Privilege Blog

The Privilege[d] Bumper Stickers Are Here[!]

Some time ago, we discussed bumper stickers with a few choice High WASP sayings. Rejoice. Or perhaps murmur happily and discreetly. They have arrived.

The kind people at Build A Sign sent this package.

Which, when opened, revealed shrinkwrapped bumper stickers. “Well that’s clever,” I thought.

Inside, the High WASP mottos you all chose. I’ll be affixing A Simple Thank You Will Suffice to my sturdy Rav4.

Quelle Mess! A Simple Thank You Will Suffice, That Behavior Is Not Very Attractive

As you remember, these are yours for the asking. I’ll be sending them out next week to those who have already expressed interest. I have extras, so if you’d like one, send me an email with your address.. The options are:

  • A Simple Thank You Will Suffice
  • Quelle Mess!
  • That Behavior Is Not Very Attractive
  • Five Minutes Early Is On Time

In return for generously providing these free of charge, Build A Sign want me to link to them for their services offering Custom Signs. Done.

The Build A Sign people have been very helpful to work with. In the interest of full disclosure, I do have to say that their user interface behaves confusingly here and there, illogically spawning saved and unsaved versions of one’s work along the way. However, I may have made everything more difficult by a) insisting on 4 different versions b) uploading my own JPGs because I had to have this  particular typewriter font rather than the fonts provided in their design tool. High WASPs are picky. I have no other excuse.

I’m happy with the results and quite like the way they look.

The other day I read an article via The Preppy Princess, in which The Huffington Post indicates that preppy has come to mean a style, not a set of values. That’s fine. As a Northern Californian I was never at home in that term to begin with. I’m also all for flexibility of language, and find the French Académie to be kind of, well, silly. On the other hand, some values from this culture, whether we call it preppy or High WASP, are worth hanging on to. Showing up on time is a good thing. Thank yous even better.

Thank you all then, for supporting courtesy. While perhaps we can’t vote for polite, certainly we can campaign.

53 Responses

  1. I would like five each of “A Simple Thank You Will Suffice” and “That Behavior Is Not Very Attractive” please. My kids need them. Tattooed on their foreheads, backwards.

  2. I would be delighted to have a “That Behavior Is Not Very Attractive” for the back of my volvo wagon… right next to the “Yoicks” fox-hunting logo and the UWIG (University of Wales in Glamorgan) stickers. Thank you ever so much!

  3. Hi there,
    I’ve been following your blog over the past year; your writing is excellent. I’ve even shared your musings with my anti-blogging husband (especially India) and he was very moved. He’s the high WASP in the family and your writings have done so much to explain the various aspects of his family (and indeed, part of mine!) that was for years perplexing. Between you and Muffy Aldrich I think I finally get my New England-Mayflower-sailing-cocktails-at five-wheat-thins-for-lunch family-in-law. This helps with my three children who seem to have inherited much of the WASP physicality in addition to the temperament! Anyway, I’ve been surprised at the sociological and historical path your blog has set me on and I thank you for that.
    If you have an extra “That Behavior Is Not Very Attractive” bumper sticker I’d love to have one. If it’s no trouble. Would it be possible to send it so that I can pick up the postage? Or I’ll send you a pre-paid envelope? Can I pay for the sticker in some way? You might consider creating more…I think you’ll have more requests than you think! How shall I send you my snail-mail address?
    Heidi Liscomb

  4. I would love one that says “That behavior is not very attractive.” Will there be a giveaway or will they be available for purchase on the site? What a great idea!

  5. So funny, they are bringing back my childhood!

    LPC: You may have touched on this before, I’ll go look, but could you do a post on “At Home” dressing, for those of us working part time from home, home with children, retired, etc, I just can’t seem to work out a balance on this one between sweats and a t or too tight dresses that I can’t move in. There must be a way to look elegant and to also be comfortable, help!

  6. I would LOVE one of the “that behavior….” ones! My husband will role his eyes and think I had it made up myself, because I actually say that very phrase all the time about the high school kids who live in out neighborhood; I picked it up from my grandmother. That woman knew about style AND self respect.

  7. They look great! I’m still in for the “behaviour” sticker, I hope, and if you have an extra “suffice” left over, I would love to have it. Thanks!

  8. I would so love one of the “That behavior is not very attractive” stickers, if you have an extra. Thank you.

  9. I would love a “that behavior” sticker if you wouldn’t mind bringing one tomorrow. Please.

    We’ve been immersed in A Passage to India (film and book) and have some questions for you about your trip :-)

  10. Oh! They’re here! They’re here!
    I will send you an email poste haste!!

  11. I love all the messages and would love a bumper sticker if you have enough! Choose one for me.
    Regarding ‘preppy’ being a style more than a mindset or set of values, to that I say, what rubbish!
    The way you dress tells the world who you are. Generally style reflects the inside on the outside. It is one of your mantras, dear Lisa. Sturdy gal,Grande Dame, Artsy cousin. Need I say more?
    And why the sudden resurgence in all things prep? Personally, I believe the current trend in fashion reflects a grounding in traditional values which are comforting in the uncertain times we live in.
    In Old School We Trust. Say, can we get a bumper sticker with that motto? I’ll take a dozen!

  12. Lisa I would love a Simple Thank you Will Suffice!

    Thank you Simply!

    Art by Karena

    Do come and enter my new Giveaway, a painting!

  13. I would love a “behavior” sticker if there are any left. Maybe even 2: one for the back bumper to reminder those tailgating me in DC traffic that honking does not help, and another to stick on the mirror as a reminder to myself to stop tailgating and honking! ;)

  14. Lisa, preppy seems to me to be completely different than High WASP. Preppy calls to my mind button-down’s, loafers, plaid and women who have never gotten over college-style. In other words, I hate it.
    High WASP, on the other hand, calls to mind YOU. People of a certain background which is elegant, subtle, conservative, proper (with a bit of whimsy, I hope) & those values are translated to their style in apparel. I always choose elegant over outrageous or ordinary. Just saying. And, you know I adore those bumper stickers, the nice one please. Love, Marsha

  15. Love how they turned out! I’m especially partial to “That behavior…” due to my daily encounters with people who need to hear that. ;)

  16. I’d love the ‘on time’ one – if you could possibly post to Australia, I’d happily pay the postage.

  17. I love the one about behavior—which is after all, the mark of good breeding.

    Perhaps it’s been a long day for me but I’m not clear how to send an email to you on your site.
    However, I can assure you that the Behavior sticker will get mucho perhaps even national and in this day and age who knows what that means? speedyquick.

    It’s perfect


  18. I don’t do bumper stickers, but I almost would for these. My lack of non-WASP-ness notwithstanding. Though my internet personal can get a but rowdy sometimes, manners and promptness make me a happy lady.

  19. Another vote for “That Behaviour is Not Very Attractive” with “A simple thank you will suffice” as a very close contender.

    And if I may beg to differ, the Huffington Post represents the antithesis of the principles which once made this great nation exceptional. Politics aside, of course.

  20. After the day I’ve had at work, I really need the “behavior” sticker. So sad that one needs this for adults!

  21. Dear Mis. Privilege,

    I would very much like one of the bumper stickers which reads “That behavior is not very attractive.” it reminds of an old boyfriend who said this to me when I cried over some rather nasty remark he had made. He wore bow ties, naturally.

    I am very fond of your blog, particularly your observations of household objects.

    Yours truly, Miss Vann

    My contact information is: ivy Vann. 50 summer St. Peterborough NH 03458

  22. I’ve always been determined to not have bumper stickers on my car … but I WANT one!!
    It would look perfect on my little roadster.

  23. OK – given I live near a town where the most popular bumper sticker is “Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy” I would love any of those stickers – But I think sending them to Australia is a bit much to ask.

    I love the concept though.

  24. Lisa, a lovely idea. I just wanted you to know that. Being a Finn, I ´d like to have a Finnish sticker ; )!

  25. 1. Count me among those with a personal policy of “No Bumper Stickers displayed on an actual car bumper” crowd. Although, I have no aversion to placing them on a bulletin board here and there.

    2. Have no doubt that I’ve committed your bumper sticker messages to memory and my children will hear them over and over again (as needed) for the rest of their lives.

    3. I second Tabitha’s request for your guidance regarding dressing for us “traditional mums” who may work from home regularly and need a stylish, non-frumpy, non-slackery wardrobe that works for everything from light-housekeeping to (planned and unplanned) meetings with educators and business partners.

    4. Re: Huffington Post article, those who care will probably be able to discern between those with a preppy-style (temporary fashion) versus those with a preppy-lifestyle/heritage(core values that live on evermore).

    5. Love your wit and your entrepreneurial spirit, Lisa!

  26. Oh, they look fantastic! Congrats to you! I am the same about fonts and such. My first thought was,”That font is ideal!” I shall commit these phrases to memory.

  27. belle on heels – You bet!

    Jan – Bwahahaha. Send me your snail mail address if you really want a couple.

    Pigtown Design – Meg, the Privilege bumper stickers would find that company terribly convenient.

    Stephanie – You got it.

    Heidi – Wheat thins are indeed the lunch of champions. Especially served with sherry. Just email me at with your snail mail and I will gladly send one along. Postage, for your early adopters, is on me:).

    Cathy – My pleasure!

  28. Stephanie – So happy to amuse.

    Tabitha – Yes, I will work on that. Thanks for the thought.

    Anna – Ha! Indeed!

    Catherine – If you email me your address, at, I will glady oblige.

    Laura – You bet.

    Alice – Ha! Patent that system for all sorts of boy creatures and you’re set for life.

  29. Janet – I’d be honored and I do have enough, so just email me your snail mail address if you please.

    LilyAlcott – I’d be glad to send one along, please just email me your address and I’ll package it up.

    Susan – It was a pleasure to hand it over in person.

    Lara – You bet!

    Caron – I’ll send one along. Your point is well taken. I suppose what they really meant was that dressing “preppy” is no longer evidence of the set of values I’m talking about. In Old School We Trust, indeed:).

    Karena – My pleasure!

  30. Cecilia – If you decide you’d like one just email me with your address.

    Jill – That is a wonderful quality.

    KBG – I should have just about enough. If you go ahead and email me your address, I will send it out.

    Terri – My pleasure.

    Marsha – I will send you either Quelle Mess or A Simple Thank You. They both seem nice. And while I will confess that my style of dress is more conservative than my style of thinking, you are completely correct about my background and the influence. Thank you for thinking about all this.

    Jen – Heh:).

  31. Tiffany – I’m taking care of the postage for what we called in software the “early adopters:).” Please just email me your address.

    Edith – My apologies. The email address is maybe not very findable under my photo on the right.

    Becca – I appreciate their place on your mental bumper:).

    An American Girl – I’m curious on your thoughts about the Huffington Post.

    Julie – And it can be so hard and still so necessary to hold one’s tongue. I hope your weekend is full of people behaving well.

  32. Ivy – It’s yours. While I am sorry your old boyfriend was so unsympathetic, I am always quite pleased to have independent confirmation of my cultural observations. And I will attempt to observe some more household items, just for you. I appreciate hearing from you, enormously and even unembiggened (my new favorite word), and will gladly send you the bumper sticker.

    Alex – These are special:). Made for the roadster life. Will send next week.

    A Farmer’s Wife – I could send one, but I’d say the ones you mention are perhaps sufficient:). xox.

    Mette – Yes. Well, Hmm. Next time?:)

    Sylvie – I am honored by our place in your memory, and will start working on the post about dressing for home and beyond. I appreciate your kind words very much.

  33. Muffy – Hooray! You approve of my font!

    ms Givens – I will take your word on it.

    Mint Juleps – Thank you so much.

  34. Dear Lisa,
    I have recently discovered your blog and so enjoy your writing! I find myself a middle-aged wife and mother, the only female in a house of men and boys. Even the dog is male. Reading your columns brings me back to a time of discussing pearls, how to wear navy, and setting out the iced tea spoons with my mother and grandmother. I love the five minutes bumper sticker! A month or so ago, my husband, who is of another culture, and I disagreed over arrival times. My thought was that arriving five to ten minutes early is simply what everyone knows should be done. His thought was that I am nuts. But, a-ha, you’ve put in black & white, a straight forward font, no less. I’ll be showing him this column!
    Best Wishes,

  35. I love these stickers, and, being from Texas, love the Ride a Cowboy sticker, too.
    If you still have any left, I would appreciate A Simple Thank You Will Suffice.
    Thank you,

  36. It is so cool to see these arrive! If you have enough of the “Five Minutes Early…” I would be forever indebted, I have a sibling for who that is perfect. (In my mind it’s perfect, he may disagree.)

    You know, I have never thought of you as ‘preppy’ per se, more High WASP, very much so. :)

  37. Rebecca – Ha! In many cultures Five Minutes Early Is Nuts:).

    Martha – If you send me your snail mail address, I shall address your request forthwith.

    Princess – Yes, of course. And it is quite calming to hear the Princessorial decree on High WASP vs. preppy and I thank you.

  38. Hi Lisa,
    I am not a blogger, but I do read yours regularly. I would love to have the “behavior” sticker if you have one left. It would be perfect on the bulletin board of my kitchen! Thank you in advance.

  39. I can hear my grandfather sternly intoning, “Five minutes early IS on time” as I type this. I’m not quite up for putting it on my (on time is on time) Trophy Wife Wagon yet, but I applaud you for this effort.

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