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.

But.

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.

via GIPHY