How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Van

This weekend, I became a woman. At a car dealership.

Wait, no. I became a woman the summer after sixth grade.

What I meant was Saturday, Paul and I did something REALLY adult at a car dealership.

Hang on, no, that sounds like something you’d find in the back of a video store in the 90s.

Look, we bought a van, you freaks. And it feels like the most grown-up thing I’ve ever done, which has been oddly unsettling.

We’ve been planning a while to get one. We’ve done our research and fell in love with all the features that come with a van, over any other car. As it stands right now, I spend a huge portion of my life like a damn pack mule, carting all the crap required by me and the kids from home to car, car to work , car to gym, and at the end of the day, trying to juggle it all and get in the house without tossing it all in the wind. My hands are never not full. I’m never not dropping stuff, or reaching for stuff or looking for something, which is fun while driving and either answering 100 questions or screaming over two bickering, starving children on the longest four-hour 15-minute commute home daily. I knew driving a mini-van would help alleviate a lot of this minutia that comes with parenthood. I mean, the keyless entry ALONE is worth it, because there’s nothing I love more than standing in the rain, with backpacks, lunchboxes, a stack of artwork and having to dig in my bottomless purse for my keys that I JUST EFFING HAD OMG WHERE ARE THEY SIMON QUIT RUNNING IN THE PARKING LOT NO WE CANNOT GO GET A HAPPY MEAL OK FINE YES, WE CAN GET ONE JUST GET IN THE CAR. You feel me, moms, right?

But as my car began deteriorating at a faster and faster rate and the reality of buying an actual mini-van kicked in, I started feeling majorly apprehensive. It sounds stupid, I’m sure, but a part of me kinda felt like it was dying inside at the thought of being a Mini-Van Mom. I mean, come on! I’m a cool mom! Not a cool mom to my kids. Hell no. I’m a nightmare to my kids. But I’m a cool mom to the outside world, right? LOOK AT MY HAIR, FFS. I love day drinking and Twitter and I know how to highlight and contour my face correctly and I know who, like three-fourths (four-fifths??) of One Direction are and that means I am TOO COOL for a mini-van, dammit.

Because let’s face facts: there’s nothing less sexy than a mini-van. The mini-van is the vehicular equivalent of culottes. The automotive sibling of socks and sandals. It is Mom Jeans incarnate.

It’s not like me driving around in my 2004 Kia Sorento was burning up the roads with my hotness, either. But there’s something very invisible about a mini-van. Think about how many people you know that drive them. Tons, right? Yet, think of the last time you paid any attention to one. Never. You can think of a time you saw a convertible, or a Jeep or a luxury car and thought “Wow, nice!” or “I want one!” or “that looks awesome!” No one feels that way about a mini-van. Just like no one covets sensible shoes. Sure, you buy them, but you don’t drool over them.

So in my head, I thought “I’m just not that person. I’m not invisible. I’m vibrant, and fun and make a splash wherever I go!” I am just not a van kinda girl.


I fall asleep on the regular while watching Netflix at 9 p.m. And I cross-stitch for fun. FOR FUN. I also don’t wear heels and I hate being out late and I have a serious anti-aging face regiment that I stick to like glue. And I spend a lot of time thinking about Cub Scouts and homework and buying mac and cheese. So yea. Let’s be real, here.

I AM a Mini-Van Mom.

Look how subversive I am. Truly anti-establishment. You can tell by my sweatshirt.

Look how subversive I am. Truly anti-establishment. You can tell by my sweatshirt.

So I sat down in that sucker on Saturday and I fell. in. love. With the cup holders. And the DVD player. And the room for all the shit we carry around like gypsies. And the back-seat temperature control. And the fact that I can stand at the back of the car and magically the trunk will just open? I don’t know how that works. But it felt SO GOOD. Like slipping into my favorite pair of sweatpants after taking off my already fairly comfortable work pants at the end of the day. This was my car.

I will do my best going forward to marry these two identities in my own head. Yes, I’ll drive the van, but I’ll make it awesome. Whether it’s blaring very explicit rap music thanks to the free Sirius XM package we got (not with the kids in there, come on) or keeping it lame-bumper-sticker free, I will make this van hot. People will see me coming and say “Hey, look at that cool mom!” and they will go out and buy vans, too. And they will sensibly drive their kids around looking fly and organized.

Trying hard. Trying really, really hard.

Trying hard. Trying really, really hard.

So yes, I will rock the hell out of this van while listening to 90s on 9 and all the haters can hate all they want while I drive an unscratched car thanks to my safety cameras. And when this van is a rockin’, don’t come a-knockin’. Because me and my kids are probably dancing to Rump Shaker and you can’t even handle all that badassery. BOOM.


Check Your Privilege

We hear so much these days about “privilege.” White privilege specifically, but also in regards to gender, sexuality and class. And it’s such a weird concept, right? I mean, it was for me anyway. The first time I was told that I had “white privilege,” I got defensive. Kinda hot and sweaty. Like I just got busted cheating or something. But then, after reading and watching and most importantly, LISTENING, it clicked. As a straight, white, Protestant American woman, I am one of the most privileged people on Earth, next to only my male counterpart. And so are most of you, I’d say. And I wonder how many of you fully GET what that means right now. How many of you are already bristling at what I just said? YOU ARE PROBABLY LIVING A LIFE OF PRIVILEGE. YES YOU. NOW STOP BEING DEFENSIVE AND LISTEN FOR A MINUTE.

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That Darn Cat

I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life. Choices I regretted instantly (cutting my own bangs, always), or later, after maybe seeing old photos (a tongue piercing, Christi, really?). One of my more recent mistakes — or let’s be kind, questionable choices — was last summer, when I decided the one thing missing from my house was another mouth to feed, preferably male. I mean, why not? I already live with 3 creatures so unlike me I’m not really sure how the human race continues on, let’s add one more, but this time, with fur.

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The South: Butter, Biscuits, Beauty

If there’s one thing I have learned this week, it’s that people feel all kinds of ways about the South. The South has long been the butt of the rest of America’s jokes, and to be honest, I get it. I mean, we are basically the worst at everything. And it’s so freaking humid here that when you walk outside from May to September, you would swear you are walking around in Satan’s mouth after a night of chugging Fireball and eating Krystals. (Satan is probably Southern). And then there’s been this tiny little issue over that stupid-ass flag that will not die. Except now it’s finally coming down, which has so many folks OUTRAGED because apparently they are all history and political science experts who claim to know that flying the Stars and Bars isn’t RACIST it’s TRADITION or some other shit that I can’t even hear any more.

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Death by HIIT

I am writing this post from the grave. Because last night I worked out so hard I think I died. Maybe? Is that possible? I mean, I’m sure it is. Don’t kids in Taiwan or South Korea die from playing video games too hard or something? Anyway, if they can die from playing Super Mario Bros, surely I can die by kettlebell swing.

That being said, even if I might be dead, it was TOTALLY worth it. Sure, I can’t really lift my arms today and I groan when I stand up, but I’ve reached the crazy point in my fitness journey where those things make me happy. Or I’ve suffered a stroke. I don’t smell toast, so I think I’m safe? Who really knows.

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Truly, Truly, Truly Outrageous(ly bad)

Like many Gen Xers, when news broke that Hollywood was making a Jem and the Holograms movie, I was thrilled. And super nervous. Because Hollywood can be the worst and Jem is the best. Maybe I’m not the target audience and the fact that I have even paid attention to this may be the saddest thing ever, but this is MY CHILDHOOD they are dealing with, and I don’t take that lightly.

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On Pi Day, I Say Let Them Eat Cake

Oh god, it’s Pi Day again, and literally everyone is LOLing at all the pie jokes while I’m over here rolling my eyes because math jokes are not my jam. Also because I think pie is the worst, which I said on Facebook today and basically got excommunicated by all my friends. Apparently not loving pie (or cheesecake, my other nightmare) makes me “weird” or “a criminal” or “worthy of death.” Which seems extreme, but everyone has something they are passionate about, and desserts seem like a good cause, so I get it.

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Taking It Back to the Old School (2004)

Facebook turns 11 this month. Happy birthday, time suck!

Lately I’ve been having a Facebook issue.

Not a “what the EFF have you done to my timeline, now, Zuckerberg??” issue. More like a “What the EFF is this even all about?” kinda issue.

I’ve never been one to hair-flip off of social media when someone pissed me off. I enjoy social media, and for a while, it even paid the bills. But lately, I’ve been thinking about the relationships we form on Facebook and how that carries over into real life. The beauty of Facebook is significant, I think. Keeping up with friends and family, old and new, in a way that would never be possible 20 years ago. Celebrating our achievements and milestones together. Reaching out when times are bleak. Reconnecting with lost loved ones. Hell, laughing at George Takei. Those are all good and real things.

But then there’s the bad. So much bad, sometimes. Ugliness, drama, annoyances, VAGUEBOOKING. All of that can make us all SWEAR we are DONE with this WASTE OF TIME and we are NEVER logging back on AGAIN. Except, we do. We always do.

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