There’s something that Mr. Handsome has wanted to do for a long time. He’s dreamed about it, talked about it, begged me for it. He tells me he’s wanted this since he was a teenager, even though I’ve always thought it to be much more of an adult desire. And this week, I finally caved to his wishes: we bought a minivan.
How could I let this happen? I’m not a soccer mom – I’m way too cool to be that right? (Probably not, I’m not that cool. And my son does play soccer.) I always figured I’d get a small SUV, maybe even a station wagon, but for the love of all that is good and holy, not a minivan!
Well, I’ll tell you how I let this happen: bad timing (although, from Mr. Handsome’s perspective you could call it great timing) and healthy compromise.
Before I get to those two events, though, I must confess that I’ve been caving to the minivan idea for awhile, probably since we started planning for Baby2. I know that with our 50+ pound dog, going anywhere with him, Mr. Handsome and two kids probably wouldn’t happen in our Accord. Camping would not happen (shoot we can barely fit everything in there now, and we don’t even take that much gear. The poor dog has to sit on a pile of sleeping bags for the whole trip out), the beach trips would be difficult, even trips to the big ol’ dog run out East would be most uncomfortable. Plus when out-of-towners (like our parents) visit we’d have to take two cars everywhere (not so easy in our metro area – the streets are narrow and parking is a pain and a half).
On to the “how I let this happen” reasons. The bad timing: our car needed work. Again. It seems like every oil change something new (old) would need to be replaced. For a Honda, we’ve done everything to this car: rebuilt the transmission, replaced the tires, brakes, CV boots, spark plugs, timing belt, etc. But the car did make it to 130k miles (easily has another 50, maybe 100k in her) and it never did leave us stranded by the side of the road, so I guess I really can’t complain much.
Our Accord was a great car, really. It got pretty good gas mileage and I could always fit it into the tiny parking spaces at work and the community center; granted some spots were made even smaller by inconsiderate people who don’t seem to know how to park (see the image at left – ours is the grey car). So far I’ve had to find the biggest spots in the lot when parking at work. It’s good preparation for the months to come though, as there’s no way I’ll be able to squeeze out of the car or hop over to the passenger’s side when I’ve got a big ol’ belly full of baby.
Then, the compromise. I would completely give in to the idea and get the minivan that very weekend if I had some creature comforts: I want no fewer amenities than what we had before (which wasn’t much but the “new standards” like power windows, power door locks, the remote thingy, etc), plus leather seats and butt warmers. Mama needs a warm bottom on her way to work. And I would do no worse than to go with the Mercedes of minivans (well, other than a Mercedes, of course): the Odyssey. I truly believe it is the only “cool” minivan on the street. Yes, I know minivan’s aren’t cool that’s why I put that word in quotes there.
Now we have a shinny “new to us” Odyssey sitting out front. Sure it’s six years old and has a few more miles than we wanted, but we’re paying less than we did for the Accord and we’re getting a lot more space and warm-buttness for the money. It handles like a dream, it gets pretty good gas mileage (really comparable to our Accord, surprisingly enough), its six cylinders have great pick-up (and this cool “eco” feature that only uses three cylinders when appropriate), there’s a ton of room (we can now take five kids on Kiddo1’s movie birthday party adventure instead of just two) and my butt is all toasty warm and happy during my commute.
Mr. Handsome is sat-is-fied.