Thursday, December 27, 2007

My Shiny, Blue Minivan

I have a van. It's a minivan really. It is big and shiny and blue and we have a love/hate relationship.

I can remember when I would talk about how I would never be the kind of mom to drive a minivan. Those moms were old and frumpy. They were soooo uncool!! That was back when I only had a couple of kiddos and we all fit comfortably into a car. Then, when I was pregnant and about to pop with number 3, I went for a test drive in a cute, blue minivan and I fell in love instantly. I no longer cared about being "hip." I wanted large sliding doors that allowed me to strap my children in without breaking my back and 15 cup holders for all the juice boxes and a HUGE interior to try and hide all of the crackers and cereal that would be thrown and crushed on the floor (seriously, I think we could probably sponsor and feed ten starving children for a year with the amount of food we have crushed on the floor of that van right now....).

However, I got to that point in my life where being "uncool" was just fine and dandy with me. I have grown fond of being unhip. It is feasible. It is definable and it is oh so comfortable.

So, this love hate relationship between my van and me just took a turn for the worse. When I was driving home from the store two days ago the air quit working. I know, this wouldn't really be much of a problem for most of you currently, but it is still hot here during the day and the last thing I need is 4 sweaty, whiny kids in the back of my van stinkin' up the place every time I need to go anywhere.

So, we took our little minivan in to "the car doctor" today and the news is not good, of course. Is there ever good news when you have to take your car in?? (Things I would rather do than have to take my car into the shop: have a root canal, go in for semi-annual gynecology visits, jump naked into a pool of thumbtacks......ok, so that last one is a little bit dramatic...but you get my point.) The van will be expensive to fix. More money than is worth putting into it at this point.

I told one of my friends this and she got all excited and was like "Well, at least now you don't have to drive a minivan around anymore! You should go look at SUVs." I gasped. I couldn't believe it. I will NOT be a traitor!! No, thanks. I will stick with a boring, uncool, "stuck-in-a-family-way" minivan, thank you very much. (I read an article once about how minivans scream "I am stuck in this boring family life and don't know how to escape it." I don't remember exactly what it said.....or where I read it.. or who wrote it. It must have been a really great article. :P)

I have started looking at vans online now....trying to decide which kind we should start to look at. I made sure the blinds were closed tight so my poor, dying, shiny blue van outside couldn't see. I think it would hurt her feelings and she may revolt and spit her oil out all over the driveway or quit blowing out her nice, cold air to help cool us down on a hot....oh wait...she already did that, huh? Anyways.....

So it looks like we have a couple long days of van hunting ahead of us. And yes, it will for sure be a MINIVAN that we buy. I will be driving one of these abominable vehicles around until I die and someone pries the keys out of my cold, dead hand.


DISCLAIMER: In case you didn't sense the sarcasm in this post...I LOVE minivans and I don't think they are uncool or ugly. I think they have come a long way and are actually pretty easy on the eyes these days. Although, maybe that is because my eyesight is not what it used to be.....anyhoo......

14 comments:

suburbancorrespondent said...

Go for the Toyota Sienna. And, judging by your birth rate, get the 8-seater.

But I'd rather take the car in than have a root canal.

onthegomom said...

I drove mini-vans for years. It wasn't until my kids were out of car seats that I got an SUV. There are times I do miss the van but mostly I like my SUV :)

Dawn said...

I hate taking my car in to get fixed also. Your story was so funny- it's wonderful that you keep such a great sense of humor even through yuck stuff like cars that don't work right.

Cecily R said...

I said the same thing about minivans until I got one. I much prefer it over our electric blue two door Ford Probe. A few extra doors make all the difference for me!! :)

Katie said...

I also swore I'd never drive a mini-van. So when child number three came around, we bought a gas-gusling 8-seater SUV. The truth is by the time you add that third row to the back, they're no longer the cute, sporty SUV's I've always loved. I look every bit as un-cool in my Honda Pilot as I would in a mini-van. But if the shoe fits....

Have fun mini-van shopping.

One Scrappy Gal said...

Stand tall, fellow minivan sister!! Say it loud... say it proud... we're stuck in cool family lives and we love it!! Have fun shopping around. :)

Jenny said...

I also promised myself that I would never be a traditional mom with the mini van. I can now understand the appeal and wouldn't hesitate for a second to take a test drive...if only I could talk my husband into it!

I ran across your blog while flipping through pages on blogger. I hope you don't mind if I stop by again sometime, your blog is great!

Stacie said...

yes, I had similar feelings about minivans...

I just had my second child when we went to "look" at the HORRIBLE vehicles. I jumped in, defeated, to go for a test ride. I fell in love, I never thought I would say it, but I love the dumb thing! I wouldn't/couldn't trade it now for anything...until the kids get older.

Good luck finding a new Shiney LOVE. :D

JJ Daddy-O said...

One word: dualpowerdoors
Don't know if you have them on your current van, but once you have them, you'll never go back. Ask your dumb SUVing friend if she can let her kids into her family truckster with one finger.
If you're feeling uncool, get a cranking stereo to drown out the kids and some magnetic stick-on flames for the sides.
And I haven't even mentioned the fact that vans are safer than SUVs, cost less to buy and own and get better mileage.
So maybe SUV vs. minivan ownership is a darwinian thing.

Kellan said...

What a cute post and I can so relate! I've been driving a van of some sort for the past 15 years and we (with 4 children) could not live without our van! I loved this cute post, Valerie. Good luck finding a brand new van - that will be so nice. Kellan

utmomof5 said...

I can't help you much I am a proud SUV (big red suburban)driving Mom and I will never go back to a minivan. I had one for a couple years and I don't ever want to go back. Call me crazy but I love having it in the snow, I watched my SIL's all slide across the road trying to get home on Christmas Eve. My car even pulled one of them out of the snow. I realize you have no snow there but that is why I have crossed over from the minivan to the SUV.

My favorite to see on the road is the Honda Oddesey. (I know I spelled that wrong)

Christina

Christina

desirae said...

Ohhh I love my minivan.. It took a while to talk hubby into it, he was dead set against one, but he finally caved.. PS. I knew how uncool I was long before the minivan.. I always say you never realize how uncool you are till you have kids, and you go out with cheeto handprints on your butt, cheerios in your hair, and baby talk the cashier.

Jill said...

Our story is eerily similar to your's. We got our van when I was pregnant with #3, because we couldn't get 3 carseats in the back seat of our car.
I loved the van with the exception of it only having a sliding door on one side of the car. It even worked well when we had baby#4.
This last summer, the transmission was starting to go out on the van and it would cost more to fix it than it was worth.
We looked at the Honda Odessy, and also the GMC Acadia. (You should check that one out. It's not really a van or an SUV, kind of a combination of the two. We know someone who got one, and it's really nice.)
We ended up with a big SUV. I love it! Mostly because it is great for driving in all the snow we are currently dealing with, and it holds all our junk. It's also great for hauling around a bunch of kids for our carpool.
Good luck with your car shopping.
Jill

Leah said...

I was horrified at the idea of driving a minivan as well, until we test drove a 2004 Toyota Sienna (in 2006, so yes, it was used). It had the most comfortable seats I'd ever sat in. It was the smoothest drive of any car I'd previously driven. It had two sliding doors, one of which was linked to a key fob, which meant I could have my hands full of children and still manage to get the van unlocked and a door open. There was plenty of room for toys, snacks, drinks, strollers, diaper bags, carseats, and kids. PLENTY. And had a DVD player built right in. And the sliding door windows still roll down like car windows. We were sold and haven't regretted it for one single second. I too, love my minivan!

GOOD LUCK finding another one you can love as much as the first. It's hard getting into something we like and can afford, sometimes...