If you had any shred of respect for me prior to this post, I suspect it will be henceforth destroyed.
And why? Because I refuse – REFUSE – to drive a minivan, purely out of vanity. How’s that for controversy?
My obstinacy was the cause of a pretty massive fight between me and my beloved Jake before Seabass came along. (As in, yes, crying.) When we found out we were pregnant, all we had was a 1994 Honda Civic two-door with a cracked windshield and 200k miles between us. The purchase of another car shot to the top of our priority list like lightning.
Jake and I agreed on several aspects of the purchase: that the car be clean, well-maintained, extremely fuel-efficient, with four doors and a little bit off the ground, if possible, to save our backs from breaking every time we put the baby in the car. We also agreed that we wouldn’t make payments on anything or put it on the credit card, so it would have to be seriously cheap.
Beyond that, though, we disagreed on just about everything. To me, a Toyota RAV4 or Honda CRV fit the bill, but Jake insisted that a minivan was the only way to go.
“Everyone has one!” he argued, “And they all love theirs. Why can’t you just put your vanity aside and listen to reason?”
He had every right to be frustrated with me. Why not just give in and go the way of the minivan? They’re spacious and convenient, with plenty of seats for gobs of kids to sit in and something like four cupholders per passenger. They can also be fairly inexpensive to purchase used, and are often quite fuel-efficient. And those automatic open-and-shut sliding doors, wow. So what was the problem?
I don’t know exactly. Maybe it’s that I grew up getting car sick bouncing around in the back of a giant Dodge Econoline that resembled the A-Team van. Or perhaps it’s memories of kids getting dropped off at school by exhausted mothers who drove wood-paneled Astrovans encrusted to a near-Baroque degree with Cheerios and snot. But most likely, it’s just that I don’t want to give in to the stereotypical mom image, spending my entire waking life driving kids to soccer games, dance lessons, etc. in a minivan with a bumper sticker that reads “Mom’s Taxi.” Like I said, it’s vanity.
While I’m not proud of myself for being so shallow, I *do* feel affirmed by the hoardes of people who feel the same way. Just Google “anti minivans” and you’ll find a thriving community of people like me, some of whom even go so far as to write blogs on the subject.
Before I lay down my weak defense to be pummeled by all of you proud minivan drivers out there, I’d like to note that there is one exception to my minivan prejudice. I wouldn’t mind driving a VW Vanagon or Westfalia because they’re a) the descendent of the VW bus, b) European, and c) often outfitted with a sink, stove, and hookups for camping.
Anyway, my friend Linda has already scorned me on her blog with an ode in praise of her minivan, and she speaks convincingly to its many charms. But what do you think/drive? Are minivans the pits? Or are they the best thing since indoor plumbing?