Having a baby is followed by buying a family van. It is a national rule and Sam is determined to follow it. I, on the other hand, am determined to challenge it. I will not follow the masses. I will not let some general rule dictate my decisions. My comfortable sedan is very adequate and I am keeping it, thank you very much! It is true that its top is a bit low. I keep bumping my head each time I put the baby in the car. What are a few bumps; it comes with the territory. It has hardly any space for the entire baby’s essentials: the diaper bag, the light stroller, the larger buggy, the extra bottles of water. My friends keep reminding me that in the near future I will need more space for bulkier items like: soccer gear and ballet bags.
Sam is dragging me to the car dealership for a test drive. He is patiently listening to my rant. I am letting him know in no uncertain terms of my great reluctance to buy a car I neither need nor want. I look at the row of neatly parked minivans and my heart sinks. My first thought is; these cars are ugly! We are immediately accosted by a salesperson. He shows us the ugliest model in the parking lot. It is apparently the most popular model for families with small children. I can’t believe my eyes. Does having a child make you automatically tasteless? Sam is asking all sorts of questions: the mileage, the security features, the type of brakes, the warranty…. I am digusted. I am not driving that THING for the next ten years.
Sam insists that I test drive it. Reluctantly, I let myself be persuaded to give it a try. Once behind the wheel I notice that it drives smoothly, exactly like a sedan. This is a pleasant surprise. It is bulky and ugly but has all the comfort: leather seats, CD player, air conditioning and most of all it’s roomy. Back at the dealership, the salesman asks how I liked driving the van. I answer that it was OK. But I stand by my earlier decision. I will not buy a minivan. Then how come, half an hour later, I am still sitting in this cubicle, caught between Sam’s persuasive enumeration of all the advantages of a minivan and salesman’s much rehearsed sales pitch. To my shame, I finally cave in. We buy the ugliest and most comfortable minivan in the universe. I look forward to being a soccer mom and if driving a minivan comes with the territory, so be it. I will just have to suffer through it patiently. For the present, my dream car will have to stay…. In my dreams.