24 September 2007

The Minivan Oath


(Encouraged by a dear cousin, I am blogging some of my writing. Enjoy it, sneer at it, cry or wink. There it is. Thanks Mel.)


I swore, although I know I am not really supposed to swear, that I would never drive a minivan. Ever. This statement issued forth from my humble but all-knowing, mature being at the age of 15ish. More than once. I must have felt like I had been wronged by the vehicle to make such an ultimatum. My best friend’s mom had one. A VW, I think. At the time I don’t recall feeling embarrassed or ashamed when I rode in it. But that was when we younger too. By the time I had reached full maturity and achieved all the education necessary regarding future vehicular operational decisions, my best friend’s mom had switched to a Taurus.

Another friend of mine, 2 grades ahead of me, had access to a VW as a junior in high school. I felt like such a part of something when I was invited to ride in Emily’s van to the beach or the movies. There was no a/c or cd player. Just manual windows rolled down to let the wind whip our hair around, several pairs of cheap sunglasses and lots pale skin in denim cutoffs (rolled up). I was never mortified, or scared of being seen. Why all this negativity against a metal, rolling box? Where did the horrendous stereotype come from that terrified me enough to pronounce death upon myself if I ever was the operator of what is now my most prized possession?

Before we went on a car trip a year ago, I decided I had to get my minivan’s carpets cleaned. My minivan is a lease. A lease! And yet I felt it had to be beautified before my children could spend another moment coloring, sneezing and smearing in it or on it. I go to the carwash place with my 5 year old and show the guy taking my order that I do not really car about the outside; it’s a minivan, right? I don’t really need my rims shinier than the sun. But the inside, the inside needs the works; scented carpet shampoo; all the leather caressed with one of those leather caressing wipes that makes the seats squeaky and slippery; the dashboard dust free; and my “came with the vehicle” stereo gleaming so I can read the LCD properly. So I am sitting in the waiting patio with my 5 year old and it has been over an hour. An hour! It’s a minivan! Another hour and $75 later as I squeak into my seat and merge onto the 5 South, I start thinking about how far I have come. I just spent more on my minivan’s carpets for my 4 children to destroy again after one visit to Happy Fun Burger Chicken Soda than I spend on my hair, nails and eyebrows, put together.

I don’t retract my oath. I just shift it, a little. I will never drive a minivan, unless I have 4 children in carseats and need extra cargo space and a automatic sliding doors with a sunroof and a DVD player. Amen.

3 comments:

Nicki September 24, 2007 at 5:07 PM  

Hilarious! What a gift you have! More, please!

Tyler September 24, 2007 at 5:47 PM  

Malarious even.

Erin September 25, 2007 at 1:55 PM  

Funny. I'm pretty certain I once took a similar pledge...something along the lines of "my child will NEVER have a runny nose and messy hair in public." Who knew that those noses can just run and run no matter how many times you wipe them, and that kids scream bloody murder when you try to do their hair, and that sometimes you just don't have the time (or willpower) to fix either? The 15-year-old-me had no clue!

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