Let me be upfront about this: the Bee-Joneses do NOT care about cars. We are not ‘car people’. When we see old-timey cars toot by on their way to old-timey car get-togethers we don’t take photos, we always turn “Car Talk” off as soon as it comes on the radio, and the most amazing prototypical Batman-future-car, to us, could just as easily be a beaten up 1993 Ford Focus.
The last two times we bought cars, we went to whatever dealership happened to be closest to us, and bought what they had left in the showroom. Because of this, we are currently driving a car the color of a peacock, under the neon lights of a Serbian discotheque, covered in fairy glitter. I mean, it’s a car and everything, and it works, but when we drive it down the street, the overall effect is that of an SUV wearing spandex pants.
That said, in a strange reversal of stereotypes, I care incrementally more than my husband about the coolness of whatever car it is we happen to be driving. And despite my very best efforts to convince my husband that we are ‘hip’ and ‘with it’, he has grown tired of spending 142% of his leisure time sweating his balls off while attempting to squeeze three children into three car seats across a bench seat designed to accommodate two. I mean, there’s a third seat belt, but it was really just a joke perpetrated on us by Toyota; it’s more of a tease than a suitable place to seat a human person. We even had to saw the comfortable arm rests off of the booster seat to mush them all in. Oh that’s right. We took them out back and hacksawed them off.
And even though I spent my entire youth being driven by my parents in boxy Eastern European cars the shape and color of Hitler’s moustache, I still feel like I’m giving over to something dreadful. I remain unconvinced that the ‘fun’ names car companies give their minivans mean that you can’t possibly emerge from the purchase of a minivan with your street cred intact. I mean, seriously, ‘Odyssey’? (said with maximum sarcasm); unless your version of a mythical Odyssey ends with a trip to Costco since now you have the space in your car to really load up on bulk toilet paper and frozen waffles.
I don’t know. All I do know is that I love my husband, and I guess if he could make a compelling case for us to drive the Oscar Meyer Weiner Car I’d consider it.
Allana? You had a minivan. Did you love it? Should I sign the paperwork?
Really great question Sam. I’m happy to lend some thoughts. When my husband decided that it was time to buy a “van” for his family I believe he asked himself the following questions:
- Does this vehicle look like an airport transport shuttle?
- Will people think this vehicle is a mobile food van where one can purchase Tacos?
- Will my wife be embarrassed beyond human comprehension for being seen in this vehicle?
After answering YES to all of the above questions my wonderful hubby proceeded to purchase a Safari: A family panel van that, when desired, has the ability to tow up to 5500lbs. And, if attacked by a herd of elephant cows would not endure a dent. Hence the name, “Safari”. A van that does not inspire one to dress up in an “Out Of Africa” Meryl Streep Khaki inspired ensemble. Trust me. One look at this van and you’re convinced you can get away with belting your pajamas and throwing on some chapstick. And besides, my husband doesn’t operate an airport shuttle service nor sell tacos.
So I can’t with all honestly say that I’ve ever been the owner of a “mini”van. For what it’s worth, my time spent with that Safari made me an astute U-Haul driver. Seriously, I can parallel park a panel van in under 5 seconds.
So it’s a tough choice. Although there are obvious downsides to owning a minivan, like a decreased sex drive and a strong desire to buy bulk, there must be a host of great benefits.
A less sweatier husband?
p.s. Please give yourself at least 3 months until you purchase your Costco membership. One milestone at a time Sam. One at a time…