Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I'll Show you a Swagger Wagon

Shortly after we found out I was pregnant with Owen, our Honda Civic croaked on us. (Bless its 200,000 mile heart).

Sadly, my green four-door  headed to the fuel-efficient crossroads, to party with Bones-Thugs-n-Harmony and wear that fancy spoiler denied in this life.

We poured a little soy sauce on the ground in respect, and then turned to Consumer Reports. We had the usual questions about fuel efficiency, reliability, swagger---all the stuff that matters.

We knew only one thing: We would not get a minivan. We knew we only wanted two kids, and we wanted something that didn't suck up the gas. We wanted something a little cooler, something that set us apart from the Mommy-And-Me set.

So, we bought a Subaru Outback. Because we like to party.

Since we were getting a station wagon, I decided to own it. I tried to get wood paneling. I looked for a Baby-on-Board sign. I even attempted to get it in Family Truckster green.

 Alas, none of that came to fruition. Except for the green.

Yet, five years later, we do have a functional car that drives well in the snow.

It also attracts weirdo conversations with hippies in parking lots. They are often wearing faded Gore/Liebermann campaign shirts, and they refer to their cars as "Subies."

I feel like saying, "If you love your Subie so much, why don't you marry it?"

That's what passes for banter in my head most days.

Anyway, with reflection, I can now admit this deep, dark fact:  I envy  the minivan moms.

Their kids have their own self-contained seats (or better yet, rows.) 

My kids are close enough that they routinely pinch each other's cheeks and snatch cars from each other's hands.

They have built in DVD players. 

My kids repeatedly hit their heads against the carseat, say "Ow" and laugh hysterically.

Their cars do not smell like pure evil. 

After Owen spilled milk in the backseat, I took the car to the car wash. I opened the door, and the attendant gagged a little. 

And finally: The minivan is good for lovin'. Fold down seats? Awwww yeah.

The Subaru? Not so much.  (Trust me on this).

PS. If you're interested in reading about my tired self, I'm the featured writer on the Write for Charity website. 


Melani said...

hahah Love this post as I do all of yours!

I am a mini-van mother...and I love it! I never saw myself as owning one, but let me tell you the perks...MY VAN has built-in carseats, so I don't have to worry about them (the carseat) being buckled in right or tight enough. I was told by the car seat installers that the built-in carseats are better, since they are attached to the van...MY VAN can hold 7 peeps! That is my entire family, when my step-daughter is here, so that is a plus and we still have room on the back for all our crap!

BUT, I love your stationwagon, it is way cool and it is just perfect for a family of 4!

Melissa said...

Ha! I love how you ended this post. It's not easy making love in the subaru? Good to know. They don't put that in consumer reports.

Aging Mommy said...

Oh no, I absolutely refuse to ever get a minivan! Although I do only have one three year old daughter and can appreciate if you have a lot of little ones then this is sometimes the only workable solution! No, I think your Subaru with all it's character is far more fun!

clearness said...

I keep begging Kevin about mini-van ownership. I beg and plead and promise all kinds of things.....Just please let us buy a mini-van. We currently have a 1999 Escort (2 door) that has over 100,000 miles and a 2000 Galant that has over 100,000 miles.

Mel said...

I did 7 years as a mini-van driving suburban soccer mind, and I'm still a little damaged. But the console separated bucket seats for the kids saved all our lives. That mini-van was A MESS. The worst wast the orange soda my daugher splashed on the ceiling by squeezing her cup intil it exploded. I cried that day. I cried many times in that minivan. But we had a lot of good days in it too. I really miss the space to haul stuff.
As for the fooling around, I could never get excited in that van. My hubbies pickup truck however.....
thanks for yet another funny post.

The Empress said...

I just visited your info page on writing for charity. What a wonderful concept. Can I ask how you found out about this? This is something I'd love to do. Raise money with contributed writing. Let me know , are there other opportunities?

What a wonderful thing to do. And congrats on being featured and published!!!

That is so inspiring to see.

The Ninja said...

I am cracking up over this post. I put my kids in their own rows, and no, I am not a minivan mom..can't do it!

Ms. Moon said...

I used to have an Outback. I loved that car. When my daughter and son-in-law bought a mini-van (I think they're planning on having a passel of kids), my son-in-law was so funny. He was like, "We're moving up in the world! This is a step to maturity!"
I love that boy.

LB said...

I drank the minivan Kool-Aid a few years back. My hubby and I took a trip with my then 6 month old and 18 month old. Neither of my kids have ever been good on road trips. They hate the confinement! On this particular trip, there was no consoling my 6 month old so Mama decided to get in the back between them hoping to soothe her.

Well, I tried... My fat ass was stuck and soo uncomfortable for the next 2 hours. One week later, we traded the Toyota Camry for a Toyota Sienna and we've never looked back.

Respect the minivan, girlfriend. It totally rocks!

MiMi said...

Minivans...well, I have one. And I didn't ever want one.
But, they're convenient.
Too bad MINE doesn't have DVD players built in! lol

only a movie said...

We have two Subarus in our family. In my progressive northeastern city it seems to be that there is one in every other driveway. (OK, the more affluent, non-teaching folk have Volvos.)
You have a point with the mini van benefits...

Muliebrity said...

I love my mini-van! The DVD player, the doors the open at the touch of a button... Those things are wonderful, but let's face it, it's more shit that can break. I luv me a station wagon though! If it makes you feel any better, Hunter was still able to kick Logan in the head and face multiple times while they were both strapped in the other day.

Cheeseboy said...

The wagons are so much cooler than they used to be.

Erin said...

Love the wagons so much more than mini vans!

We opted for a Ford Edge...LOVE it...roomy, spacious, has the DVD players...and we are not having any more it's perfect for just me and my boys...although it stays in the garage most of the time right now...but not for long!!

Brittney said...

haha. i always swore off the mini van but now i kinda wish i had one

Salt said...

Congratulations on your featured writingness!

I'm not sure which direction we are going to go in when we have a kid. I have always liked the idea of a Subaru because they do so well in the snow. What is probably going to end up happening for awhile is that a baby seat will go in my husband's Honda Accord and we will never drive my car anywhere anymore because it's a two seater. And I love it too much to ever trade it in for something more practical. I'm a jerk like that.

One Cluttered Brain said...

I loved the picture!!!
Yes, I am glad you finally found a car that works for you! :)

shortmama said...

I am in the refuse to by a minivan category too...though like you sometimes I think of all the little luxuries that owning a minivan includes, and I am a little envious. but on the other hand I like to intimidate people to get out of my way when I drive my big ol truck too!

michelle said...

I have a minivan and my kids STILL torture each other even when sitting in different rows.

And the extra cup holders allow for 4 forgotten cups of spit contaminated chocolate milk to ripen in the 112 degree interior. Yum.

And it's a HUGE pigsty. Clothes, books, papers, toys, food. Yuck

And 10 years later I still can't parallel park the damn thing.

Our next car will be an Outback. Seriously

ModernMom said...

I'm anpther mama who swore she would never have a mini van. I am thrilled with my huge Ford SUV but do feel a wee bit guilty about the amount of gas it eats. Sigh. Oh well. I just can't do the mini van thing. I can't!

Jenny said...

I used to have a little station wagon with genuine wood paneling and all - you just brought back a lot of memories for me!!!

Thank you for sharing this with us!!!

dek said...

The only thing to hate about minivans is the less-than-spectacular gas mileage and the challenges of parking them in Manhattan. Even in my child-free world, I love minivans. We take one every time we travel for work. Four engineers plus minivan equals nerd pimpmobile, with places to plug in all our gadges AND a cool rotating light on top. You know, for science. I've even taken minivans off-roading on several occasions.

Caveat: the Chevy Uplander SUCKS! I drove one to Memphis and back (about 1000 miles) and my spine became permanently deformed.

As for fold-down seats and sweet, sweet lovin' brother drives a minivan (necessary to hold all his musical stuff), so I don't want to think about that.

Jen said...

I have a minivan, and until the boys have moved themselves the hell outta the house, I will always have a minivan. And then I will have something cute and sporty that stays clean for longer than a single ride. Mine is a 2004 Odyssey with 101,000 miles on it. Sadly, it will likely see 200k, because that's how Hondas roll. I have seen the 2011 Odysseys online and if a minivan could be sexy, there it is. A sexy minivan. Swagger my ass. That thing is a Robert Downey Jr minivan, m'dear. LOL Makes me all happy inside. Alas, it will not be mine unless the MomVan dies an unexpected and profanity-laced death.
Jen at Laughing at Chaos