6 Nov

Not surprisingly, there have been a lot of questions about our recent descent into minivan shame.  In this post I will attempt to explain why I yielded my position.

If ever FORM and FUNCTION were personified by two people, it is me and Jake.  I like things to look nice, nevermind practicality.  Jake, on the other hand, gravitates toward things that work despite being ugly as hot sin.

Ms. Form

Mr. Function. And yes, I use this photo on purpose as retribution for making me drive a minivan.


When we used to argue about getting a minivan (Jake: for, Jaime: against), I would try to reason with Jake.

“They’re ugly.  They’re big.  They signify everything that I dread becoming as a mom.”

He called me vain, and I agreed.  “You wouldn’t wear a fanny pack just because it’s practical,” I said.  “You are vain too.”

This all probably sounds petty and minor to you, but I’m telling you: TEARS were shed over this issue.  On more than one occasion. And I guess I just grew tired of it all.

Soon after Sweet Chuck was born, my beloved husband and I went to a cafe to discuss cars.  Our crappy little RAV 4 had already shown itself to be miserably incompetent when it came to carting two kids around: heads hit on swinging doors, no space for a double stroller, and whoever was unfortunate enough to sit in the passenger seat had to make love with the dashboard just to fit an infant carseat in the meager space behind.  So on this little “discussion date” we hunted craigslist and Auto Trader for cars that fit our narrowly overlapping desires:

  • Must not be a minivan (my criteria)
  • Must not be an SUV (Jake’s criteria)
  • Must be big enough to accommodate our family, stroller, and dog comfortably
  • Must not break down
  • Must be under $7,000

Have you ever searched for a unicorn?  It was kinda like that.

Reluctantly, I realized as we talked that if I just removed one item from that list of criteria, we could, perhaps, go on with the business of living our lives:

  • Must not be a minivan
  • Must not be an SUV
  • Must be big enough to accommodate our family, stroller, and dog comfortably
  • Must not break down
  • Must be under $7,000

And thus, in the spirit of moving forward, I ceded my vanity and told Jake he could get a minivan.  Mind you, it took me DAYS to come to this decision.  I agonized.  And, because it involved me not getting my way, there were more tears.

We bought our new minivan last Saturday.  I took it for a test drive.  It ran, which is all that mattered.  When we brought it home, Jake was seriously a-twitter, showing Seabass all the nooks and crannies, features, and counting the cupholders.

Me?  I got out.  I grabbed the baby.  I went inside.

Driving it is fine.  Seabass doesn’t hit his head getting in anymore, which is nice.  The stroller fits.  So does the dog.  We didn’t get power doors (do you think we’re made of money???) but the fact that they slide means we can park closer to cars in parking lots, I guess.  Other than that, I have nothing to say.

Here’s the thing about the minivan: As a friend of mine once noted, IT IS A BUBBLE FROM WHICH NO CUTENESS CAN ESCAPE.  That means I might be looking extremely cute one day – hair awesome, clothes fitting – you know, rocking it.  But if I’m in that dumb van, it doesn’t matter how cute I am.  My cuteness cannot penetrate the minivan’s force field of bland practicality and mom-ness.  And that sucks.

I brought this up with Jake.

“How are we ever going to pull up to a nice restaurant and feel cool in the minivan?” I queried.

Rav 4 for sale. Buyer must like Cinderella.

“Did you feel cool pulling up in a 1999 RAV 4 with faded paint and a Cinderella sticker on the back window?  Or how about the 1994 Civic with the cracked windshield and dog fur woven into every possible surface?”

I get his point.  Sigh.  Cuteness will just have to wait.

6 Responses to “Explanation.”

  1. thelightlife November 6, 2012 at 8:59 pm #

    We had a couple of vehicles I liked “pre-minivan” stage. With 4 kids, its nice to have the space and I’ve given up on feeling cool. It’s a state of mind, not a commodity…at least that’s what people with minivans say 🙂 …and balding comb-overs. But our Dodge Intrepid and our X-terra (only 14mpg 😛 blah!) worked great….Life with a minivan:
    1. Now you can be a soccer mom!
    2. Now you can put stickers of your family as sandals, stick figures, turtles, etc. on the back of your car! Yeah! …can you hear the sarcasm?

  2. Marta November 7, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    I’m sure you look still hot even in a minivan. Start watching those swagger wagon commercials, maybe you just need to find a way to pimp your ride. 🙂

  3. Camille November 8, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

    We’re in the same place, only we’re still in limbo, making do with a prius. You hit the nail on the head, I guess there is the non-cool-mom-bubble that haunts me too! Funny, cuz I don’t think there is the same stigma with dads. Good dads, even unloading a mini-van full of kids can be “sexy.” Good moms unloading a mini-van full of kids automatically are seen as wearing mom jeans up to their ribs….hmmm. No wonder Ryan isn’t bothered by the minivan. Thanks for paving the way Jaime.

  4. tylerlohrke February 7, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    Once again Jaime….pretty damn good


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