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Friday, May 10, 2013

Embrace Your Inner Cool: Drive A Minivan

The minivan is awesome, and I'm tired of the self-righteous bashing of the minivan that has always accompanied its ownership.

My sister-in-law recently posed a question on social media about whether she should get an SUV or minivan, and although there was a lot of support for the minivan, many responders said the same thing, "You're too cool for a minvan."

What? Really? We're in our mid-30s and people are still trying to "be cool" by driving the right car?

I Know Cool

I've seen every episode of Happy Days. I studied the Fonz. I know how Zach Morris got away with everything at Bayside, and I modeled my high school years after him.

Okay, maybe the shoes I wear on the weekends cost less than the sushi lunch you ate today. So what if I have memorized all of the two-letter scrabble words? I suppose I do like to wear T-shirts with words like "Epcot" on them.

And, yes, I'm probably not up on all of the hip lingo, and how to properly use phrases like "just sayin'" or "see what I did there."

I'm still cool.

Okay, so that was a little tongue-in-cheek. The truth is, I think I'm cool for entirely different reasons than what I just addressed.

How Do You Define Cool?

Maybe the people who think they're too cool to drive a minivan feel that way because they are still thinking of "cool" like they did when they were 16. Maybe to them, cool is defined by wearing rolled up jeans and smoking a cigarette, riding a motorcycle, wearing leather jackets, and being a smart alec to authority figures.

But maybe cool, instead, means being comfortable with who you are. I've always admired people who are willing to be themselves, regardless of what others think. I think that is cool.

I guess I've always been comfortable in my own skin, more or less. Although I'm a white guy with marginal rhythm, I don't mind dancing in front of others. I'm not the most talented singer, though I'm not afraid to belt out a stanza or two to add a little fun and frivolity.

I say it's cool to be who you are, to embrace your station in life, and to forget about what your friends-who-are-still-trying-to-impress-each-other think.

Now that we've settled that, let's get back to the original question.

Why is there such an aversion to the minivan? Is it because the minivan so much uglier than an SUV?

Uh, no.

So what is it? I think part of it stems from a fear of growing up. It's the fear that you're turning into parents, or maybe even (for shame!) your parents. Is that such a bad thing?

What Does the Minivan in Your Driveway Say About You?

1. You don't care about others' definition of cool.
2. You're not afraid of being a parent, and announcing that fact to the world.
3. You're not afraid of being that guy who loves that his life is filled with noisy, stinky kids who aren't perfect.
4. You're not afraid that your high school days with slicked back hair and snarky Zach Morris comments are over.

The Top 10 Reasons Why Minivans Are Awesome

1. You can open and close the doors with the push of a button while carrying a crying baby, a screaming toddler, and 12 sacks of groceries.
2. 16 cup holders. That's not a joke. I counted.
3. Your 120 lb wife can throw a 26-pound double stroller in the back end without laying down seats or moving spare tires around.
4. Decent gas mileage.
5. There is plenty of room for a cooler, a box of toys, diapers, wipes, books, a purse, sports equipment, and a small refrigerator for trips.
6. Grandparents and other human beings over the age of 60 can sit comfortably, and they don't have to use a ladder to climb into your vehicle.
7. You might be able to squeeze in some people who aren't even family!
8. It's like a Delorean with the doors opening all by themselves!

9. If you buy one that is just a few years old, it can be quite affordable.
10. Did I mention the keyless doors?

We have literally travelled across the country, with kids, 5 1/2 times. We've done it in a station wagon, a 27-foot moving van, and a minivan. There's nothing like travelling in a minivan.

So, embrace the new cool. Embrace the fact that you're a parent, a soccer mom, a dad who wears cheap shoes, and that you want to be comfortable in your vehicle.

Listen, there are lots of reasons why buying a minivan may not be for you. But, your little "they aren't cool" excuse isn't a good enough reason to dismiss buying one.

Just sayin'.

See what I did there?

1 comment:

  1. I love this blog! This is one of the most polarizing subjects of our time. I'm surprised there aren't more comments loving or hating your excellent views on Minivans.