn’t sure about new plates, and keeping an eye out to see if we could spot another car with the seemingly moose-y plates.

But in the next few hours of driving, not one moose plate was to be seen. I wondered if perhaps the days upon days of driving had finally taken their toll, and I had started to see things… perhaps the lobster on the Maine license plate had looked brown in a shadow, and I had mistaken it for a moose?

By the end of our trip, we still had not seen another moose, so I had accepted the fact that I had gone crazy, and forgot about it.

UNTIL TODAY. I was up in New Hampshire meeting my dad for lunch, and we pulled into a parking lot and there it was in front of me:

Mystery solved.

That should be where the blog ends, but in searching for images of license plates, I had to give a special shout-out:

To West Virginia:

I never actually saw these plates, but just knowing they exist is enough for me.


Addie said...

Phebes this is hysterical because when Maine switched to the stupid f****in chickadee plate I was so disgusted I forked over the $25 extra dollars for the conservation plate with the loon on it! HAHAHAHA!

David said...

Yeah, NH had to find something besides the Old Man on the Mountain...Because his face fell off. Hahahahaha!

The Vermonter

phoebe said...

For the record, Mr. Vermonter, New Hampshire still does have the Old Man on the Mountain license plates - those New Hampshirites are pretty stubborn, and once they find a plate they like, they'll stick with it, even if the Old Man is no longer...