Archive for the ‘man’ Tag

Minivan Man

I just returned from a 5 day family camping adventure in Yosemite.  It was my first time and it was great.  It’s amazing how much preparation is required for a trip like this, and I pride myself on trip prep.  From maps to check lists, I rarely find myself needing anything during a vacation.  I am happy to report this trip was as successful as any of my trips.  Thankfully we did not trade in our 10 year old Toyota 4Runner for a more economical car because the amount of gear and food we packed would never have fit into a Prius.  After this trip, we agreed that keeping it is the best way to save money.  We have no car payment, the insurance is relatively low, and it is a Toyota – practically maintenance free (knock on wood).

Although I am seeing more compact and economy cars on the road in and around L.A., I did not see many in Yosemite.  The SUV is not only handy, it is treasured.  I happen to love my 4Runner because it not only serves well for big trips, but it is still cool looking.  Part truck and part utility, slender yet rugged, and gets fairly decent mileage, it performed beyond expectations.  Plus, anyone looks cool in an SUV.  Can’t say the same for the minivan.

Ah, the minivan.  There were plenty of minivans on the road in Yosemite Valley.   Packed high with baggage, gear, and kids, the minivan is a streamlined dream.  It’s low enough to the ground so the little ones can get themselves in and out with pure pride that they needed no help from their parents.  Judging from some of the minivans I saw, they looked quite comfortable, like rolling living rooms.  TVs popped out from the ceiling, chairs swivel around, some had tables in the middle where everyone could play games or have meals.  Who wouldn’t love one of these ultimate family machines?

Exit the driver.  He is familiar to everyone – he’s got the ball cap on, the polo shirt, khaki cargo shorts, and Teva sandals.  He’s dad.  His shoulders are a tad slumped and he walks with a tired saunter.  His wife shouts impatient instructions to do something like grab the diaper bag.  He does so, but reluctantly.  

The minivan has stripped him of his masculinity.  There is nothing tough or rugged about a minivan, and certainly nothing manly about it.  It doesn’t even have an ounce of adventure anywhere on it.  Its status is below the wood paneled station wagon from National Lampoon’s Vacation.  Sure, he tries to outfit it with rooftop luggage racks, tying things with bungee cords and such but you can’t hide it even if you drove it into your tent.   He avoids parking next to the SUVs out of pure embarrassment, but envies them from afar.  He’s lost control and his position in the family is no more than driver and mommy’s little helper.  The minivan is a female object.  When dad is driving, he might as well be standing in line at the super market to buy tampons and Midol.  He’s a sucker.   He probably doesn’t even know how he got to this spot.  It was the day you agreed to buy a minivan, only you didn’t know it at the time and may not know it now!  You just know how pathetic you feel every time you get behind the wheel.  It’s worse when your wife wants to drive because now you have to sit in the dreaded passenger seat.  You look oversized and uncomfortable.  And what’s worse, your wife actually looks good behind the wheel.  That’s because the minivan IS a woman’s car, or more of a glorified station wagon.  No matter how they market them or how many SUV-like features they try to lure you with, it’s still a minivan and looks nothing like an SUV.

Come on and fight for your manhood!  Do not give into the minivan.  KILL IT!  Get your SUV and get your balls back!  You know where they are…

…in the glove box of your minivan.