A long time ago, back when I only had one singular solitary child, my car had to go to the shop for a few days. I rented a car in the meantime, but when I arrived the rental place had given away the last mid-size class car I'd reserved.
So they offered me a minivan. I think they thought I'd consider this a fabulous upgrade, since I was clearly SUCH A MOM and all, but I made a face, like, really? Ugh. My mom car is a Subaru WRX! It's a turbo. And a stick shift. It's fucking fast as shit. We used to take it to the racetrack for rally-car driving lessons. Until we got tired of replacing the tires so often. And, you know, we had to put a car seat in the back and a stroller in the trunk. And stuff.
But I took the minivan. And to this day, I remember that moment out in the Enterprise parking lot when I opened those remote-controlled side doors and saw how easy it was to get Noah in and out, and all the interior room, and how smooth and quiet it drove and was like, damn, I could get used to this.
AND I WAS SO ASHAMED.
So my Great Solution to the minivan question was to simply never, ever drive one again. Because I knew.
Last night, after test-driving every giant-ass all-wheel-drive SUV option in existence, Jason finally convinced me to sack up and go to a Toyota dealership to look at a Sienna. We needed to look at ALL the options, you know, before we could really make up our minds.
We approached the sad-looking row of fat-bottomed symbols of I've Officially Given Up Everything I Used To Be on the lot and I immediately started bitching. It's ugly. It's too big. Why is the trunk like that, what the hell is that thing for, the DVD screen blocks my visibilllllllity, blah blah blah.
"Where are the keys?" I asked the saleswoman.
"Push-button start," she explained, "Right there."
"THAT'S DUMB," I muttered.
I pushed the button. Whee! Heh. I like buttons.
"I AM STILL ONTO YOU, MINIVAN," I warned it. "STOP TRYING SO HARD."
The saleswoman smiled from one of the middle-row bucket seats. She reclined it a little and flipped out a fancy, La-Z-Boy style footrest.
"No SHIT, WHAT?" I sputtered. "That's ridiculous. This whole car is ridiculous."
Jason looked up from the brochure. "So you can hook up an XBox in here too?"
I drove it about 10 minutes down the road, executed a ridiculously easy U-turn, and practiced parking. Jason asked how it compared to the last big lumbering crossover SUV we'd just finished test-driving, the one I said was "fine" and "not too much like driving a truck, only kinda."
"DAMMIT," was all I said. Which told him everything he needed to know.
We switched seats and Jason drove it back to the lot. The saleswoman left us alone to play the 4,000 other various buttons and cubbyholes.
"I knew this would happen," I sighed, after discovering the built-in sunshades on all the back windows.
"I know," Jason said, while messing around with the iPod interface on the navigation screen.
We went inside. I sat down and sighed deeply.
"I want a white one. Do you have a white one?"
(YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. XBOX PARTY IN THE BACK SEAT, Y'ALL.)