We’ve all seen her at the mall, I’m sure. She’s wearing 5 inch heels and fake fingernail tips, balanced on the running board of a Sequoia, trying to wrestle a baby seat up into the base without snapping a nail or getting her hair in her lipstick. Not realizing how much she looks like the butt of a reality show joke, she wears her biggest fear on her Armani sleeve. She’s a slave to anything the design editors have told her is “in.” If you savor this sort of entertainment, and you can walk slowly enough to your car, you can catch the sequel, where she tries to fold up the stroller and lift it in under the hatch without crushing her shopping bags or spraining her ankle.
It’s not really fair for me to pick on Designer-Mom. It’s probably not smart either. If she gets ticked, she could run over my whole house with that SUV. Seeing her struggles, however, I shake my head and pity her a little. It’s not that I don’t like cool stuff; I do. It’s just that I try to incorporate fashion in ways my lifestyle can actually accommodate. I feel a different sort of coolness wash over me when I load up my three kids, and the stroller, and all the scenery and puppets for Sunday’s outreach, and am on my way while Designer-Mom is still stretching over seats to fiddle with car seat buckles she can barely reach without climbing into the third row of her fabulous vehicle.
The practicality of a minivan completely reigns for me. Driving a third-row SUV would be, to me, like wearing thong underwear. It may impress that one person who actually catches a glimpse of it, but you’re the one who has to live with the chafing wedgie all day long. It’s just not worth it.
My minivan does, however, have a downside. While it has changed our lives for the better with its sliding doors, seating capacity, and cargo space, it has indulged our worst hording tendencies. The back seat is constantly piled high with leftover fastfood cartons, markers, personal electronics, dirty socks, and, usually, whatever item the girls needed for school and couldn’t find. Every time I clean it out, I vow that I’m going to enforce better habits. My husband and I have our own stash between the front seats, usually the leftovers from our last road trip: the GPS tangled around a mess of half-eaten combos, museum fliers, and, if you’re lucky, enough loose change to park downtown for a quick lunch.
A fashion crisis on wheels, our minivan also sports a cracked windshield, bubbling paint spots, a wide array of door dings, manual-close doors, and the interior has cords strung around like Christmas lights to run the portable DVD system. I fantasize about trading it in for an upscale minivan, with power doors, built in A/V, leather seats, and a moonroof.
Basically, I’m sitting back in my granny-panties, wishing for some nice, cotton bikinis.
Your country will be covered with caravans… Isaiah 60:6