It’s a good thing that I am not at all defensive about my mini-van. No matter how many people act like driving a mini-van is tantamount to having a lobotomy or being forced to wear capri sweat pants for the rest of their lives, I am not defensive.
Ah, sweet mini van. It’s a status symbol too, you know. Just like BMW or Jaguar or Mini Cooper, the mini-van is a powerful symbol that broadcasts connotations and truths about me as I make my way through the city streets.
It symbolizes that I am unafraid to wheel around town with the equivalent of 2 boxes of Cheerios, 187 Goldfish, and 8,000 raisins littered at my feet. It lets the drivers in Chicago know that I am a force to be reckoned with because I have a forward-facing and a rear-facing car seat and I know how to install them both.
It symbolizes that I rely on my tight abs and my charming personality to have sex and not on my car. (I’m looking at you, BMW driver.)
It signifies that I have a big heart because I care more about my children’s safety than about my own personal image. Thus, it is THE symbol of a Good Mother.
It symbolizes that I am down-to-earth and humble and unwilling to give into the siren song of an SUV just so I look less frumpy and less suburban. It’s also a sign that I am likely willing to fight rush-hour traffic with two toddlers while listening to the extended remix of “Wheels on the Bus” mashed up with “The Hokey Pokey.”
It’s a symbol that I am somehow in possession of two young children either by way of (1) adoption, (2) inheritance, or (3) my astonishingly fecund womb.
It’s a symbol that belongs to the cluster that includes the Ergo baby carrier, the Medela breast pump, and the Costco family membership.
While for some in may be the fatal nail in the coffin of cool, for me it’s a ride that let’s you know that I am probably sleep-deprived while trying to navigate traffic with one or two tantrums going on behind me, so steer clear because I tend to drift to the right.