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I’m A Mom Who Hates Mini Van Drivers

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mini van momThe other night, one of my good friends came to pick me up so we could catch up over dinner.

“Sorry,” she said when she came to my door 10 minutes late. “I couldn’t find parking.” This is ironic, since three cars can fit in my driveway and only one car was parked there. But my friend, who has three young children, all who need car seats, has a mini van.

I’m not sure if it’s the mini van that was too big to park in my driveway, or the fact that my friend just can’t park the mini van very well. The thing is massive. I’m not against mini vans, per se. I’m more against people who drive mini vans because almost everyone I know who drives one, or anyone I’ve witnessed driving one, drives like crap.

When we got to the restaurant, we had to park three blocks away because my friend is not very good at parallel parking in her mini van.

“There’s no way I’m getting one,” I told her. “This is ridiculous.” My friend laughed.

I realize if you have a big family, you need a big car. My fiancé has been bugging me to get a bigger car (some sort of mini van or SUV) because we do have four kids now. I’ve been putting him off because I’m quite happy with my four door BMW, which I’ve had for three years and has not once given me any trouble. Except, yes, people are squished into it. But I can park easily, even in small parking spots. (To be truthful, I have been looking at SUVs, the ones that can automatically parallel park for you.)

Last week, there were two incidents that infuriated me. The first was a mini van driver who got stuck in a parking space in a parking lot and couldn’t get out because she wasn’t confident she wasn’t going to back into another car. This caused a 15-minute traffic jam in the parking lot and I just sat in my car thinking, “Why the hell drive something you can’t drive!” Second, another friend of mine picked me up to go for coffee. Half way there I told her, “I’m getting car sick.” She clearly had an SUV ego, and was driving like a friggin’ maniac, because she, of course, was sitting taller than other people in normal size cars.

People with SUVs or mini vans, I believe, think they are better than anyone else. It’s almost like if you get in the way of a driver of an SUV, they don’t give a damn about you and your small car. (This is possibly because they don’t SEE you behind them.)  I  wish that people were made to take additional driving lessons when they get these boats.

Also, as I’ve told my fiancé, how many times are all of us going to be together in one car?

“Well,” he said, “What if we go to your cottage?” To be honest, this is a reason to keep my small car, because frankly, I don’t want to be in a car with two teenagers, a 9-year-old and a 4-month-old baby. I’d rather split us up, so I can have some sort of peace and quiet on the two-hour drive. And, as I told him, we go to the cottage for one week in the summer and maybe one other weekend. It seems silly to buy a SUV or mini van just for that.

While I’m a fine driver, I just know that if I had a big car, I’d be like my friend and not be able to parallel park. Or I’d be the one driving three blocks away from wherever I have to be just so I can park without hitting another car.

After dinner, as we got back into my friend’s mini van, I looked around in it. “Wow,” I said. “You sure do have a lot of cup holders in this thing.”

She responded, “Yes, there are 12.” TWELVE. Um, unless you are driving a BUS, who the heck needs 12 cup holders in one car!

Like I said, I’m not against mini vans. I’m against the drivers.

(photo: Beth Van Trees/ Shutterstock)