The worst possible thing is happening to me right now. I am being forced to drive a minivan.
I know I’m no prom queen of adulthood or anything, but I suppose I like to think of myself as being at least medium-cool. I mean, I have an urban farm. That’s hip. I stay up late all the time. Duh, that’s super cool. I have cool friends, which automatically elevates my status. And sometimes I have babies on my dining room floor as a cool party trick for all my neighbors. I thought I was doing okay for an aging mom of four.
But that’s all changed now. Now I’m the mom who got rear-ended in the carpool line at school, by a SEDAN, which is apparently all my delicate flower of a brain needed to get a concussion. Talk about uncool. My Suburban, which is obviously cool, is much tougher than I, and only requires a little bit of rear bumper work. But, while it’s being fixed for the next few days, I need a loaner. After sending in the declarations page of my tax return to prove to the insurance lady that I do indeed exceed the limit for the standard issue compact sedan, I was rewarded with the very exciting news that I qualify for a minivan.
I’m so ashamed. I’m thinking of parking it around the block so no one will know it’s in my possession, or at the very least, posting some signs in my defense, lest people jump to conclusions and mock me.
I thought I was prepared for this, and had convinced myself it wouldn’t be the end of the world. But I was wrong. I was hoping for a nice, drab color, rather than this “look at me!” maroon. And if I’m being honest, I was also hoping for at least a drop down TV to assuage my feelings of hostility as I drive this dork-machine to Goliad later this week to keep Dally happy, but no such luck. I think the Enterprise guy could sense the tangible feelings of disgust oozing from me when he looked at me with a straight face and said, “At least it has really cool rims!” Um, what? First off, do I look like someone who cares about rims? Big engines? Yes. Mudding tires? Certainly. But, without coming across as too stereotype-y here, I’m not really a “rims” girl. And I don’t think any kind of rims would be able to dress up a minivan. It’s kinda like that whole concept of putting lipstick on a pig, if you ask me.
I know a lot of you have minivans, and I don’t mean to insult you. Congratulations on embracing your soccer mom status like a champ! Or congratulations on being super non-shallow and taking one for the team while you choose function over fashion. It’s a little harder for me to come around. I won’t even let my kids play soccer, and I have always sworn that you will NEVER see me in a minivan! To be fair, you will never see me in a minivan that I have paid money for, but for this week (puh-lease let this not take any longer than a couple of days!) I’ll be wearing dark sunglasses and a hat while I drive this bad boy around town.
Look, I know you love the features. Who doesn’t want a fridge in their console? I’m sure that drop down TV that comes in the better minivans is nice for long trips. And you get to look like a freaking wizard every time you open or close one of those magical doors with the push of a button. But oh. my. goodness. It looks like a take out box on wheels, and not in an appetizing way.
As I loaded up to run an errand this morning, my neighbor caught me and asked if I’d purchased a new car. “Ha!” I scoffed. “This is a rental, and it causes me great physical pain!”
“Why?” he asked, innocently. “I don’t really see any difference between this and a Suburban.”
This was the ultimate insult. As I pulled the dagger from my heart, I instinctively began shouting things at my poor neighbor, who hadn’t even finished his morning coffee yet, about how this van was a vagina, and… well, it goes downhill from there. I don’t like the person this minivan has made me.
I get that maybe my Suburban isn’t your cup of tea. (Ok, maybe I don’t get it, but I suppose I can accept it. A little.) If seating and enclosed cargo room wasn’t an issue, (and neither was money), I think most of you know I’d be upsetting all the EPA people in town with my F-350 diesel quad-cab 4×4 with enormous tires. But since it is, I’ve got the next coolest thing. It’s a truck with a third row! It can hold all my tiny people and all the groceries we can eat, or I can drop the seats down and it can hold a piece of furniture or something awesome from Lowe’s. I can take it camping in the hailstorm of the century, go romping down a muddy road in a flood with a goat in the back, or wash it, and turn it over to the valet at the St. Anthony downtown. I can smile proudly at the gas tank while I see how many miles we got out of the 31-gallon tank, or I can rev that V8 when the light turns green at the intersection and watch her beat out the sporty sedan next to us. The possibilities are endless!
I might have shed a tear or two as I handed over the keys to my baby, and climbed sideways rather than upwards into this fine piece of machinery. Trust me, the body shop will be hearing from me on a daily basis! Will I ever be medium-cool again?