Now that my car is showing its age, Adam and I are having the conversation about future plans. Do we start shopping now, when my car is still technically functional? Do we wait until we've absolutely run it into the ground?
And his most important point - am I REALLY sure I want a minivan?
Back in college, my girlfriends and I each came up with something that indicated "mom style" or "middle age" that we absolutely wanted the others to stop us from doing. The SNL soccer mom parodies were big, we were barely in our 20s, and we would NEVER stoop to any of these stereotypes. I can't remember who said what, but I do remember a few of the indicators.
Wearing a holiday themed teacher sweater. Now that ugly sweater parties are a thing, this one could be moot. But I suppose wearing one without the party excuse would still count.
Mom jeans. Do maternity pants count? What about those "Not My Daughter's Jeans"?
Clearly, twenty year old me had some things to learn. I thought a minivan was the worst of the suburban mom cliches. Not necessary, total soccer mom stereotype.
Now, I WANT ONE SO BADLY. TWENTY SOMETHING MEREDITH WAS STUPID.
I have minivan lust. Minivan envy. When my best friend got her new minivan, we spent time drooling over all the fabulous features. I've done a fair amount of car research and writing over the past year, and everything drives me back to my singular desire for a minivan. I could come up with many, many, reasons, but here are my top ten.
1. The Space
My current car is deceptively small. Packing it can be a nightmare. When Adam pushes his seat back, Reagan is basically sandwiched into her spot. Fitting three people into the backseat, let alone three in car seats, seems to max out around age 7.
Minivans feel like a beautiful open plan house after living in a studio apartment. Ahhhh...we can breathe. We can fit. We can take a vacation without feeling like we are packed so tightly we can't move.
2. The Organization Possibilities.
Underseat storage. Cargo beds. Pockets and door caddies and cupholders galore. The wannabee organizational guru inside me is itching at all the possibilities of traveling like this.
3. The Separate Seats.
My girls have reached a stage where they fight over everything. And the middle of the bench backseat is a big target. Two captain's chairs? Yes, please!
4. The Ability to Move Around.
One of my friends from our dance studio uses her car as her "mobile dressing room". She covers the windows, hangs a blanket, and her daughter has room to stand up and actually maneuver herself into a leotard and tights. Other friends with young kids find that they can actually move around and get everyone settled without pulling muscles from leaning and angling and reaching.
5. The Ability to Carpool.
No, I haven't lost my mind. I actually want to set up carpools. Dance is twenty five minutes away. We go at least three times a week. Several of the girls live right in my neighborhood, yet I'm left out of the carpools because I can't participate. None of the girls are big enough for the front seat, and my backseat is literally full of booster seats, without room for another body. Seating for eight would actually cut my driving time way down. Honestly, this alone would be worth it.
6. The Cupholders.
There are more cupholders than seats in the models I'm looking at, and we could use every single one of them.
7. The Sliding Doors.
Bonus points for automatic.
8. The Ultimate Momness of it All.
Yeah, I know. This is what twenty year old Meredith didn't want, but it's what Meredith the Mom wants more than anything. Minivan designers get moms. They know what we need. They know what we want. And they give it to us. It's like when husbands know that the most desirable thing they can do is help clean up the kitchen. It's not sexy, but it is somehow exactly what we want.
Right now, I'm being patient. But if you see me hanging around dealership lots, drooling, don't judge.