I Will Not Drive That Minivan. I Cannot Drive It, Man-o-Man.

–       “So, what will it take?”
–       “I don’t know.”
–       “Okay. How about this? What if you got one for free? What if someone just gave you one?”
–       “That’s easy. I’d sell it and get something else.”
–       “What if you couldn’t sell it? What if those were the terms? What if you HAD to drive it?”
–       “Then, no. Just…NO.”

We were youngsters just getting our start out together when we were offered a used minivan from one of my husband’s relatives at a nice price (next to nothing). They were upgrading and we were offered the benefit, but I couldn’t do it. I think I may have even involuntarily made a *face* when we talked about it. My reaction was visceral. We’re practical folks, and that minivan was a little newer than our used vehicles. But I didn’t want it.

I had nothing but ridiculous reasons, really. It certainly wasn’t about pride. I was still driving my first car, a 1991 Ford Escort, which didn’t register on any coolness scale. We passed on the deal and instead of a minivan, we got a topic for some life-long (thus far) banter between us. Luckily, my husband finds most of my hang-ups endearing.

I was born into a world that did not know the minivan (I’m probably older than you.) I remember the first minivan, the Dodge faux wood-paneled specimen from 1984. I saw it in action on the streets. I rode in those things. I know minivans have come a long, long way since the days of Chrysler’s reign, but it’s hard to block the memories of feeling trapped in the back of a large, carpeted bullet with wheels – my only escape after scaling two bench seats was one futuristic, sliding door that wasn’t easy to open. Minivans were a breed all their own – before the cross-over, before the SUV. A minivan SAID something about the owner, and that was the whole point. “I have children. I’m a parent. I live in suburbia.”

That marketing was so successful, it resonates 30 years later. Few out there can consider purchasing a minivan without a little internal monologue referencing the stereotype. I’m owning my aversion to The Minivan and by doing so, I’m most likely alienating some. That’s not the point. I won’t drive a minivan because of the way I see it – the same way I was never going to name my child “Mickey” because of that really mean girl in the third grade (She totally stole my recess popcorn money and then LIED about it.). To me, minivans are tainted. They’re Mom Jeans. I’ll be here and you’ll be there and we’ll still be friends. You say tomato; I say I’m not driving a minivan.

To my husband, who likes to test my unyielding resolve by starting conversations with, “So, what’ll it take?” To the man who likes to challenge me on the definition of a minivan (He asserts that the SUV is actually a minivan, just a little higher.), and to all others that dare ask, I give you this:

I will not drive it in the town, around the bend, or upside down.
I will not drive it on the lam or by the fence while eating jam.
I will not drive it here or there.
I will not drive it anywhere.

I will not drive it in the rain or just for fun or by the train.
I will not drive it to or fro, forwards, backwards, fast or slow.
I will not drive it here or there.
I will not drive it anywhere.

I will not drive that minivan.
I cannot. I cannot drive it, man-o-man.

I will not drive it down the street or up a hill or for a treat.
I will not drive it in the snow or to the beach (where I love to go).
I will not drive it here or there.
I will not drive it anywhere.

I will not drive it to the store or on a trip when we’ll need MORE…
More stuff to fit, more kids to sit, more things to shove, more room for –

No.
I will not drive that minivan.
I cannot. I cannot drive it, man-o-man.

Photo courtesy of  cargurus.com

Photo courtesy of cargurus.com

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9 Responses to I Will Not Drive That Minivan. I Cannot Drive It, Man-o-Man.

  1. Tamika May 29, 2015 at 10:33 am #

    I absolutely love this article!! It just about sums up how I feel about purchasing/driving one!! No offense to other Moms :-).

    • Kristen
      Kristen June 1, 2015 at 11:00 am #

      Thanks Tamika! Absolutely no offense to anyone with this article. It’s a weirdly polarizing topic. There definitely seem to be only two camps – the Lovers and the Haters! I think we ALL think it’s funny!

  2. Ronnie June 1, 2015 at 3:20 pm #

    “I have children. I’m a parent. I live in suburbia.”

    – Says pretty much every SUV

    • Kristen
      Kristen June 1, 2015 at 11:31 pm #

      Ronnie, I think the SUV was the next generation minivan. Changed it up a little and marketed WAY differently. It’s still working.

  3. Lindsay June 1, 2015 at 3:30 pm #

    I don’t know you, but I pink puffy heart you for this.

    • Kristen
      Kristen June 1, 2015 at 11:29 pm #

      Thanks, Lindsay! I was hoping to give everyone a little laugh at the absurdity of it all!

  4. Anna June 2, 2015 at 7:32 am #

    YES! Everything about this. My husband brought this up recently (we’re expecting our first child in September) and it made me visibly angry. The only way I was able to get him to back down was I said “by getting a minivan, we’ll be silently volunteering to drive our kids, their friends, and their sports teams everywhere.” A car full of other people’s screaming kids was enough to make him change his mind.

  5. Greg January 27, 2016 at 1:48 pm #

    The poem sounds like it was inspired by Green Eggs and Ham. Great ending.

  6. Logan January 27, 2016 at 6:55 pm #

    Ah! I’m dying! I was THIS mom! I swore – “NEVER!” And almost 2 months ago, I did it! But the cheaper, newer model MINIVAN bullet! Annnnnd, verdict – I. Love. It. ??? Can’t believe it! Those sliding doors that make loading kids in seats while parked next to someone totally inconsiderate – awesomeness! That giant, deep, trunk like space in the back hatch – awesomeness! I’m still shocked – and totally not offended by this – I was this two months ago!

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