Guys, we have a problem. On the grand scale of “Problems the World Faces” this is, like, a .5. It’s a small problem when placed against the backdrop of all the things that could go wrong.
But it’s still a problem.
My van is falling apart. A moment of silence, if you please.
It’s a funny thing, paying off a car. When I submitted the final payment, I felt an awesome sense of victory. I felt like I was sticking it to the man.
We enjoyed a WHOLE year of no payments before the heat shield on my engine went kaput and we needed to sacrifice one child’s college fun to fix it.
(Sidenote – I actually have no idea if it was the heat shield that went bad. I can’t remember what happened. I just remember that when the mechanic told me the issue and how much it would cost, I felt like he was explaining the mechanical failure of a space shuttle – not my van. So I’m sticking with heat shield for the purposes of this blog post.)
That event began a slow descent into car maintenance hell. New tires. New belts. New this and that.
A few months ago, the check engine light came on. I pretended I didn’t see it for awhile before finally taking it in only to find out the fuel level sensor was going bad. It didn’t take a $60 diagnostic test to figure that out given the fact that my fuel gauge is never accurate.
Then there was an oil leak.
Then they told us how much it would cost to fix the fuel sensor, and we’re thinking it would be more beneficial to just get a new car than sink that much into this current one.
That’s when it all hit the fan.
Lee came home and scoured the internet for
new used cars. I peeked over his shoulders and do you know what he was looking at?
“You don’t really need a van anymore,” he tried to reason with me. “You could just get a 7-passengar SUV instead.”
The betrayal! For shame.
Of course, I did consider it briefly. I considered the cool points I’d get back if I got rid of the minivan and went back to traipsing around town in a slick SUV, no longer neutered by my four-wheel metal office.
But then practicality set in. I have three children, all of whom are on track to be rather tall. If Sloan doesn’t slow down, he could easily reach 6 feet by junior high.
I tried to envision him and his tall, lanky friends crawling into the back of a 7-passenger SUV, and all I saw were broken windows and a lot of inappropriate jokes.
Someday I’ll experience release from the confines of the minivan. Someday I will pull up to the curb in a saucy little car that screams “hip” and “cool.” I’ll probably be a grandma by that time, but whatever.
I’ll be one hip granny.
Until that time, however, I’m afraid the minivan is the practical choice for me. They even have vans with built in vacuum cleaners now. WHHHAAAAA?????
Ten-to-one a mom came up with that idea. I’m still waiting for minivan makers to adopt my brilliant idea. And when they do, I expect them to give me a free van for the duration of my minivan driving years.
THAT’S NOT MUCH TO ASK!
So there you have it. I may be in the market for a new minivan in the coming months, and my husband is a traitor to the minivan community. I still love him, though. If for no other reason than for his brilliance in this movie.