When I was a young asshole my best friend gave me a bumper sticker that read “Minivans are tangible evidence of evil”. I slapped it on my rusted wreck of a Jetta and took teenage joy in buzzing past and cutting off anyone I saw on the freeway who was driving a minivan in the slow lane. I laughed at them, for their boring lives full of soccer practice and stale Cheerios. My 17-year old self knew that when I hit 30 I would be a war correspondent traveling the world’s most dangerous places. Or I would be a famous actress, retired, of course, spending all of my time on Mediterranean beaches with dark-haired hunks.
This attitude and behavior was completely inappropriate, and now I no longer have the bumper sticker, although I do still drive a Jetta, and it is this very car (a newer one, that doesn’t stall when idling at a stoplight on a hot summer day) that has incited furor and controversy among the minivan-driving elite.
I’ve dug my heels in every step of the way to matronhood. I refused to marry my boyfriend for years, eventually running away to a different continent when it appeared that matrimony was the only option (for the record, when he flew out to Thailand to propose to me I did say yes). When it became necessary to move out of the city and into a sensible suburb I whined, cried, tantrumed, complained, and pouted – for years. When fibromyalgia struck and I had to leave my job and stay at home I staunchly refused to do any housework or cook any food for the first six months, based only on the principle that I didn’t want to stay home in the first place, so why should I have to do chores?
Yes, I am a horrible person. Yes, I keep my house clean now.
Eventually, I acquiesced to all of the trappings of matronhood (reluctantly), but there is one thing I will NEVER submit to: the tyranny of the minivan.
To those who drive minivans, this seems to be a personal affront. Mostly, I assume, because they are ashamed of driving around in those gutless metal slugs, but also, I think, because of what they consider to be my sheer lack of common sense. “How can you fit all of your baby gear into a Jetta?” We don’t plan on owning a lot of baby gear. “You’ll change your mind and buy a minivan, you’ll see.” No, I highly doubt that. And my personal favorite, “when you have more kids you will need a minivan” We’re not having more than one. “Oh yes you will, wait and see.”
I have a lovely friend with piles of common sense, and two really cute little boys. She drives them and their stuff around in her 4-door sedan with no trouble at all. Like her, I have every intention of NOT owning too much baby crap, NOT driving a massive, expensive car, and NOT caring about the fact that I don’t fit into minivan-driving moms club. I will wrestle Sugar Lump’s car seat into the back seat of my car several times a day with pride, I will fit neatly into the smallest parking spots with a smug smile on my face, and I will glow at the end of the month when I look at my budget and see how little I spent on gas.
Minivans, I defy you!