My wife and I purchased our first minivan 3 years ago. Within the first 24 hours I was asked where I go to get my skirt hemmed and what size bra I wear (B cup for your information). Now, besides the sexist overtones that I will ignore for this article, I began to wonder why having the minivan seems to thrust me into the realm of emasculation. Especially when having a minivan is so friggin unbelievably awesome!!
I have a good friend who bought a minivan when we were in our early twenties. At that time, he was many years away from having any children and we all wondered why he’d replace his Ford Ranger with that. It was either after loading 4 longboards into it after the beach, or transporting 12 guys to Action Park (an insanely fun and absurdly dangerous East Coast water park) that I understood the awesomeness. It was super comfortable, mega spacious and if you needed to, you could sleep in it with all the legroom you could possibly need. We could drive to a bar and then have a bed for the night parked outside! Cozy!
In my opinion, the stigma surrounding minivans needs to be dissolved. The one we own is the best car I’ve ever had and I feel like a load of people out there (men and women alike) avoid them just because they think owning one increases how lame they are. I’ll clarify that for all of you out there who are in that category. If you think the car you own is going to increase your lame-ness, you are already lame beyond recognition and the van won’t help or hinder you in any way.
We had initially wanted to get a smaller SUV-ish car for the family and went so far as to stop by a dealership to take a look at the one we wanted. That’s when we discovered that with those cars you get all the inconvenience of a typical sedan, but on an elevated platform with inferior gas mileage. The interior space seemed to be just about the same as our trusty Civic. Getting to a car seat would be tight, and with two of them in there, we’d once again be left with no seats for any other passengers. A larger SUV would fix that, but I doubt that our income would be able to support a weekly tank of gas for one of those behemoths at even the cheapest gas station.
So Much Room For Activities!
Our van provides super easy access to the car seats, which as mentioned here I can’t stand having to deal with. It makes getting them in and out slightly less deplorable. The interior is huge! When I remove the front row of seats and fold down the back, I have a gigantic stretch of space to transport just about anything. Our refrigerator fit into there with ease, as did our very long couch. Eventually I’ll be bringing the kids all sorts of places and this roominess will come in handy. Heading to the beach to surf with all boards in the back, bikes for the whole gang… it’s all going to fit with oodles of space left over. It’s like owning a truck, but your friends don’t call you to help them move! Magical!! The TV in there is great. I know that’s not a minivan specific feature, but I just wanted to address how unbelievable having one is. Relations with my parents would have been much less strained in the 80’s had my siblings and I been able to pop in a Fraggle Rock VHS while waiting to pay the toll for the Throgs Neck Bridge.
So for those of you out there looking for a family car, please don’t discount the Minivan simply because of how it’s viewed socially. At least consider getting one because if you do, you’re going to love it. There’s nothing wrong with embracing and even celebrating the Soccer Mom image. After all, aren’t we all pretty much Soccer Moms/ Dads at this point? Get yourself into a minivan already and become who you were meant to be. The flyest parent on the block.