Tuesday, January 4, 2011

WHAT?? You mean my Honda Odyssey is NOT cool???

The New York Times had an article today about mini-vans, and their attempt to rise in cool-ness, thanks to Nick Bunkley- You can read it here if you like:

Do you judge people by the car they drive?

I do.

Do I want you to judge me for driving a Mom-Van? Absolutely NOT.

Did I choose to drive my mini-van because I thought my cool factor would go up? Nope. I knew on that fateful day, I was officially no longer cool on the roadways.

I used to drive a red Camaro around town in HIGH SCHOOL. I was COOL.

I then had a Volkswagen Rabbit –Diesel. I felt fairly cool because you could plug it in. In college I drove a white Aries K car, AM radio only, bench seating and I had to put a pillow behind my back to reach the pedals. BUT I was one of very few who had a car in college and so I was COOL. People even named my car MILKY. We practically had a funeral for it when it died.

Before the mini-van came into my life I was driving a Honda Accord, with all the bells and whistles. It was the nicest car I could afford at the time. Then kid number three came along, the lease was up, my parents moved a 24hrs drive away, and I didn’t drive stick. So I got the van and the hubby got to keep his Jeep.

Do the new marketing campaigns make my van cooler? I don’t think so. I already listen to loud rock music, and sometimes a pile of adults roll out of my van rather than little kids. Do I wish there was some other name for what I drive rather than VAN? Yes. Remember when we (those of us over 30) were learning to read and there was that kid named Van? That is kind of how I feel when I say I drive a VAN.
How about Lear instead? Odyssey, Sienna, C-Max, Grand Caravan, Town & Country, those are nerd words. Couldn’t they give the VAN a better name? We don’t need a word that means big or people mover to know what we are driving, it’s obvious.

Driving a van says I sit on a soccer field all day Saturday. I never have. But if I did, doesn’t that mean my kids are lucky to have me?

Driving a van says I must be a frumpy dumpy. Do you consider someone who ALWAYS matches her bra and underwear, never goes a day without shaving her legs, loves alternative rock music, swears like a sailor and still loves to make out with her hubby, frumpy?

Driving a van says I like a lot of kids to pile in the car so I can take them to Chuck E Cheese. Little do those judging know,  that my van takes us to rock concerts, races and amusement parks and not for the kiddie rides.

Am I a little sensitive about driving a van? Maybe a touch. One of the commenter’s to the article wrote:

Whenever I see anyone in a mini-van, I can't help but think they're saying to the world, "I am now a typical suburbanite and have pretty much given up on my dreams".

So, when I see you in your fancy sports car, should I think you are saying to the world, “I am so lonely, me and my dreams can only fit in this two-seater.”

But I’m not saying I won’t one day be driving the most amazing sports car that only my dreams and I can fit into.

Do I judge a book by it’s cover and a driver by their car? Yes I do, but it doesn’t mean I’m thinking you are a nerd. Maybe if you sport the stick figure family on the back window, do I think you are “different”, but mostly I think you must be driving the best car you are able to for now.

Driving along in my Mom-Van, acting like, well, A Mom. A Cool Mom, but a Mom nonetheless. How are You?