When I was in highschool my mom purchased a minivan, a Mazda MPV. That was the car my sister and I drove to school, basketball practice and swim practice. We called it the “Moving Party Vehicle” just to make it seem a little cooler. So while other kids were driving envy provoking pick-ups (it was Alaska) my sister and I were cruising around in a minivan. The upside was that we could haul a lot of friends around in that thing. During the summers when I was in college we used to drive around our small town with the windows rolled down blasting the Beastie Boys and smoking cigarettes, a nasty habit I picked up in a foreign country. Yeah, we were awesome.
Sadly the minivan has come full circle.
I bought my first brand new, never been used car when I was 32. I bought it mainly because my mom finally tired of me driving around $800 jalopies that would eventually die and be donated to charity and she offered to make the down payment. It was a sporty little black hatchback and I loved it. Loved it! It was so low to the ground that when I was pregnant with the twins I would almost pass out from the pressure on my diaphragm while driving to work. Nonetheless, it was new and mine all mine.
A month before I was due I excitedly asked my husband to install the two car seats in my car, just in case. He happily carted them out to the driveway. After awhile he called me on my cell phone. “You need to come out here.” I waddled out the door and down the walk. I peered in through the passenger side window. In order to fit the car seat my husband had his knees wrapped around the steering wheel and his head touching the sun visor. He couldn’t reach the gas pedal because he couldn’t straighten his knees under the dashboard. We couldn’t just move it to the other side because we had TWO!!!
It was time to “upgrade”. I REALLY didn’t want to trade in my little black car. We had had only a short time together. It wasn’t enough. Regardless of the fact that every time I drove her I was in danger of losing oxygen to my brain and to my unborn children, I felt like we had so much more to give each other.
So we went to the dealership with the intention of finding a larger but small SUV that would fit the four of us. We came home with a minivan. A practical, functional blue minivan. I thought I would cry.
I have to admit that over time my minivan and I have come to a mutual respect. It allows me to haul my three children and a myriad of crap i.e. snacks, bikes, clothes, sippy cups, dogs, sunglasses, luggage and groceries. In return, albeit difficult sometimes, I defend it from the nay sayers.
It doesn’t matter who you are, you are not cool or hip in a minivan. In fact, it is not unlike a clown car when all five of us, our dog and all our crap pile out of it. There is not one badass thing about it.