death by minivan

The day we purchased our minivan, I think a small piece of me died on the inside. That small, remaining, ever glowing youthful light still residing deep within me, was completely squelched.

Forever.

Sure, I’d been talking big for months, about taking the plunge and purchasing a swagger wagon. But when the time came to actually pull the trigger…I was positively mortified.

My children would pummel me physically and mentally, in this lifetime of a game we call motherhood. I was like a store being looted after an earthquake, with broken windows and alarms sounding…people running in and out with big screen T.V.’s and DVD players…screaming at each other… Wasn’t this the last thing I was positively holding out on? In the land of metaphors, it was the cash register bolted to the counter, and people were coming after it with baseball bats. What was next? Mom jeans with reeboks and a mom cut with poodle bangs a-la 1985 to complete my make under? Why didn’t we just go ahead and slam the soccer stickers on the back as soon as they signed it over to me?

Secretly, I kind of like those little soccer stickers.

Yippee. My life as I knew it, was over.

And then I realized, over-the-top-dramatic-illustrations aside, that there’s a reason minis are so popular. There’s definitely something these generations before me had all figured out, and I was just a little slow catching on to all these fabulous secrets. Now that I had officially joined the ranks of minivan mommies nation wide, how was my life transformed in the realms of transportation, you might ask?

Apart from the expected positive changes, like opening the door with the click of a button, and not throwing out my back from balancing three babes… there have been a few, eh, unexpected ones…

In some not-so-obscure magazine {somewhere that I can no longer remember} a woman wore different colored wigs in public, and noted how she was treated as a result. Brown vs. Blonde, Grey vs. Brown, etc. Kind of like the famous person who puts on the fat suit and then notes the different ways they’re treated…did you know that people totally judge you based on what kind of car you drive? Sad but true. Here’s a few things I’ve noticed:

1. No one checks me out anymore.
Stay with me here. No scoffing. If you are FEMALE, people check you out. Whether you notice, or not. This isn’t a pompous statement, but rather a sociologically founded, matter-of-fact one. Trust me. And when this suddenly stops happening one day {when say, you take the plunge and purchase a mini van} it makes me feel, well, done for. You know you’ve lost your touch when the randos stop haggling you at the local gas station/traffic light. Sometimes, now that I’m in mommy land, I do rejoice at the idea of a traditional check out session. Because I get to run home and inform the hubs that I’m a total trophy wife. It’s my goal in life, after all.

Call me crazy, but there is something permanently damaging to the personal beauty ego scale thingy once a live eight pounder is pushed from your body. Three times over. And now that I have traded in my last hold on youth to become my mother all the way by stating it in public with the national sign of all things  stereotypical suburbia, let’s just say the check out meter went from occasional to… ZERO. People probably stopped checking me out years ago, and I just have something to blame it on, now. I wouldn’t notice anyway, as I am constantly in my own little Mary Poppins bubble. I don’t get out much.

2. People cut me off more…and tailgate
Other drivers rate a mini as equivalent to being stuck behind a mack truck or school bus for ten hour increments at a time. Apparently I’ve become their worst nightmare, and they would rather risk their own lives to cut me off or ride my tail, in order to avoid my granny mobile, rather than wait ten more seconds. It’s quite rational, really.

I, the matronly driver, tend to cautiously slam on my breaks whilst simultaneously sitting on my horn, as if to teach them a lesson: to NOT assume that all minivan drivers are, in fact, slow. Most are, however, prone to sudden bouts of road rage.

{total truth: coming back to read this and re-reading a few years later, it’s a bit eerie, since this is officially what caused our wreck to total aforementioned minivan.}

3. I haven’t been stopped for speeding.
I’m tempting fate with this one. Really considering hitting delete and finding another topic. But its true. Police are more than three times as likely to stop a decked out SUV or sportster than my mature minivan. Minivan means family. Families pay taxes. Minivans are transporting the future of tomorrow. Future cops, even. So don’t traumatize my four year old and dash his dreams on the rocks of reality by writing mommy a ticket. As a result, police tend to ignore me on their speedometers. I call it stealth mode. And I just made that up. But I am convincing, no?

I’m not exactly known for my submissive nature when it comes to my fabo driving skills, so, in the meantime, let’s just say I’m working on it. Maybe some stereotypes DO have a few benefits ??? Meh. Probably not.

If you can’t beat em…


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