Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Shedding the stereotype

**** Caution. Mallory Hansen, you are not permitted to read this blog. Nor are any of your friends or anyone under the age of 18 for that matter. The "S" word may be used. A healthy, monogamous, marital sort of "S" word but the "S" word nonetheless. Additionally, to any of you that currently or ever have driven a mini-van, please do not take offense to the rather offensive honesty spilling out about this family friendly sedan.
You might be wondering what in heaven's name I am talking about...a blog with a discussion on BOTH the "S" word AND a mini van? My point exactly.***

Tyler and I have been discussing the upcoming need for a larger vehicle. Two carseats in the back of a Toyota Corolla leave enough room for maybe one quart of milk to wedge between, but that's about it. The trunk is full of diaper bags and the double stroller. A trip to the grocery store almost requires loaning my mother's car, and if someone needs a ride from me they are strapped to the roof. However, until we can find a car payment that fits into our $29.99 dollar monthly extra budget, we waste our breath analyzing every option on the market as if we could afford anything. The other day we were having one such discussion about this much needed vehicle...

Tyler: "Rae, we should check out some mini vans."

Awkward long and painful pause

Me: " I can't."

Tyler: "Why?"

Me: "Because...pause... a mini van is the opposite of sex."

Tyler: "What?"

Me: "You heard me. A mini van is the opposite of sex! Nothing could be more unsexy on this earth than a mini van. Oh yeah, with the exception of ME in a mini van...still a good 12 pounds overweight postpartum."

Tyler: "Whatever! Mini vans are sick! They are daaaa bomb! You can get swivel seats and trays and the kids can watch DVDs while we drive. They are awesome!"

"But Tyler, you don't understand!!! All I've ever equated mini vans to are long miserable car rides where I felt carsick. Additionally, what do you think when you see a woman in a mini van?"

Tyler: "I think: Oh, there's a good mom."

Me: "Exactly!!!!! You don't think 'There is the woman of my dreams- the sexy beautiful seductress I would love to ravish'-. I will be swallowed whole into its old chicken nugget and french fry aroma smelling orb. And I don't think I'll be able to get out! If I do emerge it will be with a fanny pack and orthopedic shoes, a turtleneck tucked into my jeans that button below my bra line!!!"

Tyler: "Whatever, you are crazy."

Me: "No I'm not. Shinae and I may have been nit wits when we swore to each other years ago that we would not drive mini vans...but there is a stereotype to be reckoned with."

Tyler: "Well, you will break that. You are hot stuff."

Me: "Even I don't think I'm strong enough. You just can't make a mini van sexy. It can't be done."

Tyler: pause, with devil sort of twinkle in his eye, one that usually precedes him saying something inappropriate "Oh yes it can,...ya know whadda I'm saying...huh huh? We could make it:
The Kink mobile.
Besides, what other car do you want? A suburban? Then you would just be another suburbabi*ch."

And thus we both met on the same plane of total immaturity and the conversation came to a close. As it should have. I'm frankly embarrassed and can't believe I'm putting this down to record. Oh well, someday when my kids roll their eyes as I arrive to pick them up driving an old mini van with a fanny pack they can refer to this blog and know that mom at least attempted to have a naughty side, one that has been buried under the chocolate-milk stained gray fabric car upholstery.

If motherhood has taught me anything, it's to be careful of believing in stereotypes. I used to swear up and down that I would not be one of those "ugly" pregnant people. I used to swear I wouldn't just be "one of those moms that cuts their hair in order to get ready more quickly in the morning". I wouldn't be "one of those moms who have a house with kids' dirty hand prints all over the windows". I wouldn't be "one of those moms who allows my child to behave that way in public" and so on and so on and so on.

I wouldn't be "one of those moms who drives a minivan".

Just today, I wore horribly mismatched gym clothes to Home Depot, where Lily screamed the entire way down the aisle, to pick up cleaning supplies for my upholstery and television screen that are covered in crayon and peanut butter smudges. And...I plan on cutting my hair.

But here's the catch...that was just today. I'm not always like this. This is not who I am. Yet anyone who saw me today could justifiably say I am "one of those women who just let themselves go". My house is usually clean, I enjoy a good pair of jeans and heels, Lily just hadn't had a nap, and the hair cut I will be getting is Victoria Beckham style sexy sexy, not to mention much easier to manage.

So when I decide which minivan to purchase, I cannot only relish in the enjoyment of a vehicle packed with family friendly devices, better fuel economy, and a relatively cheaper car payment compared to most SUV's, I can revel in the fact that I'm moving towards shedding yet another stereotype.


Amy said...

I beg to differ Rae. I think if anyone could do it, you could. You are one of those rare people who can look or wear or do anything and as soon as you give it the okay it is cool. I would wear Fanny Packs by Rachel or drive a Rae-endorsed mini van any day!!!

Loved this post!!

Joan Koplin said...

"If I do emerge it will be with a fanny pack and orthopedic shoes, a turtleneck tucked into my jeans that button below my bra line!!!"
I have not laughed this hard in months! I love you for making me laugh so hard that I almost fell out of my chair! You are one of my favorite people ever, Rae. I just adore you...and yes, I concur.

Rae's Corner said...

Joan and Aim- Thank you so much for being fans of my mini van rant, and not taking offense at my pathetic honesty. And thank you for being my loyal commentators (sp?)...I've actually moved up to a record breaking "2" comments per blog average. Whoop de doo.



MOM said...

Well, how does one approach such a subject with her daughter????
I would prefer you to get an Expedition....it would hold more grandchildren.
Love MOM...(I too swear to never wear orthopaedic shoes or wear denim jumpers!)