Have you ever stripped naked and walked up and the down the road holding a billboard sign saying “I’m a parent with multiple kids. Please assume my life smells like old McDonald’s french fries and regret?”
But instead of a billboard I spent two weeks driving this 1994 Chrysler minivan.
After a small incident where my car and another car decided to try and makes babies, my family found ourselves down to only one vehicle. Knowing how long I was probably going spend researching a new ride, my wife asked her parents if we could borrow the extra vehicle they keep for the ski season, a minivan.
This article is not about making fun of the minivan; it mostly does that for itself. This article just shares what’s it’s like to take on the open road in a mode of transportation that’s less respected than the Flintstones’ car, the mini-van.
RULE 1 – Hard to pretend you’re cool in the minivan
When you’re rocking your Subaru Outback you can just turn the radio up and tell yourself that when you roll down the street you almost look James Bond; if Bond had the two car seats. But with the minivan I wasn’t even able to pretend that.
RULE 2 – No one want to be behind you on the road…NO ONE
No matter how fast you go in a minivan, the people behind you want to pass you. I could be doing 85 in a school zone and six cars would be still trying to work their way around me.
Rule 3 – (Funny, but true). The guy at the gas station will always ask to confirm you want to “fill” your tank
Depending on where you’re reading this, you might or might not know that Oregon doesn’t allow people to pump their own gas; it must be done by an attendant. I’ve found that for the entire time I drove the minivan and needed to get gas, the attendant always confirmed I really wanted to fill my gas tank. I guess people rolling down the streets in a 1994 Town & Country minivan don’t seem like fill it up people.
Rule 4 – No one will park around you
I can only guess every other car in the lot just rightly assumes I have nothing left to lose when it comes to door dings. Nine times out of ten when I’m walking out of Target or Costco the parking spots, both to the left and the right, of the minivan will still be empty.
I can see why driving a minivan is practical for a family. I also understand the newer models are miles ahead of this when it comes to style and interior but I think the over all messages is the same.
If you drive a mini-van you get typecast as the slow plotting family dad just working his way from Little League to PTA meetings. I’ll try and remember this next time I blow by a minivan on the freeway.