Last week, I was in a minor car accident because Florida drivers, including myself, are sent straight from whatever circle of hell involves flaming bees in your anus. Thankfully everyone involved is totally fine, but my poor Hyundai will be in the shop for almost 3 weeks. So this week, I rented a car to transport myself to and from work.
And by “car”, I obviously mean “2017 Dodge Caravan”, because what else would happen to me at this point? I made my reservation online, for the “smallest and cheapest car” and showed up to retrieve it.
Enterprise employee: “I’m so sorry ma’am, but we only have…. vans… available at this time… is that ok?”
Me: “I will drive anything out of here! I promise! *eye twitch*”
I drove away from Enterprise in a large white boat that comfortably seats 8, with leather interior and a sound system that won’t quit.
On the way out to the lot, I mentioned that my first car had been a van, and the young woman escorting me laughed, “OH MAN, mine too!!” Having a van as a first car changes a girl. There is pain behind both of our eyes.
So I’m halfway through my week of commuting in this yacht, and I’ve noticed some things that are different from my regular be-Hyundai’d driving experience. Some standouts:
1. Road Rage
I mentioned on Twitter that I’d be driving a Cool Mom Van for a week, and an internet friend immediately warned me that I would be “constantly disrespected on the road”. I was like, “psh, ya okay, I already have a Nole Girl license plate frame, signalling that I am both female and young-ish, so everyone automatically despises me– how much worse could it be??”
Folks! It is so much worse!!
Driving the same way I always have in my Hyundai, at virtually the same speeds, people cut me off and swerve around me with reckless abandon. Driving a vehicle that says “I am probably a mom”– even if you drive it fast– turns Small Car People into rabid animals. That is really fucked up!! Did y’all not have moms???? Moms are GOOD! HAVE SOME RESPECK! I HAD A 12-HOUR WORKDAY AND MY HUSBAND WON’T EVEN PITCH IN TO TAKE JAYDEN TO SOCCER PRACTICE!
2. Dudes Checking Me Out
Listen, I’m not 18.5 anymore, so as far as most dudes are concerned, I am already in the ground.
But reader, I have caught several dudes checking me out in my van. There are many potential reasons for this, for example, maybe I am unknowingly covered in boogers that are visible even across a lane of traffic. Maybe they had to do a double take and make sure I’m not their Weird Aunt Linda. But I choose to think that they’re like, “Wow! For 40-something and enough kids that she had to buy an 8-seater van, she’s looking REAL good!”
And it’s true: I look fine for 27. But for 40something… I look FOOOOOOOOOINE.
Did y’all know that cars these days have *extremely redneck voice* REAL FAINCY KEYS IN EM? On this particular pimpmobile, you stick the actual key fob into the ignition!! I truly hope that my Teenage Van Inner Torment Buddy was not watching while I sat in the parking lot for 4 minutes staring back and forth from the keyless fob to the oddly-shaped keyhole.
Also: backup cameras! I’m sorry. But. I just don’t trust them. “WHY TRUST A NEWFANGLED GADGET WHEN I COULD USE MY OWN TWO HUMAN EYEBALLS???”, she smirked, having previously backed into a pole in a parking lot and caused a $450 dent in the poor Hyundai’s bumper. (The Hyundai deserves better than me. The Hyundai tells her friends about me at happy hour and they all give her that disapproving half-smile.)
Anyway, I tried to use the backup camera and I was too nervous, so it was just a totally-useless step between checking my left side and my right side. It took me 11 minutes to leave the gym after work yesterday. You know what? I’ll be honest. I am still at the gym, checking. It’s been 17 hours. Please, someone help. My family
Y’all… I love this van. This van is legit. Perhaps, in fact, too legit to quit. It is big and comfy and leathery (just how I like my men! HEYO!) and I feel like perhaps if a large truck tried to kill me on the expressway, I might survive, which is new and exhilarating.
Do I have any feasible reason to drive this large of a vehicle in my everyday life? Absolutely not! My car carries, at maximum, myself and one 22lb dog. I need better gas mileage! I need to fit in parking spots! But when I return my van on Sunday, a small void will remain in my heart. For a week, we were perfect. I’ll always remember you.
…….Hyundai? Is that you? Wait! I didn’t mean it!! And I didn’t know you could read!!! Baby! Come back!