The hot 4…now 5.

Over the years, I have discovered there are some topics that are just hot, creating a heated debate no matter how the subjects are broached. These topics make people’s blood boil and break up friendships. In my opinion these topics are the following:

1. Abortion  2. Gun Rights  3. Breastfeeding 4. Redshirting a kindergartener (for reals)

I think these topics are so personal and heated that I’m not sure I will ever attempt to discuss them on this blog. Although you never know, crazier decisions have been made, I’m sure.

Okay, I recently decided I’d like to add one more topic to the “hot button” issues. This is a sleeper, the dark horse. It’s actually a topic that is never labeled “heated”; but I assure you, the heat runs deep among those who even have an opinion.

5. The Minivan

So immediately your thoughts turned to 1 of 2 things: 1) Ain’t no minivan ever making a presence in my life or 2) I LOVE MY FUCKING MINIVAN!

A friend of mine asked me if I was going to change cars when I have 3 kids. Before I could respond, she said, “Let me guess, you’re not a ‘minivan’ person.” She has a Honda Odyssey.

When I was about 25, I remember making a comment regarding how I will never own a minivan. So that was 11 years ago (and I was clearly immature…no side comments). Here is what a minivan looked like 11 years ago to a young quarter-life crisis law student:

Ugly minivan

Whether that’s what all minivans looked like or not didn’t matter, that’s what they looked like to me. And growing up, none of my friends’ parents had minivans, even if they had multiple kids, because car seat requirements weren’t as strict and so we were all in the front seat or the station wagon’s way back doing headstands and pretending we were strangling the other person to the car behind us.

As it turns out, this city has some quirks and throughout my posts I try to delicately touch upon them without being totally offensive. One of the quirks is the parking spaces. They are small. Whether they say compact or not, they are small. I’ve lived in urban cities and suburban cities, I’ve always had an SUV in these places. I’m not exaggerating about Seattle…pah-lease!

After moving here and having 2.0, parking spaces were so tight, I couldn’t open the door wide enough to fit his bucket through. And as it turns out, some SUV doors are actually shorter in length than sedans. At times I would have to go in through the trunk gate and get him over the seat into his base. Then comes the epiphany…automatic sliding doors.

My first step was to ask T.H. if there was a body shop where we could take my 4Runner and have them change my doors to sliding. This was the conversation (I’m Jim in this scenario of course):

Okay, so when that was considered a no-go (which, honestly, I still think could be done), T.H. said, why don’t we get a minivan.

But seriously, forward the clock 11 years and this is what a minivan looks like to a 36 year old parent of almost 3 kids living in a city that thinks it’s funny to have whole parking lots be compact spaces:



And ever since he mentioned it, I’ve been obsessed with getting one. Honestly, the convenience that a minivan offers is so unreal to me that I can’t understand why I wouldn’t get one. Automatic sliding doors, multiple seat configurations, the media/entertainment options, the cargo space while still holding 7-8 people, the ease of getting to the 3rd row and now the Odyssey has both a beverage cooler and built in vacuum. And just as a side note: I vacuum my car weekly…so…

I’ve been trying to think, why are so many people vehemently against the minivan? What does it symbolize in our society that is so off-putting? Some things come to mind: a big tush…a shlumpy housewife…life is only about the kids and their carpools…losing all red light drag races…just to name a few.

I guess the minivan does pose the problem that any hotness I may have retained through 2 kids is vanished once I step out of my minivan. I require T.H. to drive a car that he looks hot driving. Remember, I’m Blue Ribbon, he’s Trophy, the standards are different, I’m not expected to look hot driving my car…he is. And I will likely not look hot driving a minivan…or will I?

But honestly, what does “society” (and I guess by society I mean a 25 year old Christian Bale look alike) think of me in my mom SUV right now? I’m woman enough to know he’s not checking me out anyway. If I’m shlumpy, I’ll be shlumpy. If I have a big tush, I’ll still have a big tush regardless of a minivan or a Lexus LX. I don’t discriminate.

And yes, if you are a car person, there is no denying, the red light drag races mentioned above are likely a thing of history. I’m kind of hoping with any amount of children in your car, those races are nonexistent anyway. I won’t be driving the Autobahn in my Toyota Sienna. But I am likely to be watching Blue Crush in HD at some point from the fully reclining backseat of my car during a road trip while drinking my ice cold can of root beer. And as a BRW, Blue Crush and my root beer are much more important to me than a car that can “corner like it’s on rails”.

This decision is not yet final. I will do research, test drives and check out all the options for the best car for us; but I’m pretty sure I figured out the argument to end all arguments about the minivan: